With the NFL Draft in the books and the long, slow crawl to Training Camp underway, that means it’s List-a-Mania season around the football media universe, and one annual list that has just come out has two members of the Minnesota Vikings prominently featured.
Pro Football Focus has released this year’s list of the top 25 NFL players under the age of 25, and the purple have placed two names in the top 15. You’ve probably already figured out who they are. . .well, one of them for sure. . .but let’s make sure we’re all on the same page here.
The first one, as you’ve probably already figured, is wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who checks in at #2 on the list, trailing only Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons.
Three straight seasons of elite receiving grades for Jefferson — 90.4 in 2020, 90.1 in 2021 and 90.2 in 2022 — means he stands alone at the top of the young receiver list in terms of dominance and consistency. He’s unmatched, not just for his age, but among all NFL receivers.
Jefferson is going to be on this list next year, too. . .he’ll turn 24 in about a month.
Jefferson is joined by offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw, who comes in at #15 on the PFF list.
Darrisaw dealt with a groin injury in his rookie season that caused him to miss four games, and he finished the year with a 71.9 overall grade. But this past season, he played in 15 games, recording 910 snaps, and earned an elite 90.4 overall grade. That massive jump was extremely impressive, and something that should give him a baseline to be one of the top young offensive linemen in the game moving forward.
The Vikings’ offense had its share of struggles when Darrisaw was sidelined with concussion issues this past season, but he’s now teamed with Brian O’Neill to form one of the best offensive tackle duos in the National Football League. It’s been a while since the Vikings have had a pair of bookends that they could hang their hat on like those two, and hopefully they’ll be anchoring things up front for a long time.
Like Jefferson, Darrisaw turns 24 in June (a couple of weeks before Jefferson, actually), so he’s likely going to be on this list next season, too. Hopefully he’ll move up the ranks from where he is right now.