This year’s NFL Network top 100 featured only two Vikings, #14 Jared Allen and #8 Adrian Peterson. What current Vikings might have a chance to step up their game and make next year’s rundown of the 100 best in pro football? Let’s see…
1. Percy Harvin
Percy is the most obvious candidate to make the leap. He obviously has the talents, and no one will ever question his toughness and heart. All he needs now is to produce consistently at receiver across the entire season (unlike last year when he was sort of so-so for much of the year before turning it on in the second half). A few things will need to happen for Harvin to have the kind of eye-catching season that vaults him into the top 100. He has to remain healthy obviously. And he has to not get mad and pouty over his contract (or whatever other “issues” are bugging him). Most importantly though, he needs Christian Ponder to get better. Chemistry with Ponder will mean more targets for Percy, and you know he has the skills to turn those chances into big numbers.
2. John Sullivan
Sullivan is coming on fast in the respect department. If the Vikings offense improves markedly, and the running game puts up big numbers, Sullivan is in line for a Pro Bowl berth at least and maybe even a spot in the top 100.
3. Chad Greenway
Reputation has to accumulate over time. Greenway may not be the biggest playmaker in the league but he’s a solid player who does his job, and certainly other players recognize and appreciate this sort of unspectacular but workmanlike performer. Greenway may never become truly elite at linebacker but eventually he might build up enough respect among his peers to crack the top 100 (if John Kuhn can do it…). The Vikings defense overall has to improve for that to happen of course. Rising water lifts all boats, or something like that.
4. Matt Kalil
Kalil seems like a long-shot. A rookie left tackle being good enough to make it into the top 100? It’s probably not fair to even talk about Kalil being that good that fast. Let the guy grow and develop a little bit first. But the top 100 list of 2014 or 2015? It’s perfectly reasonable to think he could make it.
5. Jerome Simpson
This is the longest shot of all, especially since he won’t even play the first three games. But if you believe the insane hype coming out of Winter Park and the various media members who make their living carrying water for the local teams? Simpson should not only make the top 100, he should have a shot at the top 10.