Not long ago, the folks from Pro Football Focus highlighted some of the best young players in the NFL with their Top 25 under 25 list. Our Minnesota Vikings landed two players on that list. . .you know who they are already, I’m assuming.
Well, right after that, in a story that yours truly missed, they moved things the other direction by highlighting the NFL’s Top 30 players over the age of 30. Only one member of the Vikings made this list: the man known (locally) as Kirko Chainzz, quarterback Kirk Cousins. He came in at #16 on the PFF list, and the second-highest rated quarterback, behind that guy that used to play for Green Bay but plays for the Jets now and wasn’t as good as Cousins was last season.
Cousins turned in his lowest passing grade as a Viking in 2022 (77.7), but that was still a top-10 season at the position as he led his team to the playoffs. Cousins’ 31 big-time throws were a career-high, but so were his 23 turnover-worthy plays.
It’s not that surprising to see Cousins on the list, I don’t think. He’s continued to provide solid play at the quarterback position and was a big part of the team winning 13 games last season.
Counting Cousins, the Vikings only have five players on the roster that are currently 30 or older. Long snapper Andrew DePaola is the oldest at age 35, Cousins and safety Harrison Smith both check in at 34, and offensive lineman Chris Reed and linebacker Jordan Hicks have both hit the big 3-0. Smith, after being one of the best safeties in the NFL for the better part of the last decade, did not make the PFF list. While he did have a bit of a down year in 2022, it’s still a little bit surprising to not see him up there. He’s likely in his final year with the Vikings, so perhaps he’ll have a bounce back in 2023.