2 Vikings Players Included in NFL’s Top Youth List

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The Minnesota Vikings have a couple of for-sure franchise cornerstones, and thankfully for their sake, those men are rather young.

2 Vikings Players Included in NFL’s Top Youth List

So when Justin Jefferson and Christian Darrisaw made CBS Sports‘ list of Top 25 Players Age 25 or Younger, most Vikings fans merely nodded their heads.

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This season is the last of eligibility for Jefferson for the criteria, and he actually ranked No. 1 on CBS Sports‘ list. No other player age 25 or younger is better than Jefferson, evidently.

“‘Jets’ missed literally 40% of the 2023 season and still topped 1,000 yards receiving for the fourth time in four years. He remains one of, if not the toughest wideout to guard in all of football, and his effortless explosion turns routine plays into potential home runs,” Cody Benjamin wrote. “The undeniable face of the Vikings after less than a half-decade of NFL play, Jefferson is already on a Hall of Fame trajectory.”

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Jefferson recently extended his stay in the Twin Cities, signing an agreement that ties him to the Vikings through the end of the 2028 season. Conveniently, his new deal directly aligns with quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who Minnesota drafted two months ago. The next five years of Vikings football is all about McCarthy to Jefferson, though veteran passer Sam Darnold may start in 2024 and play most of the season.

After Jefferson on the Top 25 list, Darrisaw represented Minnesota at No. 23, a fair placement for the young offensive tackle. Benjamin explained, “One of the most underdiscussed big men in the NFL, the former first-rounder has missed multiple games due to injury each year. When healthy, however, he’s been a top-graded pass blocker, helping pave the way for top-tier Kirk Cousins performances under Kevin O’Connell from 2022-2023.”

Christian Darrisaw
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Darrisaw is still waiting for an elusive Pro Bowl selection, an honor that should arrive before too long. He’s stuck behind a handful of veteran LTs who earn the accolade almost by default each season.

Meanwhile, like Jefferson, Darrisaw will receive a massive extension in the coming months, and the discussions won’t be dissimilar to the Jefferson saga from the last year or so. NFL pundits expect the deal to tip the scales around $28 million annually.

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After Jefferson on the list, Micah Parsons (LB, Dallas Cowboys) and Ja’Marr Chase (WR, Cincinnati Bengals) rounded out the top three, with Sam LaPorta (TE, Detroit Lions) and Jahmyr Gibbs (RB, Detroit Lions) at No. 24 and 25 following Darrisaw.

The Vikings’ regular season gets underway in 74 days at the New York Giants.

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.