Familiar Vikings Faces Land at Nos. 100-91 of the ‘NFL Top 100’ List

1 Viking Significantly More
Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) reacts after breaking up a pass against the New York Jets during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Every year, the NFL releases its “Top 100” list, featuring the top 100 players in the league, as voted by the players themselves. The league began unveiling their latest list, revealing Nos. 100-91 on Monday evening.

Among the first 10 names on the list are a few familiar Vikings faces, including current Vikings safety Harrison Smith. Smith, who enters his age-34 season in 2023, landed at No. 97 on the list. It is his sixth appearance on the list, and his first appearance since the 2020 season. Prior to 2021 and 2022, he had appeared on the list in five consecutive seasons from 2016-2020. Here are his previous placements:

  • 2016: No. 73
  • 2017: No. 74
  • 2018: No. 46
  • 2019: No. 83
  • 2020: No. 64
Familiar Vikings Faces
Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) and New York Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore (8) in action during the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

During the 2022 season, Smith was brilliant once again for the Vikings. He recorded 85 tackles during the season, including a tackle for loss, and he defended 10 passes while intercepting 5 of them and forcing a fumble. Now, in 2023, he is being expected to help lead a very young Vikings secondary into the future after the departures of players like Cam Dantzler, Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley, and Chandon Sullivan.

In addition to Smith, there are a couple former Vikings from the 2022 roster who made the list. These players include LB Eric Kendricks, who landed at No. 93, and RB Dalvin Cook, who is No. 91.

Both Cook and Kendricks were salary cap casualties this offseason for the Vikings. By releasing Cook, Minnesota saved $9 million , and they also saved $9.5 million by parting ways with Kendricks for a total of $18.5 million.

Will Brian Flores Bring Kendricks' Replacement With Him?
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Cook was a prominent feature of the Vikings offense throughout his six NFL seasons with the team, following being selected in the second round of the 2017 Draft. He was named to Pro Bowls in each of the past four seasons, totaling 1100+ rushing yards in each campaign.

Since being released by the Vikings, though, Cook is yet to sign with another NFL franchise. There have been multiple rumblings of potential landing spots for the veteran RB, but no deal has been struck to this point.

Another Nugget Enters
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) looks on after the game against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium. With the win, the Minnesota Vikings clinched the NFC North. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

As for Kendricks, he did not have as difficult a time finding a new team this offseason. After being released in March, he quickly caught on with the Los Angeles Chargers on a two-year contract worth $13.25 million.

Last season with the Vikings, Kendricks put together 137 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, a sack, six passes defended, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown (you know the one). Now, he heads to LA hoping to help the Chargers take the next step in what looks like a competitive AFC West once again.

Nos. 90-81 on the list will be released tomorrow evening, with ten players being released every weekday through August 3rd.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.