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Vikings' Player Power Rankings, End of Season Version

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If you'll recall, at about mid-season I put together a "Power Ranking" of the individual players for the Beloved Purple.  Take a minute to review the mid-season version if you wish.

Now, here's the end of season rankings.  Not a lot of movement up near the top, but plenty down in the middle and lower regions of the rankings.

Any agreements?  Disagreements?  Go ahead and put them into the comments section. . .any and all feedback, as always, is appreciated.

Player Power Rankings
Final Rank Mid-Season Rank Change

Player

Comment
1 1 None Adrian Peterson, RB First rookie to lead the NFC in rushing since some guy named Barry Sanders.  If AD can stay healthy and not battle injuries for his entire career, he can be at least that good. . .and possibly better.
2 5 +3 Pat Williams, DT Back in the glory days of Prime Time Wrestling, Gorilla Monsoon always referred to big matches as a battle between the "irresistible force" and the "immovable object."  I think I'm going to co-opt that to refer to the best DT duo in the league.  This guy here?  He's the "immovable object."  Just ask. . .oh. . .roughly any interior lineman on the Vikings' schedule.
3 2 -1 E.J. Henderson, LB Why, yes, I believe that he can make the transition from outside linebacker to middle linebacker, don't you?  Considering he's a Pro Bowl alternate, it appears as though there are people that agree.
4 4 None Steve Hutchinson, G Ho-hum. . .another year, another Pro Bowl trip for the best left guard in the NFL.  Started the trend of guards getting paid big money, and is still the one that does the most to earn it.
5 3 -2 Kevin Williams, DT And here's the "irresistible force."  Constantly received double-team attention from opposing offensive lines, and still managed to throw in two interception returns for touchdowns for good measures.  How many DTs do YOU know with 2 INT return TDs in a season?  Heck, I don't know if there were any before this year.
6 6 None Matt Birk, C Another Viking that's headed to the Pro Bowl.  One of the few key Vikings that's over the age of 30, and he hasn't lost a single step, so I'm not the least bit worried about him.
7 10 +3 Bryant McKinnie, OT Put together, by far, the best season he's had as a member of the Beloved Purple.  He and Hutchinson have finally gotten really comfortable with each other on the left side.  The bad news for opposing defensive lines?  They're both signed through 2013.  Those big contracts they signed prior to the '06 season are going to look like bargains before too long.
8 13 +5 Chester Taylor, RB The second half of the best 1-2 RB punch in the NFL.  How often is it that the second-leading rusher on an NFL team has 844 yards, 7 TDs, and averages 5.4 yards a carry?  Minnesota's second-leading rusher did.  I really hope we don't deal him during the off-season, unless someone absolutely blows Rick Spielman's doors off with an offer.
9 11 +2 Ben Leber, LB I never know where the heck this guy's going to be, whether it's rushing the passer (tied for the team lead with 5 sacks) or in coverage or what.  Apparently opposing teams have trouble with this, too.  He's not mentioned as much as the Vikings' other two linebackers, but he's an invaluable part of the defense.
10 8 -2 Darren Sharper, S Yep, he's going to the Pro Bowl, too.  He might be slowing down a bit, but there are few guys that I'd rather have playing center field than #42.  Oh, and let's not forget that he's still the best safety in Green Bay Packer history, and they still haven't replaced him 3 years after he left.
11 9 -2 Antoine Winfield, CB Still one of the best at his position, particularly in run support, but injuries limited him in 2007, and it showed in the way that teams were able to run the ball in the games he was out for (like the season finale).
12 12 None Kenechi Udeze, DE Only got one sack in the second half of the season, but continued his extremely solid play against the run and, overall, notched 5 more sacks than he did in 2006 with a total of. . .er, 5.  I think he might finally be all the way back from the knee injury he suffered in '05.
13 7 -6 Chris Kluwe, P Second in the NFC and third in the NFL in punts killed inside the 20 (34 in 81 punts).  For a team that wants to play a field-position type of game like Minnesota does, something like that is pretty huge.  A good young punter that we have locked up for a long time.
