The 6 Most Unsung Vikings Players at the Season’s Midpoint

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings reached a season midpoint at halftime against the Atlanta Falcons last weekend, later winning the contest 31-28, courtesy of an opportunistic defense and otherworldly performance from newcomer quarterback Josh Dobbs.

Minnesota has a 5-4 record halfway through 2023 and would be in the postseason tournament if it started today.

The 6 Most Unsung Vikings Players at the Season’s Midpoint

And to reflect on nine games, we asked VikingsTerritory writers to name the most unsung Viking to date. Here are the responses.

1. Brandon Powell | WR
(Ted Schwerzler)

The 6 Most Unsung
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports.

Brandon Powell is the answer. Kevin O’Connell has brought over some former Rams, but this isn’t just a familiarity fit. Powell has stepped into a more prominent role than could have been imagined, and he’s proved to be a reliable part of the passing attack.

2. Josh Metellus | S
(Nate Powalie)

rise of josh
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

Sure, he might not garner as much attention as his fellow defenders in Jordan Hicks and Harrison Smith, but he is quietly putting together a career year in his fourth season. He already has a career-high in tackles (60), including six tackles for loss. He is a safety who flies under the radar, and he looks to be a potential breakout candidate for the future.

3. Ed Ingram | RG
(Ali Siddiqui)

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

After struggling to start the year, he has been playing well since. Maybe he could be the Vikings RG for years to come.

4. Jordan Addison | WR
(Sean Borman)

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports.

He may not be unsung as a first-round pick, but Jordan Addison has stepped up big in Justin Jefferson’s absence. To not miss Justin Jefferson that much during this stretch says a lot about Addison’s potential ceiling in the NFL

t5. D.J. Wonnum | OLB
(Janik Eckardt)

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

The fourth-year linebacker has improved as a pass-rusher but also has been fantastic against the run, something he used to struggle with. Without Marcus Davenport, Wonnum has taken over as Danielle Hunter’s counterpart and has done an excellent job.

t5. D.J. Wonnum | OLB
(Cole Smith)

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Known more for getting clean-up sacks than actually terrorizing QBs throughout his first three years, Wonnum has made his presence felt in 2023. His scoop-and-score against Carolina catalyzed the Vikings first win of 2023.

t6. Mekhi Blackmon | CB
(Kyle Joudry)

Rookie minicamp highlights from Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mekhi Blackmon’s first practice as a Viking after being selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. Blackmon is a cornerback from USC drafted by Minnesota in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft.

It’s easy to overlook since he was chosen with the final selection of the 3rd round, is already a bit older, and isn’t exactly the largest CB (no one will mistake him for Xavier Rhodes), but the rookie corner is scrappy and has some sticky coverage. Looks like a nice add.

t6. Mekhi Blackmon
(Wes Johnson)

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

We knew the Vikings needed help at cornerback coming into the season and fully expected one of the roster holdovers to pair with free-agent signee Byron Murphy. Little did we know that a 3rd-Round rookie would emerge to become an outright baller. Paired with Murphy and Akayleb Evans, this unit has grown into an adequate unit that feels like they have more to prove.

t6. Mekhi Blackmon
(Dustin Baker)

Tork Mason-USA TODAY Sports.

Cornerback Mekhi Blackmon has surprised the most through nine games, tallying a 70.7 Pro Football Focus grade in his rookie season. That ranks fifth among all rookie corners, and Blackmon was the 12th CB off the board six months ago.

The Vikings desperately needed another corner to flourish, especially because Byron Murphy isn’t performing like a Pro Bowler. Blackmon has become that guy, and when we get to the offseason, he can reasonably be penciled in as a 2024 starter if needed.


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.

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