PFF Names Vikings’ Top 3 Players

darrisaw likely
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter are no longer part of the gang — the team on the whole and player power rankings.

PFF Names Vikings’ Top 3 Players

Both skedaddled this offseason, as Cousins chose dollar signs with the Atlanta Falcons, and Hunter preferred his hometown club, the Houston Texans. In seasons past, Cousins and Hunter would normally factor into rankings such as the team’s best three players, as defined this week by Pro Football Focus.

PFF
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

According to PFF’s Trevor Sikkema, Minnesota’s top three players are fairly predictable:

  • Justin Jefferson
  • T.J. Hockenson
  • Christian Darrisaw

Last year at this time, Hunter would’ve edged Hockenson on such lists, while Cousins may have remained on the outside looking in. Sikkema opined about the no-brainer Jefferson selection, “Justin Jefferson is one of the best receivers, if not the best, in the NFL. The 2023 campaign marked his fourth straight receiving grade above 90.0.”

5 Players Entering
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Jefferson will enter Year No. 5 this season, the final year of his rookie contract. He’s expected to break the bank soon with an extension, probably in the ballpark of $35 million per season. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said about the incoming contract last week, “I know everything’s gonna get worked out there. Justin knows the love and admiration that I have for him. He knows he’s such a big part of what we do around here. That’s on the field and off the field. Bringing such a great energy to our building every single day.”

On Hockenson and Darrisaw, Sikkema wrote, “T.J. Hockenson has also become a very reliable and steady presence in the Vikings’ offense, earning a 79.6 grade on the season. Tackle Christian Darrisaw wasn’t as dominant in 2023 as in 2022, but his 85.1 PFF grade in 2023 is nothing to stick your nose up at.”

Christian Darrisaw
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

Hockenson will likely miss the first part of the 2024 season because of an ACL tear suffered against his former team, the Detroit Lions, in December. But when he returns, he’ll instantly transform the middle of the Vikings’ offense as a reliable target for quarterbacks Sam Darnold and J.J. McCarthy.

Darrisaw, meanwhile, is patiently waiting for his first Pro Bowl selection. The NFL has snubbed the young lineman three years in a row, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets the nod.

Gets the CNN
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Other Vikings who could’ve sniffed the team’s top three include Brian O’Neill, Harrison Smith, Harrison Phillips, Ivan Pace Jr., and Jordan Addison.

Vikings mandatory minicamp kicks off in 13 days.


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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