The 4 Best Vikings Players Nobody Talks About

Breakout Player
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The Minnesota Vikings kick off training camp in about six weeks after concluding organized team activities and minicamp in the last couple of weeks.

The 4 Best Vikings Players Nobody Talks About

An aura of change surrounds the team after Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter left via free agency three months ago, with the notable additions of quarterbacks J.J. McCarthy and Sam Darnold, plus outside linebackers Jonathan Greenard and Dallas Turner.

There are also a handful of players nobody really talks about, and these are the top four Vikings who headline that category. They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = best one nobody talks about).

4. Jerry Tillery (DT)

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Some Vikings fans sneered when Tillery entered the chat this offseason, chiefly because the club didn’t sign a high-profile defensive tackle like Christian Wilkins. Tillery, for some, felt like a meh consolation prize.

But while he hasn’t lived up to his 1st-Round draft stock — nothing close to it, in fact — Tillery produced a 67.7 PFF grade in 2023. That little stat flies under the radar. He isn’t Christian Wilkins, but the man is a decent lineman.

Many have already written his presence on the Vikings off as the continuation of a 1st-Round bust. But the decent PFF grade is a building block with Brian Flores’ tutelage.

3. Andrew Booth (CB)

Underrated Players
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Similar to Tillery, Booth hasn’t lived up to his draft scouting report and is a frequent source of scorn among ornery Vikings loyalists. Still, Booth found the field on approximately 100 coverage snaps in 2023 and banked a 68.6 grade from PFF.

It’s hard to understand why some think he’s just awful. He performed quite well as a second-year commodity and will soon encounter a rather pivotal Year No. 3. He made the list because many believe he’s not any good.

2. Josh Oliver (TE)

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Quietly, Oliver checked in as one of the NFL’s best tight ends in 2023, according to PFF. It’s just that he does the grimy work of a tight end, plowing lanes for running backs, and is not a fashionable pass-catching asset.

Yet, with T.J. Hockenson on deck to likely miss the start of the season, Oliver will be more important than ever. The good part? He’s a really solid TE. The PFF production isn’t graded erroneously. The man is the real deal.

1. Mekhi Blackmon (CB)

Blackmon Ready
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Just like Vikings fans faithful pound the table for Ivan Pace Jr.’s rookie season, they should do the same for Blackmon. But they do not. Folks have a hobby of savaging Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s draft picks and then never really mentioning Blackmon, Jordan Addison, or Ty Chandler.

Blackmon checked in as the league’s third-best rookie corner in 2023 and 30th-best overall, including veterans. The man has not received his kudos from Vikings fans, and it doesn’t add up. He scripted a phenomenal rookie campaign.

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 MIN 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