Christian Darrisaw Named as Vikings Early Breakout Candidate by PFF in 2022

Christian Darrisaw
Image Courtesy of @christomasson on Twitter.

Looking forward to the 2022 season, Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus picked a breakout candidate for all 32 teams in the NFL. He chose Christian Darrisaw as the Vikings early breakout candidate — a first-round draft pick whose NFL career was delayed because of injury but looked the part when he did get on the field. Here is what Treash had to say regarding Darrisaw;

Darrisaw got off to a late start to his rookie year due to a preseason injury. He ended up playing in 11 games and posted a 71.8 PFF grade over that span, ranking 20th of 39 qualifying left tackles. The first-round pick’s run-blocking stood out in particular — Darrisaw posted a 77.2 grade in that facet. Not only is that the sixth-best among left tackles for the 2021 season, but it’s also the fourth-best by a rookie at the position in the last decade. Needless to say, the future looks promising for the Virginia Tech product.

Hopefully, Darrisaw goes into the start of next season following a full preseason under his belt, ready to hit the ground running and build on his rookie season. He already looks like the second-best lineman on the roster behind right tackle Brian O’Neill. With a clean bill of health and more reps on the field, he should only get better. He can be as good as O’Neill, if not better. 

Obviously, blocking was his strength this season, and Darrisaw can be one of the very best in that regard. It was a little more patchy in pass protection, and that’s the main area that needs progression in year two. He gave up five sacks in 10 starts, which is a stat I’d like to see take a downward trend in 2022. A couple of other interesting stats from his rookie season? He had three fumble recoveries and just three penalties.

Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Darrisaw showed awareness to recognize and recover fumbles. You never want fumbles, but they are a part of the game. Having a guy who is always ready to pounce is reassuring. Watching Oli Udoh collect flags like Christmas cards in his first season as a starter, Darrisaw’s maturity was a good sign. He was flagged for just one false start and one holding penalty. The third flag was for an ineligible man downfield.

All signs point toward a bright future for Christian Darrisaw, so it’s not a stretch to choose him as the Vikings early breakout candidate. After all, he is, health permitting, a guaranteed starter in 2022. Personally, I’d have gone for a more exciting selection — a player who could really breakout but is less of a certainty. 

That’s Camryn Bynum.