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2 Vikings make PFF’s all-rookie team

After a poor showing from the 2022 rookie class, the 2023 class for the Minnesota Vikings performed significantly better. They even had two of their players make the Pro Football Focus all rookie team in cornerback Mekhi Blackmon and inside linebacker Ivan Pace Jr.

PFF’s Dalton Wasserman had nice things to say about both Pace and Blackmon but especially the former.

One of two undrafted players on this list, Pace has been the perfect fit for Brian Flores’ defense in Minnesota. His 77.2 overall PFF grade leads all qualified rookie linebackers and ranks 17th in the league.

Pace’s trademark blitzing ability has carried over from his days at the University of Cincinnati. His 22.9% pass-rush win rate is the second highest among 85 linebackers with at least 20 pass-rush snaps this season.

It’s amazing how well Pace played as an undrafted free agent but he came into the right place with Brian Flores as the defensive coordinator. He knows how to use players with unique skill sets and maximizes them.

Blackmon was drafted in the third round and thrived in the system. He finished third among rookie cornerbacks in coverage grade at 71.7. With the Vikings struggles at the position, hitting on Blackmon was a big win.

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire