Over the course of the past few months, the Minnesota Vikings have done quite a bit to keep one of the most talented rosters in the National Football League together. Fortunately for fans of the purple, they not only have a bunch of ready for prime-time talent, there’s a not insignificant portion of it that is still just starting to get their feet wet on the big stage.
Behind the great E$PN paywall, their insiders have gone through all of the NFL rosters and ranked which teams have the best talent on their roster that is under the age of 25. The Vikings are among the NFL’s best in their rankings, as they check in at #8 on ESPN’s list.
Here’s what the folks from Bristol had to say about Minnesota’s young talent:
The Vikings have an enviable trio of under-25 players in Stefon Diggs, Danielle Hunter and Dalvin Cook. They’ve already locked up the first two to long-term deals this summer, and Diggs will be looking for his first 1,000-yard season this year. If he can stay healthy for a full season, then he should get there given his talent. His progression, along with that of Adam Thielen, has made first-round pick Laquon Treadwell look even worse in comparison. The Vikings have to see more from him this year or the “bust” label is going to be appropriate.
Cook was off to a nice start in a workhorse role last year before injury ended his season after just four games. Hunter saw his sack production drop, but he still led the team with 39.5 hurries and is one of the best under-25 pass-rushers in the league. Center Pat Elflein should see improvement in his second year on the job.
Minnesota’s roster is so deep that highly drafted corners Mackensie Alexander and rookie Mike Hughes only have to be role players for now. Second-round rookie right tackle Brian O’Neill is likely a future starter, too, so the 2018 draft did little to boost the Vikings in this year’s rankings.
The ranking for the Vikings represents a full 20-spot jump for the team over last year’s rankings in the same category, where they checked in at #28. (This number seems to fluctuate quite a bit, as in the 2016 rankings the Vikings came in at #6.)
Dalvin Cook, Danielle Hunter, and Stefon Diggs are the most prominently mentioned players in the article, and they also include Mackensie Alexander, Mike Hughes, and Brian O’Neill. In fact, of the Vikings’ current 90-man roster, over 50%. . .47 players out of 90. . .are currently under the age of 25.
As long as Rick Spielman is the General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings and Mike Zimmer is the guy in charge of developing the players, the Vikings should be able to hold a pretty prominent position on this list for the foreseeable future.