3 Vikings Players Who Could Win Awards in 2023

Hunting Hunter
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are 5-4 after Week 9, living in the NFC’s seventh playoff spot and 1.5 games out of first place in the NFC North behind the Detroit Lions.

3 Vikings Players Who Could Win Awards in 2023

The club has turned the corner on early-season miscues and won four straight, with a date on deck Sunday versus the New Orleans Saints.

Could Win Awards
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

And if things continue positively for the purple team, these three men could win NFL awards. They’re ranked in order of likelihood (No. 1 = most likely to win the award).

3. Jordan Addison | WR
Offensive Rookie of the Year

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Let’s face it — quarterback C.J. Stroud down in Houston probably has this award wrapped with a bow. Stroud is the real deal and will deserve the prize when he wins it in a few months.

However, there’s always a chance that Stroud faceplants — that happens to rookies sometimes — or gets injured. Look at it this way: if the OROY voters need an excuse to give the award to a man not named C.J. Stroud, Addison will be in the mix.

He has as many receiving touchdowns through his first career games (7) as Randy Moss in his first seven games 25 years ago. Not a typo. The man is phenomenal and could fetch OROY kudos if Stroud crumbles down the stretch.

2. Danielle Hunter | OLB
Defensive Player of the Year

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Hunter leads the NFL in sacks and tackles for loss and is the glue to the Vikings defense, inarguably. The club has barely seen Marcus Davenport, Hunter’s high-profile teammate, on a regular season field in 2023, so Hunter’s heroics have been a necessity.

The man is in a contract year, and because Minnesota didn’t trade him at the Halloween deadline, he’ll likely receive an extension in the offseason. In the meantime, though, if he continues his current pace and fetches close to 20 sacks, Hunter has a reasonable shot at DPOY.

He’d have to dethrone men like Myles Garrett and Micah Parsons, which won’t be easy.

1. Kevin O’Connell | HC
Coach of the Year

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

About a month ago, some fringe NFL pundits suggested O’Connell was on the dreaded hot seat, a loony theory after the man produced a 13-4 record as a rookie head coach.

Fast forward to early November, and O’Connell has around the fourth-best odds to win COTY. Truth be told, if he guides the Vikings to the playoffs with Josh Dobbs and Jaren Hall at quarterback, he would deserve the award with little blowback from anybody.

Mike McDaniels (Dolphins) and Dan Campbell (Lions) are COTY darlings at the season’s midpoint but watch O’Connell’s name climb if the Vikings continue to thrive without Kirk Cousins.

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.