The Pro Football Writers of America have put together their 2015 All-Rookie team, and three members of the Minnesota Vikings were named to this year's squad. We'll highlight them in the order that they were drafted by the purple.
Eric Kendricks started the season on the bench for the Vikings, but wound up starting eleven games for Minnesota. He was credited with 105 tackles, becoming the first rookie to lead the Vikings in tackles since Rip Hawkins in 1961. He also collected four quarterback sacks, and he set a Vikings' rookie record for most consecutive games with a sack, picking up at least one in three straight games. He was also credited with 11 tackles for loss and two passes defended.
Danielle Hunter was thought to be a bit of a project when the Vikings took him in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, but he would up eventually finding a niche and working his way into the rotation for the Vikings. When all was said and done, he ended up being second on the team in quarterback sacks with six. He was also second among all NFL rookies in that category. In addition to the quarterback sacks, Hunter was credited with ten tackles for loss, 34 tackles overall, a forced fumble, and a pass defensed. He was also the youngest player in the NFL in 2015, as he did not reach age 21 until October.
Stefon Diggs couldn't even get off of the inactive list for the first three games of the season, but when he finally did get on the field, he quickly established himself as the Vikings' best wide receiver. He ultimately led the team in receptions (52) and receiving yardage (720), while being second on the team in touchdown receptions with four. That 720 yard total also put him second among all National Football League rookies in that category.
You can see the rest of the PFWA All-Rookie team right here.
With Kendricks, Hunter, and Diggs being recognized, the Vikings have now placed eight players on the PFWA All-Rookie team since Rick Spielman took over as the full-time General Manager in 2012. Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith, and Blair Walsh made the team in 2012, Cordarrelle Patterson made the team (as a kick returner) in 2013, and Teddy Bridgewater was named to the squad in 2014.
Congratulations to Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, and Stefon Diggs on being recognized for being among the best rookies in the NFL in 2015. Hopefully this is the start of much bigger things to come for all three of them.