Willie McGinest, who now works for the NFL Network, knows a thing or two about pass rushers. He collected 86 sacks himself over the course of his NFL career for two different teams, so when he starts ranking pass rushers, he probably knows what he’s talking about.
His most recent piece for NFL.com does just that, and it places a member of the Minnesota Vikings on a pretty lofty perch. McGinest has defensive end Everson Griffen as the NFL’s fourth-best pass rusher entering 2017, trailing only Von Miller, Aaron Donald, and Khalil Mack. That’s some pretty decent company to be keeping.
Here’s what McGinest has to say about the man they call Sack Daddy:
Griffen started the 2017 season on a tear, racking up 10 sacks in the first eight games. After the team’s Week 9 bye week, though, Griffen was hampered by a torn plantar fascia (suffered in Week 8) and only recorded a total of four sacks the remainder of the regular season and through the playoffs. Now healthy, I expect Griffen to hit his stride in 2018 and once again lead the best defense in the league. Entering his ninth season in the fall, Griffen has great edge, nice lean and good speed. Coupled with good balance and hands, he’s a huge challenge to contain, even with help.
McGinest, rightly, cites Griffen’s foot injury as a reason that he dropped off quite a bit last season. Now, not only is he healthy, but he’s got a brand new running mate on the defensive line in Sheldon Richardson, a pretty damn fine pass rusher in his own right. That’s going to make it more difficult for defenses to key on Griffen, and should help Danielle Hunter on the other end as well.
Griffen has really developed over the course of his career with the Vikings, and particularly since taking over as the starter after Jared Allen moved on. From what we know about Griffen and his attitude, my guess is that he’s nowhere near done yet, either.
Counting the postseason, Everson Griffen collected 14 sacks in 2017. How many do you think he’ll get in 2018?
This poll is closed
Less than 14
14, same as last season
More than 14