Vikings have multiple top 10 talents on offense
It’s no secret that the Minnesota Vikings have one of the best offenses in the National Football League. With Justin Jefferson and Christian Darrisaw leading the pack, the Vikings also have youth on their side.
Pro Football Focus put out a series of articles this week breaking down the top players at each offensive position sans interior offensive line and the Vikings came out favorably. They have five players in the top 10 at their position on offense and shows that the future is bright for the Vikings.
QB Kirk Cousins
Sam Monson wrote arguably the fairest assessment of Cousins since he’s been a Minnesota Viking.
Cousins is probably at the top of the second tier of quarterbacks — those who you can win with but are unlikely to transform a team into a contender simply by their presence. Cousins has earned a PFF passing grade of at least 77.7 every season in Minnesota. He is an exceptionally accurate passer with plenty of big plays in his arsenal who maybe lacks that transcendent, intangible talent that every team chases at the position.
RB Dalvin Cook
Cook might not end up on the Vikings roster for the 2023 season, but he currently is and his talent is still evident.
The narrative around Cook seems to put him on a level that does not appropriately respect how good of a player he still is. In 2022, he tied his career low in yards per carry, but it was still a healthy 4.5. Plus, he earned 3.2 yards after contact, which was the second-highest mark of his career. Nick Chubb (122) is the only back who has had more explosive runs than Cook (112) over the past three seasons. At worst, he’s still a top-10 talent at the position.
WR Justin Jefferson
Jefferson is arguably the best receiver the National Football League, but Monson can’t quite put him above Davante Adams.
I’m not sure you can say Jefferson is better than Davante Adams, but he’s joined him atop the mountain. Jefferson is second to Adams in a whole variety of categories since entering the league and has been phenomenally productive for the Vikings in his young career. He is an outstanding route runner, can win contested catches and already has one of the greatest catches in NFL history on his resume — a fourth-and-18 one-handed snag against Buffalo.
John Kosko has Hockenson in the second tier, which he describes as “great with the potential to be elite.
A midseason trade did wonders for the former Iowa Hawkeye, as Hockenson fit the Vikings offense and tied for the third-highest WAR among TEs in 2022 at 0.41. Hockenson only trailed Kelce in receptions for the 2022 season, including the playoffs, which resulted in the second-most yards from the position.
LT Christian Darrisaw
While he hasn’t gotten the credit he has deserved across the league, Gordon McGuinness believes he’s a top-five tackle in the NFL.
The 23rd selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Darrisaw impressed as a rookie before taking a big step forward in 2022. Just two players at the position bettered the 90.6 PFF run-blocking grade produced by the former Virginia Tech standout, and while he still needs to improve his consistency in pass protection, his 82.4 PFF pass-blocking grade in 2022 was the eighth-best mark at the position.
RT Brian O'Neill
O’Neill is coming off of a partially torn Achilles tendon, but he is still one of the best players at the tackle position in the league.
The 62nd selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, O’Neill has developed into one of the best right tackles in football, coming off a career-high 82.7 PFF grade in 2022 that ranked eighth among all tackles. Even if that’s his peak, his floor is a player who hasn’t graded below 70.0 in each of the past four seasons, logging more than 1,000 snaps in each of those years, too.
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