Vikings Star Completely Snubbed From Top 10 List

Vikings Super Bowl Odds Totally Plunge
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fans react during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Minnesota lost to Dallas by a score of 40-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings have been a team with high-end talent for a few years. Minnesota’s best players can match up with most opponents, but the depth was a little shaky over the years and was a significant issue in 2020, for example, when some starters went down.

Vikings Star Completely Snubbed From Top 10 List

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has prioritized acquiring some depth pieces, but that doesn’t mean that the purple team lacks star power, despite moving on from some big names earlier in the offseason.

Star Completely Snubbed
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (71) prepares to block against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

One of those stars is Christian Darrisaw. The left tackle is entering his third season as a professional football player, and he has been nothing short of sensational for the Vikes. He has undoubtedly been the best offensive lineman in Minnesota in over a decade and forms an elite OT duo with his counterpart Brian O’Neill.

Jeff Kerr from CBSSports ranked his ten best tackles in the NFL, and Vikings fans missed Darrisaw on his list. He merely landed among the ten offensive tackles ‘in consideration’ and was only placed as an honorable mention.

The level of offensive tackle play has been high in the last few years, and the infusion of young talent in the draft has been remarkable. Penei Sewell (10), Rashawn Slater (8), Andrew Thomas (5), and Tristan Wirfs (4) are four other young guys playing the position. All four made the list. Just like Darrisaw, they are all under 25 years old, and it shows the excellent state of the position group.

Christian Darrisaw and Roger Goodell
Sep 2, 2020; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams. Mandatory Credit: San Francisco 49ers/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network.

Next to those young guys, Kerr placed six veterans on his list. Trent Williams and Lane Johnson are his top two guys, and many would agree. Laremy Tunsil ranked third. Terron Armstead clocked in sixth, just in front of Jordan Mailata, the huge blind-side protector of Jalen Hurts.

Longtime Packers LT David Bakhtiari is ninth on his list. The Vikings often went up against Bakhtiari, and he has, without any doubt, been phenomenal. However, injuries became a big concern, as he missed a total of 26 over the last three seasons.

Darrisaw missed the cut, but those are some great players. Regardless, Darrisaw showed in 2022 that he belongs in the group of elite tackles. After he missed the offseason and the first few games in his rookie year, he still came in and played well for the Vikings. A considerable jump was predicted, and coaches and players were in awe of his improvement in last year’s training camp. No day went by without someone raving about the former Virginia Tech standout. He backed up the preseason praises in the regular season.

The offensive tackle is a true bully in the running game. His highlight plays, unusual for an offensive lineman, actually deserve the word highlights. Defenders regularly end up on the turf, even big guys over 250 pounds. In the passing game, he’s rarely beaten, and if he is, only by top-level pass rushers.

Pounding the Rock Is Recipe vs. DAL
Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) and offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (71) react after a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

A huge part of the story of Darrisaw’s 2022 campaign was injuries. He suffered two concussions and missed a total of 275 snaps. Injuries can be wrong-place-wrong-time type situations, but he must keep his head out of plays to stay on the field and stay healthy long-term, even after his playing days are over.

Darrisaw ranked as the second-best offensive tackle according to PFF and was third in run blocking and eighth in pass protection. His run blocking is at an elite level. Where he has some upside left is the pass-blocking part, where he is efficient, but it doesn’t quite match the running game. His 97.5% pass-block efficiency ranked him 15th among offensive tackles with at least 300 snaps.

It will be a fascinating storyline during training camp if Darrisaw can repeat his 2022 jump and further improve in his second full offseason with the Vikings leading up to his third season in the NFL.

The offensive tackle just turned 24, and only injuries could prevent his expected massive contract extension next offseason, as he is one of the franchise’s top building blocks next to Justin Jefferson.

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