Minnesota Vikings: 4 players make PFF’s Top 101 Players list
By Adam Carlson
Four members of the Minnesota Vikings were recently named to Pro Football Focus’ list of their top 101 players of the 2015 National Football League season.
End of the year lists are always fun for fans to look over, but it isn’t very often that the lists are compiled from hard statistics and observations rather than opinions and speculation. Thankfully, Pro Football Focus is around to help give unbiased analysis of players performances.
Related Story: U.S. Bank Stadium puts on light show
Recently, Pro Football Focus put together a list of their top 101 players from the 2015 NFL season, and Minnesota Vikings fans should be proud of their team because they were well represented in the article.
Here are the four Minnesota VIkings players selected and what Pro Football Focus had to say about their 2015 season:
20. Anthony Barr – “An edge rusher in college, Anthony Barr has developed into one of the league’s more impressive young off-the-ball linebackers. He graded well as a pass-rusher in 2015, but it wasn’t as a situational edge rusher for Minnesota, rather just on the blitz from conventional linebacker alignment. He also graded well against the run and, most impressively for a pass-rushing convert, in coverage.”
22. Harrison Smith – “Graded highly in every facet of play PFF measures, including discipline and penalties, and is the fulcrum around which the Minnesota secondary swings…He was the only safety to break into the 90s and the “blue-chip elite” band of PFF’s new grading system, with a mark of 92.8 for the season.”
40. Joe Berger – “Joe Berger was one of the stories of the 2015 season — or, at least, would have been, if you could convince the league to care about center play. … Berger ended up starting all season and playing well enough to win the inaugural PFF John Hannah Award, given to the best run-blocker in the league. For a journeyman backup lineman to step in and play at an All-Pro kind of level is truly extraordinary, and should be far more talked about than it has been.”
48. Linval Joseph – “But for injury, Joseph could have found himself far higher up this list. For a stretch the season, the DT was one of the most dominant forces in the league. Against the Rams in Week 9, he was virtually unblockable, and almost single-handedly destroyed the rushing attack, notching seven stops and three total pressures that day…This was by far the best season of Joseph’s career, and could signal the emergence of a new defensive stud”
Disappointingly, star players such as former NFL MVP and 2015 rushing champion Adrian Peterson and young quarterback Teddy Bridgewater failed to make this list, but with some improvements to the Vikings offensive line and passing game, it isn’t unrealistic to think they could be included in the future.
Next: Minnesota Vikings 2016 NFL Draft class
Congratulations go out to Anthony Barr, Harrison Smith, Joe Berger, and Linval Joseph on being name to Pro Football Focus’ Top 101 list for 2015 and also to the Minnesota Vikings for having a successful season where they capture the NFC North title.