Ryan Wright – P
- 27 punts
- 1,216 punt yards (45.0 average)
- Long of 73 yards
Ryan Wright has been the biggest surprise of the Vikings season so far, and their most productive rookie through the first six games of the season. Not many gave Wright a chance to make the team when it was announced the Vikings signed the big, bulky booter of the football after the draft.
It was a mild shock when he beat out Jordan Berry in the preseason. Many deemed rolling with a rookie punter was a risk for a team that was playing to win now and that they should’ve hung onto the veteran.
Wright has proved every single one of his naysayers wrong and has kicked the Vikings out of some very bad field position. His 73-yard punt in Miami was a thing of beauty and he’s proving to be one of the better punters in the entire league already.
This was a homerun signing by Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and it will be interesting to see if one of the drafted rookies can make a push to unseat this guy as the Vikings’ rookie of the year at the season’s end.
Luiji Vilain – OLB
- 1 tackle
Luiji Vilain was the other undrafted rookie that made the Vikings’ roster. He was called up to the active 53 when DJ Wonnum was too ill to play in Miami. Vilian did have a tackle in that game and proved that the NFL isn’t too big for him. He will likely continue to be called upon only when needed, which is more than you can ask for from an undrafted rookie.
The Vikings 2022 rookie class as a whole has gotten off to a slow start. It has been riddled with injuries at the top, and some players who were drafted a little later aren’t seeing the field. While it was expected this rookie class would have more of an impact at this point, it isn’t uncommon to see the overall lack of a return. The Vikings have plenty of veteran depth and the chances just haven’t been there for the majority of the young players.
There’s no reason to panic at this point for the future of this class. But for year one, if the first six games are to tell us anything, it’s safe to expect that his rookie class won’t be one that lights up the stat sheets.