With the season he put together in 2018, it wasn’t a matter of if Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter would make this year’s NFL Network Top 100 Players list, but when his name would appear. Unfortunately, with the list now half finished, his name has already come up.
Hunter checks in on the list at #57. . .a spot which, given his performance in 2018 and the trajectory that his career is on, seems pretty low to me. I’m biased, but still, this is low.
Hunter was one of the players that signed a big contract extension with the Vikings prior to the start of last season, and he responded by turning in his best season as a pro. He was fourth in the NFL last season with 14.5 sacks, and was named a second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press.
With the way that Hunter has exploded for the Vikings since he was drafted in 2015, it’s sometimes hard to forget that he doesn’t turn 25 until this October. That means that, with as good as he’s been thus far, there’s no reason to believe that the arrow is pointing anywhere but upwards for #99 at this point.
Hunter’s inclusion on the list gives the Vikings four players on the NFL Network Top 100 for 2019, as Hunter joins safety Harrison Smith, quarterback Kirk Cousins, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. I’m assuming that they’re going to get one more in wide receiver Adam Thielen, and it’s going to be interesting to see just how high up on the list he is as well.