Minnesota Vikings: 2 players among NFL’s rising sophomores


Minnesota Vikings fans are probably sick of me talking about how much I love the youth on this team.  After several years of smart drafting and good development, I firmly believe that this is a team on the rise that could make waves as soon as the 2015 season.

Even national media outlets have taken notice of the Minnesota Vikings young players.  In a recent article by Bucky Brooks on NFL.com, 10 of the top players in the 2014 NFL Draft were pegged as guys who could make the jump to becoming household names in the National Football League during the 2015 season.

Not surprisingly, the Minnesota Vikings are well represented on this list.  They have two players included that have bright futures.  And their placement on the list shows even more about how much Brooks thinks of the future of the Minnesota Vikings.

Here are the players who were included and their ranking:

3) Anthony Barr, OLB, Minnesota Vikings

"“Barr exhibits game-changing qualities as a disruptive playmaker off the edge. He displays exceptional first-step quickness and acceleration, yet he also has the capacity to turn speed into power on rushes. Given his extraordinary physical tools, the Vikings were wise to put him in a Von Miller-like role, where he can hammer tight ends on early downs as a stand-up linebacker and attack quarterbacks off the edge from a three-point stance as a sub-package defensive end.”"

1) Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings

"“The Vikings‘ star quarterback has already started to silence the critics that nitpicked his game prior to the 2014 NFL Draft, providing stellar play near the end of his rookie campaign; his passer rating (85.2) was the fifth-highest of any rookie signal-caller to start at least eight games since 1990.”"

Both Anthony Barr and Teddy Bridgewater left their marks on the 2014 season.  Barr showed that he could use his speed and athleticism in roles other than just a pass rush.  Meanwhile, Bridgewater showed off his patience and pocket presence in a way that many other young quarterbacks in the NFL can’t.

It will be interesting to see if next year’s list of promising sophomore players include any Minnesota Vikings players.  Cornerback Trae Waynes and linebacker Eric Kendricks have the best odds of being there, however other guys like offensive lineman T.J. Clemmings or wide receiver Stefon Diggs could be in the conversation.

But, for now, let’s just be glad that Teddy Bridgewater, Anthony Barr, and the Minnesota Vikings are getting some love from the national media.  Whether or not that translates into success on the football field and a playoff berth in 2015 has yet to be determined.

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