3 Most Surprising Vikings thru 7 Games

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The Minnesota Vikings are 3-4 heading into Week 8, crawling out from underneath a 1-4 start to 2023 that culminated the same week wide receiver Justin Jefferson hit injured reserve.

3 Most Surprising Vikings thru 7 Games

The club has received dazzling performances from unforeseen players as of late — and even before that — as fans hope to learn if the season turnaround is temporary or permanent.

Vikings thru 7
Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Tuesday., July 25th, 2023. The Vikings won the NFC North in Kevin O’Connell’s first year, thanks to a 13-4 record. O’Connell’s is the league’s second-youngest coach as of 2023.

With seven games in the books, these are the three most surprising Vikings players, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most surprising).

3. Jordan Addison (WR)

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Vikings fans hoped Addison would be productive out of the gate, but it was hopeful-maybe — until Week 1.

Addison scored in his first career game and hasn’t stopped thereafter. In fact, he ranks second in receiving touchdowns heading into Week 8, only trailing Tyreek Hill, who may be on deck for the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year award.

More importantly, Addison was absolutely vital on Monday Night Football, slicing and dicing the San Francisco 49ers fancy defense amid Justin Jefferson’s absence. Minnesota drafted Addison so the offense would not totally slow down when Jefferson was contained or injured — and the plan worked, emphatically.

Addison is the real deal, and he proved it in his first few games.

2. Jordan Hicks (LB)

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What if someone told you two months ago that Jordan Hicks would be a Top 15 NFL linebacker? It’s true, according to Pro Football Focus.

Hicks is playing so well that he isn’t allowing a hungry young defender in Brian Asamoah to see the field, holding the second-year Sooner at bay. The veteran linebacker has performed wonderfully in Brian Flores’ system and makes it feel like Eric Kendricks never left.

He even won Defensive Player of the Week in Week 6, which is a segue to the next guy on the list.

1. Camryn Bynum (S)

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Like Hicks in Week 6, Camryn Bynum won the NFL’s DPOW honor this week following a fantabulous showing on Monday Night Football.

Bynum created 3 turnovers versus the mighty 49ers, and on the season, he has notched 69 total tackles, 4 passes defended, 2 tackles for loss, and 2 picks. He also boasts a 73.9 passer-rating-against. PFF considers Bynum the fourth-best safety in the sport at the moment, only trailing Jessie Bates (ATL), Jevon Holland (MIA), and Antoine Winfield Jr. (TB).

Even when Harrison Smith eventually retires, the future at a safety is bright for the Vikings, with Bynum, Josh Metellus, Lewis Cine, and Jay Ward on the depth chart.

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.