Nov 17, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) leads teammates out of the tunnel during pre game warm ups prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

3 Minnesota Vikings Poised For Breakout Seasons

Last year was a big disappointment for the Minnesota Vikings.  After making the playoffs during the 2012 season, the team only managed to win 5 games in 2013.  The team’s brass responded by cleaning house.  With a new coaching staff, new scheme, new players and a new philosophy, things look to be much different for the boys in purple this year.

Hopefully, the many changes to the team will allow some of the more talented players on the Minnesota Vikings to have breakout seasons.  Here are three players who were on the team last season that could be poised for huge seasons this year:

Kyle Rudolph, tight end

  • Sep 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) catches a pass for a touchdown over Chicago Bears strong safety Major Wright (21) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

    Vikings fans know how awesome Rudolph can be when he is healthy, but he’s not quite a star in the league yet.  He is entering the final year of his 4-year contract and is hoping for an extension with the team.  The team would be smart to lock him up now in case he breaks out in new offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s system.  Rudolph has never hit double digit touchdowns in a season, but looks to possibly break that mark this year if he can remain healthy.  He is a stud just waiting to find a consistent quarterback to get him the ball.

Sharrif Floyd, defensive tackle

  • Oct 13, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (95) sits after getting a penalty for grabbing the the facemask of the Carolina Panthers quarterback negating the sack in the second quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The sack was negated by the penalty. Panthers win 35-10. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Floyd split a lot of time last year as Kevin Williams‘ backup in the former head coach Leslie Frazier‘s defensive scheme.  Since then, Frazier has been replaced with Mike Zimmer and Kevin Williams is still looking for a job with an NFL team.  Recently, Floyd was heavily praised by many members of his coaching staff and plays in a position that is key in Zimmer’s defenses.  In limited time last year, Floyd only accumulated 2.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble.  The former first round draft pick will look to be a disruptive force in the middle of the defensive line this year.

Xavier Rhodes, cornerback

  • Sep 22, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (29) looks on during the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Browns defeated the Vikings 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

    Rhodes is another first round draft pick from the Vikings this year that could shine in a new role.  Zimmer’s aggressive style of defense should benefit the physical style of Rhodes.  The Vikings let former starting cornerback Chris Cook walk in free agency this year, leaving Rhodes as a default starter along with newly acquired Captain Munnerlyn.  If Rhodes can remain healthy, he could be taxed with taking on some of the best wide receivers in the NFL this year and it seems like he is up for the task.

Who else do you feel is due for a breakout season with the Minnesota Vikings this year?  Do you disagree with one or more of the players listed above?  Discuss it in the comments below!

 

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Tags: Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings Sharrif Floyd Xavier Rhodes

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