The Vikings 5 Best Players thru 2 Games

Is Camryn Bynum
Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have started the 2023 season with a 0-2 record, an underwhelming deed for a club that won 13 games one year ago.

Minnesota now has a +210 moneyline to reach the postseason, a probability similar to the Tennesee Titans and Denver Broncos.

The Vikings 5 Best Players thru 2 Games

But some players are doing their damnedest to ensure the team turns it around. According to Pro Football Focus, these are the Vikings best players through Week 2, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = the best player).

5. T.J. Hockenson (TE)

Best Players thru 2
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

PFF Grade = 77.5
2023 Stats = 15 Rec | 101 Yards | 2 TDs

The richest tight end in NFL history is already making a dent in the 2023 season — and some might argue he should be utilized even more. Hockenson is earning the type of money in the ballpark of Travis Kelce and should hence be targeted as such.

Still, Hockenson is delivering when the ball is thrown in his direction, and that’s unlikely to change.

4. Ivan Pace (ILB)

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

PFF Grade = 85.2
2023 Stats = 16 Tackles | 2 QB Hits | 0.5 Sack

Well, it happened. All that summer smoke regarding Pace wasn’t without a fire source. He’s fire, and there’s a reason he’s morphed into a starting linebacker for the Vikings.

Pace was an undrafted free agent about five months ago, told the world they messed up by not drafting him, and is performing wonderfully on the field. Minnesota’s 0-2 record stinks, but Pace is one of the bright spots next to fellow rookie Jordan Addison.

The Vikings found a budding star in Pace, just a few months after Eric Kendricks departed.

3. Brian O’Neill (RT)

A Vikings Stalwart
Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade = 86.2

Mister Consistency, Brian O’Neill defied the odds and returned to live regular season action about eight months after a partial Achilles tear, which is remarkable.

He’s also a saving grace on the Vikings offensive line — what else is new? — doing his best to keep Kirk Cousins upright, a hit-and-miss task through games for everyone not named Brian O’Neill.

2. Camryn Bynum (FS)

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PFF Grade = 87.8
2023 Stats = 25 Tackles | 1 Tackles for Loss | 56.2 PRA*
*Passer Rating Against

Bynum evidently wasn’t used correctly in Ed Donatell’s defense last year because, in 2023, he looks like a rejuvenated man so far. Minnesota has no shortage of safeties, so when Bynum jumps off the page, it’s noteworthy.

The 25-year-old is under contract through the end of 2024, so you’ll get at least 1.9 more seasons of Bynum.

1. Justin Jefferson (WR)

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

PFF Grade = 89.5
2023 Stats = 20 Rec | 309 Yards | 0 TDs

If Brian O’Neill is Mr. Consistency, Justin Jefferson is Captain Obvious for the best Vikings player through two weeks. Fans, the eye test, raw statistics, and Pro Football Focus agree — Jefferson is the cream of the crop on the Vikings roster and is somehow only getting better.

He was immediately forgiven for his fumble gaffe on Thursday night.

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