Vikings Have 2/3 of an Offensive Holy Trinity

Justin Jefferson One
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

It is an interesting time in Minnesota; the Vikings are in the process of turning their roster around from one that was seen as aging to a more youthful look. The caveat has been the Vikings ownership demanded the team stay competitive and not tear it all down on the way to the first overall pick in the draft, much like what happened in Chicago.

Vikings Have 2/3 of an Offensive Holy Trinity

The good news for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell is that they already have two young foundational pieces on the roster, meaning the Vikings have two-thirds of an offensive holy trinity in place.

The NFL is now a passing league, meaning the once prime position of running back is not valued like it once was. The three prominent positions on offense are quarterback, left tackle, and wide receiver. That’s not to say other positions aren’t necessary, but if you could pick where to have your three best players on offense, that’s the three you want – the holy trinity.

Offensive Holy
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

Arguably, that’s what the Vikings have in Kirk Cousins, Christian Darrisaw, and Justin Jefferson – depending on how you rate Cousins and where you rank Brian O’Neill and T.J. Hockenson. The Vikings drafted Jefferson and Darrisaw, and both turn 24 in June. Conversely, Cousins turns 35 in August, and he will undoubtedly have this season to try and find success with the Vikings. He is not a long-term solution in the same vein as Jefferson and Darrisaw.

The ultimate goal should be to draft a young quarterback that succeeds the way Jefferson and Darrisaw have. The Vikings appeared to flirt with the idea of drafting a first-round QB amid the draft hype machine. However, that proved to be speculation, and the Vikings drafted Jaren Hall in the fifth round instead. That is not where most franchise quarterbacks are found, but there are always exceptions. Nevertheless, expectations for Hall should be competition to be the backup QB.

Jefferson and Darrisaw

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Having two of the best young players in football is an excellent place for the Vikings offense, and it shouldn’t be undervalued. Pro Football Focus recently released their list of the top 25 players under 25 across the league. Jefferson came in at number two behind only Dallas Cowboys edge defender Micah Parsons. Meanwhile, Darrisaw came in at number 15.

Jefferson has a legitimate claim to be number one and shouldn’t be any lower than second on anyone’s list. Here is what PFF had to say regarding Jefferson;

2. WR JUSTIN JEFFERSONMINNESOTA VIKINGS

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.

Trevor Sikkema, Pro Football Focus

Darrisaw was ranked fifth of five young offensive tackles that made the list, despite having the highest grade from the 2022 season and being the only one graded above 90. The only drawback with Darrisaw has been the ability to stay on the field for all 17 games of the season. Hopefully, that will change in 2023. Here is what PFF had to say regarding Darrisaw; 

15. OT CHRISTIAN DARRISAWMINNESOTA VIKINGS

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.

Trevor Sikkema, Pro Football Focus

More Young Stars

The Vikings won’t have a young quarterback under center before 2024 at the earliest. There are, however, more good players on the offense, including potential young stars starting with this year’s draft class – headlined by first-round wide receiver Jordan Addison. If he can thrive playing alongside Jefferson, then the Vikings offense is in a great place.

Minnesota Vikings WR Jordan Addison watching a video of himself on draft night — accidentally hanging up on the Vikings general manager and head coach. Minnesota selected Addison with the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

It looks as though Dalvin Cook is destined to play his football elsewhere, so the Vikings will look to a young group of running backs to fill the void he leaves behind. Even the more experienced Alexander Mattison doesn’t turn 25 until June. Then there is Hockenson, who the Vikings made a big in-season splash for when trading for him from the Detriot Lions. The tight end turns 26 in July and should have many years of top-level play ahead of him.

Hockenson and Jefferson are due their first big-money contract, and Darrisaw will be due next year. The Vikings unquestionably should be tieing these guys down long term. If/when the day comes for a rookie quarterback to take over in Minnesota, those three will give that guy a great chance to succeed and fulfill that “holy trinity.”


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