5 Pro Bowl Snubs for the Minnesota Vikings
On Wednesday evening, the 2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games rosters were announced for both the AFC and NFC.
This year, only a pair of Vikings made the starting lineup in the NFC, OLB Danielle Hunter and LS Andrew DePaola. This comes after five Vikings made the initial team in 2023, and two more were selected as alternates later on. Here is a look at a few of the Pro Bowl snubs for the Vikings this year.
TE T.J. Hockenson
Obviously, Hockenson wouldn’t be able to participate in this year’s Pro Bowl even if he was selected because of the torn ACL and MCL that he suffered against the Lions in Week 16. Still, Hockenson’s 2023 season is worthy of recognition.
The Vikings tight end turned in 95 receptions for 960 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns this season. He helped calm the waters in Minnesota’s offense despite the tumultuous losses of both Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins.
His 95 receptions broke a Vikings franchise record at the position, and despite missing the past two games, still ranks second in the entire NFL among tight ends, behind only Jacksonville’s Evan Engram.
LT Christian Darrisaw
Once again, it appears that Christian Darrisaw will have to wait another year to get his first Pro Bowl bid. The Vikings left tackle has been a stalwart at the position since taking over the full-time job midway through the 2021 season and consistently ranks near the top of PFF’s grading system.
Darrisaw missed a couple games with injury this season, but when he’s on the field, he is an incredible player to watch. The behemoth of a man is a mauler in the trenches, and, other than a poor outing Sunday night against the Packers, rarely gets beaten off the edge by defenders.
Hopefully, the Vikings left tackle won’t have to wait much longer to make his first Pro Bowl because he is certainly deserving of the honor.
RT Brian O’Neill
It’s a similar story for Brian O’Neill as Darrisaw. The Vikings right tackle has missed a couple games down the stretch of the season with injury, but when he’s on the field, the combination of himself and Darrisaw create one of the best offensive tackle tandems in the NFL.
At least in O’Neill’s case, he still isn’t waiting for his first Pro Bowl bid as he was selected to the team back in 2021, but the Vikings right tackle should make at least a couple more appearances near the top of the ballot before his career ends.
S Josh Metellus
Perhaps the problem with Josh Metellus is that he simply does too much for the Vikings defense that he couldn’t be selected at any one position for the Pro Bowl. After largely spending his first three NFL seasons as a special teamer, Metellus emerged as a true “jack-of-all-trades” in 2023 for Minnesota.
Metellus lined up all over the field for Brian Flores’ defense in 2023. According to PFF, he has played 199 snaps on the defensive line, 347 snaps in the box, 54 snaps at free safety, 380 snaps at slot corner, and 26 snaps at outside corner.
The do-it-all safety has been a big reason for Minnesota’s success on the defensive end this year, and his efforts should have resulted in a Pro Bowl selection.
CB NaJee Thompson
Each Pro Bowl roster has a dedicated special teams position, and NaJee Thompson certainly should have been considered for it. The cornerback came out of college as an undrafted free agent, but his knack as a punt gunner earned him a spot on the Vikings’ 53-man roster this year.
Thompson’s skills at that very niche position have been wondrous for Minnesota all season. Even in the blowout loss to Green Bay, we saw Thompson make a couple huge plays on special teams, and he single-handedly set up Minnesota’s only touchdown drive of the game by forcing a fumble of Packers punt returner Samori Toure.
NOTE: This article originally appeared on our sister-site, PurplePTSD.com.
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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.