Vikings First Quarter Awards: Who are the team MVPs?

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
3 of 7
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Jeff Gladney /

Defensive Rookie of the First Quarter

Jeff Gladney – CB

This is a tough category considering there are some really good, young defensive players on the Vikings’ current roster. Cameron Dantzler has made some plays and D.J. Wonnum has shined at times, but this award goes to Jeff Gladney.

Gladney still has a lot of growing to go for Minnesota. As a young cornerback in the NFL, the learning curve is extremely steep and many defensive backs can’t make the transition to the pros based on the level of competition.

The rookie has stood his own through the first four games, defending two passes and accumulating 16 tackles, all solo efforts. The Vikings let Trae Waynes, their best-tackling cornerback, leave in free agency earlier this year and Gladney is looking to be his replacement.

The former TCU standout is currently taking his lumps and struggling without Danielle Hunter to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. With time, he has the potential to stand out and excel in a Mike Zimmer defense.