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Everson Griffen gets nod as potential NFC North MVP from ESPN

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At least someone dared to be different

Divisional Round - New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

We’ve reached the portion of the preseason where the folks from ESPN ask all of their NFL team writers various questions about the state of their respective divisions, roundtable style. One of the recent questions was “Who will be the NFC North MVP,” and at least one writer gave an answer that’s different than you’d probably expect.

Michael Rothstein, who covers the Detroit Lions for the four-letter, went off the beaten path and said that Minnesota Vikings’ defensive end Everson Griffen would be the division’s Most Valuable Player in 2018.

The 6-foot-3, 273-pound 30-year-old is one of the best edge rushers in the NFL. In a division full of potent offenses, it would be a defensive player who could make the true difference. Griffen has posted double-digit sacks in three of the past four seasons and has been a big part of the reason Minnesota has one of the NFL’s top defensive units. He’s good against the run and the pass, is fast and causes havoc routinely for opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks. While an offensive player would be the popular pick here, Griffen is the type of player who could post big enough numbers at a premier position that he should be in the conversation for the award if the Vikings win the NFC North.

Griffen was most certainly on his way to at least being in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year last season, as he racked up ten sacks in the first eight games of Minnesota’s season. Though he tailed off a bit at the end of the year, at least some of which can be attributed to a foot injury that he was dealing with, he still had a great season and is earning every bit of the contract extension that he got prior to camp last season.

The other three ESPN writers that cover NFC North teams? Yeah, they all took Aaron Rodgers. Shame. SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME!

Nah, that’s actually a good pick, too. I just like the Griffen pick better, obviously.