On Monday night, the NFL Network started their annual countdown of the Top 100 players for the upcoming season. In a departure from what we generally see on this list, there was actually a member of the Minnesota Vikings involved!
(Two if you count Adrian Peterson, who made the list because. . .well, I don’t know, actually.)
But on the subject of Vikings that actually matter, defensive end Everson Griffen made his way onto the NFL Network’s list, coming in at #92. It’s the first time in his seven-year career that Griffen has been on this list.
Griffen didn’t have his best season in 2016, at least not from a statistical standpoint. He had eight sacks, his lowest figure in the three seasons since he took over the starting job from Jared Allen. But he did recover three fumbles in 2016, one of which he returned for a touchdown, and forced two others.
For the past three seasons, Griffen has been a major presence on the Minnesota defensive line, and he’s certainly helped to open things up for players like Linval Joseph, Brian Robison, and Danielle Hunter. He’s getting to the point where he’s actually one of the senior players on the Vikings roster, but given that he played sparingly in the early portion of his Vikings career, it stands to reason that #97 still has plenty of good years left in him.
Congratulations to Everson Griffen on gaining the recognition of his peers and making the NFL Network Top 100 for the first time. When. . .or if. . .more members of the Vikings make the list, we’ll bring that to you here.