14 36 +22 Tarvaris Jackson, QB Yep, I'm going here.  #7 showed some pretty impressive improvement over the second half of the season, in my opinion.  Yes, he had some rough outings, but again. . .he's started 14 NFL games, and certainly didn't regress in any way, shape, or form.  Hopefully he can take this season's lessons and take another step forward in 2008.
15 24 +9 Anthony Herrera, G The offensive line got markedly better when Artis Hicks was taken out of the lineup and Herrera was inserted.  Another good, young talent that was locked up with a long-term deal during the season.  The Vikings' offensive line looks to be good for a long time, and Herrera is going to be a part of that.
16 27 +11 Bobby Wade, WR You know, I was a little tough on Wade when I did the mid-season rankings.  He's a perfectly acceptable slot receiver/#3 option.  However, a #1 receiver he is not, and that's the role that the Vikings were trying to stuff him into.  He's never going to wow anybody, but he's a nice guy to have around.
17 14 -3 Brian Robison, DE Wore down a little bit as the year went on, but showed a lot of promise as a pass-rusher.  Hopefully with a season under his belt, he'll come back stronger and more able to hold up to the rigors of a full season.
18 19 +1 Chad Greenway, LB Led the Vikings in fumble recoveries with 4, and racked up a total of 105 tackles, second on the team to E.J. Henderson.  Really needs to get better in coverage, though. . .there were a lot of times when he was out of position.
19 20 +1 Tony Richardson, FB Like I've said in the past, I like Richardson a lot. . .but really, since Adrian Peterson is already going to the Pro Bowl, I hope that Richardson is springing for tickets for Chester Taylor, too.
20 22 +2 Ryan Longwell, K Pro Bowl alternate who improved his accuracy, his range, and his kickoffs over 2006, and is dedicated to making himself even better next season.  What's not to like?
21 26 +5 Heath Farwell, LB A complete monster on special teams.  It seemed like every time there was a Vikings punt or kickoff, Heath Farwell was around the football somewhere.  The kind of guy that you really don't see much, but are damn happy to have around anyway.
22 15 -7 Ray Edwards, DE Was showing a lot of promise, and also tied for the team lead in sacks (if it seems like I've said that a lot, it's because there was a 3-way tie for the team lead).  Then he missed the last four games for violating the league's steroid policy.  But, at least he's been contrite about it, unlike some members of this team.
23 17 -6 Sidney Rice, WR The official receiver of The Daily Norseman wound up leading the Vikings in touchdown receptions (4), but missed some games in the second half with injuries.  He still looks to have all the trappings of the next great Vikings receiver, and with a little more consistency at quarterback, should further assert himself in 2008.
24 39 +15 Aundrae Allison, WR This is more for his special teams work, though he did show some potential as a receiver.  But after setting a Vikings' record with a 104-yard kickoff return against Chicago and leading the NFC in kick return average. . .yes, ahead of even Devin Hester. . .it looks like the Vikings may have finally found an answer in the return game.
25 23 -2 Jim Kleinsasser, TE Still an outstanding blocker, and manage to snag his first TD pass in a few years in the game against Washington.  Plus, he went to UND, so I've got to give him a little love here.  (That's North Dakota, by the by, not Notre Dame.)
26 16 -10 Visanthe Shiancoe, TE Hands got less reliable as the season went on, dropping a lot of key passes.  Shiancoe is a frustrating player because you KNOW the physical talent is there, but it's just not turning into production on the field.
27 31 +4 Spencer Johnson, DT Played very well in a reserve role behind Pat and Ke. . .er, the Irresistible Force and the Immovable Object.  Has said he's going to test the free agent market because he wants to start somewhere.  I don't blame him. . .there are a few teams out there he probably could start for.  I just hope it's not another NFC North team.
28 21 -7 Cedric Griffin, CB Griffin still plays a very tough, very physical style of CB, yet still got beaten a lot in coverage.  If the Vikings sign and/or draft another CB during the off-season, he might benefit greatly from a move to safety.  He's got great size, speed, and physicality for the position.
29 30 +1 Dontarrious Thomas, LB The primary backup at all the linebacker positions and a good special teams player, too.  Has a ton of physical ability, but hasn't really translated very well to the field at this point.
30 33 +3 Charles Gordon, CB Undrafted free agent who played quite well in a nickel/dime role for the Vikings this year.  Should push for more playing time in 2008, depending on the Vikings' CB situation.
