A Duo of Vikings Could Go to Their First Pro Bowls in 2023

Christian Darrisaw
EAGAN, MN - AUGUST 04: Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (71) looks on during training camp at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan, MN on August 4, 2021.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

While the Pro Bowl is technically not really a football game anymore, it is more of an entertainment show nowadays. Players want to be there. It helps them receive recognition from folks around the league, and a Pro Bowl nod drives up the price in the next contract negotiations.

A Duo of Vikings Could Go to Their First Pro Bowls in 2023

Seven members of the 13-4 Vikings made the trip to Las Vegas for the Pro Bowl festivities and represented the NFC after the 2022 season – Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson, Za’Darius Smith, Danielle Hunter, and Andrew DePaola.

A Duo of Vikings Could Go to Their First Pro Bowls in 2023
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Two players of the purple team could be in line for their first nomination in the upcoming season. Cody Benjamin from CBSSports selected Christian Darrisaw and Jordan Addison.

Benjamin is convinced playing alongside one of his new teammates will help Addison in his rookie campaign:

If you play alongside Justin Jefferson, you’re probably gonna fare pretty well. It helps that the first-round pick enters Minnesota as a crafty route-runner, replacing Adam Thielen, and that the Vikings could also lean even more into the pass if Dalvin Cook exits.

Cody Benjamin

The rookie was picked in the first round to replace Adam Thielen, who was released in March. Addison is expected to become the running mate of Justin Jefferson sooner rather than later. It might take him a while until he surpasses K.J. Osborn in the starting lineup, but he is a quality route-runner and a pro-ready player.

Need Big Seasons
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The expectations should be lowered because rookie wideouts usually go for 500-600 yards, not the ridiculous 1,400 yards Jefferson had in 2020. However, Addison has the talent and the skill set to be a scary threat in the passing attack from Week 1 in an offense that likes to throw the ball and a quarterback who can help his receivers put up big numbers.

A Pro Bowl trip is still a long shot, as Jefferson and Hockenson are most likely the two top options for QB Kirk Cousins, and there are only so many targets available to spread around. On the flip side, defenses must shift all their resources towards stopping Jefferson, which will help Addison to get open.

Christian Darrisaw is more likely to be chosen to attend the Pro Bowl as he was close last season and arguably deserved to be there.

The 2021 first-rounder made a big leap as Kirk Cousins’ blind-side blocker last year. If the Vikings slip in the standings, his spotlight may flicker. But he’s still got a chance to be the top lineman on a high-octane pass offense, which is always a plus.

Cody Benjamin

Darrisaw played a wonderful second season. Only a couple of concussions slowed him down. That is scary, and he must take care of his head for his playing career and to be healthy after his playing days are over.

Vikings LT Christian Darrisaw Just Got More Expensive
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

On the field, however, he has been nothing short of sensational. After years of struggling offensive lines, followed by the always-average Riley Reiff, the Vikings have finally found their franchise left tackle.

PFF graded the former first-rounder as the second-best offensive tackle in the NFL, only trailing future Hall of Famer Trent Williams. Together with right tackle Brian O’Neill, Darrisaw forms an elite duo of offensive tackles.

Darrisaw will be 24 and Addison 21 when the season kicks off. The two players could be cornerstones of the organization for years to come.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt