3. Matt Kalil
During this past NFL draft, I was hopeful that the Vikings would lock up he secondary and snag eventual Dallas Cowboy, Morris Claiborne. To my dismay the team chose Kalil; however, Kalil has progressed nicely and has secured the LT spot. He struggled at some points, but that was expected. Kalil’s practice counterpart, Jared Allen has also contributed to Kalil’s success. Going up against arguably the best passer rusher in the last 3 years day in and day out has helped Kalil match up against the leagues tougher pass rushers. Kalil will have his hands full in the next few weeks. Julius Peppers will be Kalil’s assignment. It will be Kalil’s first time going up against Peppers. Hopefully Matt will ask his older brother and Carolina Panters Center Ryan on any clues to Peppers game. Drafting Kalil looks to have worked out. Ponder can relax knowing Matt has his back and I’ve come around as well. I now see why LT is one of most valuable positions in the game.
2. Harrison Smith
The presence of Heavy Hitting Harrison has caused a culture change on the Vikings defense. His “in your face” style of play has infected the entire defense. Never before have fans been excited to watch the Vikings defense until this season. Smith was chosen 22nd overall in the same round as Matt Kalil. This was a pick I was truly thankful for. The Vikings traded back into the first round to grab the former Irish safety and being a ND Irish fan myself, I knew he was the real deal. Smith is a smart player who has shown flashes of brilliance more than rookie mistakes. There were back to back weeks were smith jumped on the same goal line play action and gave up easy TD’s, but Smith’s upside is exciting. He has all the tools and attitude to lead the Vikings defense and play in the NFL for years to come.
1. Adrian Peterson
What more can be said about this guy? We all know what he has done and more than likely what he will do. Ap wants 1,500 yards and close enough to do it with 1,128. Peterson has been the anchor for this team year in and year out. As a Viking fan, I know I do not speak for myself when I say I truly am thankful for Peterson. He has shown that he his committed to the organization and is committed to winning. Peterson has been the model citizen for sports fans of all ages. Earlier this month, charges were dropped against peterson. He was accused of resisting arrest and causing a scene during a night out at a Houston bar. Peterson made a statement saying that his name will be cleared when the facts are brought to light and sure enough it happen. He has proven on and off the field that he is an upstanding citizen and model football player. When the team’s best player is the hardest worker you have a good model for the rest of the team to follow.