31 40 +9 Robert Ferguson, WR A lot like Wade. . .a decent, veteran guy who was probably higher up on the depth chart than he should have been, given the Vikings' WR situation.  He's a free agent, and it might not hurt to bring him back.
32 32 None Marcus McCauley, CB Was often called upon to start in Antoine Winfield's absence, and had some definite growing pains as a rookie.  But, like the other members of this year's rookie class, whether productive or not, he's got a ton of potential, and hopefully won't be too disheartened by his performance this year.
33 28 -5 Tank Williams, S Spent a lot of time over the second half of the season inactive because of injuries.  He'd be nice to bring back next year, if he can stay healthy. . .we need a lot of help at safety.
34 35 +1 Mewelde Moore, RB Still a good option as a punt returner, but didn't get on the field a whole lot as a running back.  The chances of him being back in Minnesota in 2008 are very, very slim, in my opinion.
35 43 +8 Ryan Cook, OT Still the biggest hole on the offensive line.  Yeah, he got a little better than he was when the season started, but considering where he started from, that's not saying much.
36 47 +11 Jayme Mitchell, DE When he actually got onto the field, he performed pretty well.  I wouldn't mind seeing him get a little more time, because he's got some talent.
37 37 None Naufahu Tahi, FB Still more fun to say than "Jeff Dugan," so he gets this spot. . .
38 38 None Jeff Dugan, FB . . .and Dugan gets this spot.  Just like last time.
39 34 -5 Vinny Ciurciu, LB Was signed to be a special teamer, and was okay in that capacity, but not as good as he should have been for the salary he received.
40 25 -15 Brooks Bollinger, QB The last time we saw Bollinger in any significant action, he was leading the Vikings to their first regular season shutout loss in forever.  The Vikings need to go into 2008 with, at the very least, a better backup option at quarterback than Bollinger.
41 41 None Cullen Loeffler, LS Hey, I still like Loeffler a lot, so I see no reason to knock him down.
42 42 None Kelly Holcomb, QB I really don't need to see Holcomb on the Vikings' roster next year, either.  At one time, he was at least a serviceable backup.  Now, he's just painful to watch.
43 45 +2 Fred Evans, DT He's a decent player, as long as he's not doing stupid things and getting arrested and stuff.  He's signed for next year and, at the very least, provides some average depth.
44 46 +2 Artis Hicks, G Only at this spot on the list because a) he was healthy and b) doesn't qualify as "dead to me" as of right now.  Still don't want to see him back next season.
45 44 -1 Mike Doss, S Hard to say something about a guy that spent more time in the trainer's room than on the field.
46 29 -17 Troy Williamson, WR I've been over this, but the huge drop in Denver was pretty much the last straw for me.  I've tried as hard as I can to like this guy and I admire how hard he works, but he simply no longer has a place on this team.  He's not a good receiver, he's not a good kick returner. . .he's just not good, and it kills me to say that.
47 18 -29 Dwight Smith, S Dead to me.  Yeah, he made some interceptions. . .it also seemed like every time the opposition needed a big play, Dwight Smith was the one getting toasted.  Oh, and he's a safety. . .the last line of defense. . .you'd think he might actually know how to tackle or something but, sadly, he does not.
Non-Ranked Players
Final Rank Mid-Season Rank Change

Player

Comment
NA NA None Marcus Johnson, G Another flop from the 2005 draft class.  Hey, you know who the best Viking that was a rookie in 2005 is?  Chris Kluwe. . .a guy that wasn't even drafted.
NA NA None Erasmus James, DE See above.  Basically zero production in 3 years qualifies you as a flop.  By August, we might be rid of our entire 2005 draft class.
NA NA None Garrett Mills, TE Finally got onto the field for the last game of the year, and showed a little bit of promise.  Maybe with a full off-season in Minnesota next season, he can be a real contributor.
NA NA None Darrion Scott, DE Do we know who you are?  Not any more.
NA NA None Otis Grigsby, DE Got a sack and a forced fumble against San Francisco.  Didn't see a whole lot of action other than that.  Unsure of his status for next season.
NA NA None Martin Nance, WR Needs an opportunity with the big club.
NA NA None Chase Johnson, OT Didn't see the field.
NA NA None Brian Daniels, G Didn't see the field.
NA NA None Joel Filani, WR Didn't see the field.
NA NA None Eric Frampton, S Really came alive on special teams.  (Damn it, I've been waiting for three months to make the obligatory "Frampton Comes Alive" joke.  I'm allowed.)