5 Vikings players who are the cornerstones to future success

(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter /
4 of 5
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter /

Danielle Hunter – DE

It’s easy to forget that Danielle Hunter is just 26-years-old. The defensive end seems to have been around forever and providing he can recover fully from a neck injury that’s kept him out all season, his presence on the roster will remain a substantial benefit to the team’s chances.

Hunter is one of the NFL’s most dominant edge rushers after arriving with the Minnesota Vikings as a raw but promising prospect out of LSU. The former third-round pick has worked exceptionally hard to make the adjustments needed to become a star at the position and it was a significant blow that his career has been derailed by a herniated disk.

His absence from a defensive front that was already with free-agent departures such as Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph has been sorely felt. Hunter is one of the rare players coming off the edge that changes the whole dynamic for opposing protection schemes and the sooner Minnesota gets him back and firing on all cylinders, the better they’ll be.

There was some speculation regarding Hunter’s happiness, which would probably be solved with a new deal. The Vikings got a real bargain in comparison to what other prominent players at the position are getting paid. But whether they’ll have enough in the way of disposable income to accommodate his demands is another matter entirely.