Every year the NFL comes out with a list of the 100 best players from the previous season. Although the list is never perfect, it is typically an accurate representation of the top players in the league. Where and how many Minnesota Vikings made it onto this year’s list? Let’s find out.
#97 Harrison Smith, FS
One of the staples of the Minnesota Defense, Harrison Smith had yet another good year holding down the defense. Amongst qualified safeties, Smith was tied for second with 5 interceptions and also had over 10 pass deflections for the 5th time in his career. Bias aside, this feels like a fair ranking for the veteran.
#41 Kirk Cousins, QB
It is a breath of fresh air to see Kirk Cousins getting some much-needed respect. In his first year with Kevin O’Connell, Kirk threw for a career-high 4,567 yards along with 29 TDs. The narrative that Kirk “Hides when the lights are bright” couldn’t be proven more wrong this past year. Kirk orchestrated 8 game-winning drives, not only a league-best in 2022 but also an NFL record. Although the majority of sports media does not view Kirk as a top QB, the peers he plays against do.
#2 Justin Jefferson, WR
The last of three Vikings that made the list is Justin Jefferson, who ranked 2nd just behind Patrick Mahomes. In 2022, he had the 6th most receiving yards ever by a player with 1,809. He also had the 7th most catches in a single season with 128. Being named the best non-QB in the NFL is quite an honor, and Justin Jefferson is more than deserving. The best part is Jefferson is only 24 years old, who knows what’s in store for 2023 and beyond. Will Justin Jefferson find himself topping the list next year?
Having 3 players on the list is nice, but what is concerning going forward is the three players on the list that the Vikings lost. For this Vikings team to be successful, some lesser-known pieces will have to cement themselves as top 100 players if the Vikings want to compete for a Super Bowl.
2022 Vikings on the List
#93 Eric Kendricks, LB
#91 Dalvin Cook, RB
#84, Za’Darius Smith, Edge