We know that the Minnesota Vikings have a bevy of talented players on their roster, but who are the guys that are the best of the best wearing purple?
Pro Football Focus has put together their list of the three best players on each team as we head into the 2022 NFL season and, personally, I find myself agreeing with two of their three selections. Here are my picks for the three best players on the Vikings’ roster right now.
1) WR Justin Jefferson - I mean. . .duh. I don’t even have to construct an actual argument for this one, the choice is so obvious.
2) RB Dalvin Cook - I’m still against giving running backs huge contracts and there’s probably a point in the very near future here that Cook’s deal is going to become prohibitive. However, as things stand right now, he’s the best non-Jefferson player the Vikings have. The offense has run through him for most of the last few seasons and, even though he’s had his injury issues during that time, he’s shown the ability to carry the team when called upon (like the 200+ yard performance he put up against Pittsburgh on Thursday Night Football this past season). He’s on the shortlist of the best backs in the NFL, to be sure.
3) OT Brian O’Neill - Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The Vikings have had their struggles on the offensive line in recent years, but it certainly hasn’t been O’Neill’s fault. That becomes clear when you see stats like this from our friend Brett Kollmann.
Random stats that I find fun.— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) May 26, 2022
Brian O'Neill has started for four years since his debut as a rookie and only given up six sacks across more than 4,000 snaps.
He averages 25 pressures allowed per year and has not missed a game since becoming a starter four weeks into his career.
And yet, when you get to a discussion of the best offensive tackles in the National Football League, O’Neill’s name never comes up. It should. . .O’Neill has been solid ever since he assumed the starting role as a rookie and should team with Christian Darrisaw to give the Vikings a solid pair of bookends for a long time to come.
PFF had Jefferson and Cook in their top three, but they put defensive end Danielle Hunter on their list instead of O’Neill. While I can understand that selection, I also understand that Hunter has played six full games over the last two NFL seasons and I want to see how he bounces back from his latest injury. He’s undoubtedly in the top three in terms of talent on the roster, but I think it’s fair to put O’Neill on the list instead of Hunter at this point.
There are some other names that could be considered as well. . .Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, and Harrison Smith most notably. . .but that’s my top three as things stand right now.
Who do you think the three best players on the Vikings’ roster are?