Everson Griffen is among 2018’s top 20 NFL players

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Everson Griffen
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Everson Griffen /

Coming off his third consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl, the Minnesota Vikings defensive end ranked among the top 20 players on this year’s NFL Top 100 list.

Back in 2014, the Minnesota Vikings took a risk when they decided to make Everson Griffen a full-time starter on their defensive line. Prior to that season, Griffen had started in just one game during his first four years with the Vikings.

Minnesota saw the potential he had back then and as the team prepares for the 2018 season, it’s pretty safe to say that their decision has worked out pretty well.

Since he became a starting defensive end for the Vikings in 2014, all Griffen has done is rack up 43.5 sacks and earn three-straight trips to the Pro Bowl. His impressive production led to Minnesota extending his contract last year, keeping him signed with the team until 2023.

Due to his outstanding play on the field over the last few seasons, Griffen has also begun to receive praise outside of the Vikings’ locker room.

Last year, the defensive end ranked 92nd on the NFL Network’s annual NFL Top 100 list, which is voted on by players around the league. It was Griffen’s first ever appearance on the list.

After a 2017 season that saw him finish with 13 sacks, the Minnesota pass rusher ended up as the 19th-best player on this year’s NFL Top 100 list.

Griffen’s spot on this year’s list is the highest any Vikings defender has ever had since Jared Allen ranked 13th in 2012. Griffen also joins Allen and Adrian Peterson as the only Minnesota players to ever rank inside the top 20 since the annual list made its debut in 2011.

The Vikings defensive end is one of seven Minnesota players to be featured on this year’s NFL Top 100 list. Ranked behind Griffen this year is Adam Thielen (36th), Harrison Smith (46th), Xavier Rhodes (55th), Stefon Diggs (65th), Linval Joseph (83rd), and Kirk Cousins (94th).

Minnesota had previously never had more than three players featured on the annual list until this year.

Next: The 30 greatest Vikings players of all-time

Those who have followed the Vikings closely for the past few seasons know how talented their current roster is and the potential they have for 2018. Now, the rest of the NFL is also beginning to realize the tremendous amount of skill that currently exists inside Minnesota’s locker room.