CBS Sports Identifies the Vikings Most ‘Underappreciated’ Player

Minnesota Vikings fans celebrate their win. The New York Giants lose to the Minnesota Vikings, 28-10, in NFL Week 5 on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in East Rutherford. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com, North Jersey Record via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

One might argue quarterback Kirk Cousins. Others could nominate left guard Ezra Cleveland or wide receiver K.J. Osborn.

Regarding the Minnesota Vikings most ‘underappreciated’ player, though, CBS Sports has a different theory — left tackle Christian Darrisaw.

CBS Sports Identifies the Vikings Most ‘Underappreciated’ Player

Darrisaw will enter Year Three as a pro this September, and the man has not reached the Pro Bowl in either of his first two seasons despite his status in 2022 as the NFL’s second-best left tackle behind Trent Williams, according to Pro Football Focus.

OL Ranking for 2023
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The Vikings scooped Darrisaw out of the 2021 NFL Draft in Round 1 after trading back with the New York Jets. At the time of the trade, the transaction looked promising, landing Darrisaw with the 23rd overall pick and guard Wyatt Davis, plus quarterback Kellen Mond. But one year later, only Darrisaw remained with the club.

In those years, Darrisaw transformed into a franchise-cornerstone left tackle, which is every general manager, head coach, offensive coordinator, and fan’s dream. Barring injury, Darrisaw is poised to effectuate a long career — hopefully all with the Vikings — as a stalwart left tackle.

CBS Sports Identifies
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CBS Sports‘ Jeff Kerr identified an underappreciated player from each NFC team this week, and for the Vikings, that was Darrisaw. He explained, “The Vikings offensive line has been much maligned in recent years (and rightfully so), but Darrisaw is a sign the franchise is starting to get better players in the trenches. Darrisaw allowed 20 pressures in 539 pass-blocking snaps, a pressure rate of 3.7% (improvement from 5.6% in his rookie season).”

Darrisaw fetched a mighty 90.3 PFF grade in 2022.

Next Man Up Is Preferred for Vikings
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“On his rookie contract, Darrisaw has a cap number of $3,033,215 heading into his third season. That’s excellent value for an offensive tackle that’s in the conversation for a top-20 spot in the game,” Kerr concluded.

That rookie contract won’t last for long. At this time next year, Darrisaw will be on deck for a mammoth extension, likely to set the market for left tackles everywhere. If you saw general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah ‘clearing the books’ this offseason with the releases of Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, Eric Kendricks, etc., it was to pave the way for men like Justin Jefferson and Darrisaw to land large extensions.

Christian Darrisaw Is
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Darrisaw encountered a couple of concussions in 2022, his second season in the league. For now, those are his kryptonite. We shall see if they cease and Darrisaw garners All-Pro and Pro Bowl respect.

Other underappreciated players listed be Kerr? WR Christian Watson of the Green Bay Packers, QB Sam Howell of the Washington Commanders, and CB Jaycee Horn of the Carolina Panthers, among others.

Darrisaw turned 24 last month.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.