None of the players that were selected in the 2017 NFL Draft have taken the field yet, but since it’s the offseason, people aren’t letting that stop them from putting together all sorts of projections for how those players will fare in their first NFL season.
Bucky Brooks of the NFL Network has put together his Preseason All-Rookie Team, and it features two members of your Minnesota Vikings. Not surprisingly, the two players that Brooks put on the squad were the first two players that the Vikings selected.
First off, Brooks places Dalvin Cook on the team as one of his two running backs, along with Leonard Fournette of Jacksonville.
The electric runner will add plenty of juice to the Vikings' offense as a dynamic weapon in the backfield. Cook's combination of skills could make him a 1,000-yard rusher and 50-catch receiver in Minnesota's redesigned offensive attack.
I’ll tell you. . .if Cook were to run for over 1,000 yards and have 50 catches this season, he’d not only be on most All-Rookie teams, but he’d be a pretty solid candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Given his talent, those numbers are also not completely out of the realm of possibility, either.
Brooks’ other Vikings choice is at the center spot, where he names Pat Elflein to the team.
The rock-solid interior blocker should shore up the Vikings' weakness at the point of attack as a first-year starter.
This implies that it would indeed be Elflein, and not incumbent Joe Berger, starting in the pivot for Minnesota in 2017. While Elflein has experience starting at both guard spots, the consensus has been that center is his best position in the NFL, and head coach Mike Zimmer said that Elflein would start out at center shortly after the team drafted him a couple of weeks ago. That would push Berger to right guard and allow Jeremiah Sirles to act as a depth player rather than a starter, which might be for the best at this point.
After the Vikings got pretty much zero contribution from their rookie class in 2016, it would be nice to see Cook and Elflein. . .and a few others, at the risk of sounding greedy. . .to come in and immediately make an impact.