NFL Network concluded its “Top 100″ list on Wednesday with only one Vikings representative voted in by active NFL players.
Running back Adrian Peterson was ranked as the 62nd best player despite playing only one game last season. He was ranked fourth on the list last year and first in 2013 after he rushed for 2,097 yards.
It’s always interesting to see who the players view as the best 100 players in the NFL, whether you agree or disagree. If Vikings fans were upset that Chargers safety Eric Weddle made the Pro Bowl while Harrison Smith did not, they likely won’t be happy to see Weddle ranked 86th on the list while Harrison went unranked.
The players did get the No.1 selection right with Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. You can check out the complete list here.
The Packers led the NFC North with six players in the top 100 – quarterback Aaron Rodgers (No. 2), wide receiver Jordy Nelson (No. 18), linebacker Clay Matthews (No. 51), running back Eddie Lacy (No. 60), linebacker Julius Peppers (No.71) and wide receiver Randall Cobb (No. 100).
The Lions had five selections with wide receiver Calvin Johnson (No. 6), linebacker DeAndre Leavy (No. 66), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (No. 82), wide receiver Golden Tate (No. 85) and safety Glover Quin (No. 88).
Like the Vikings, the Bears only had one representative in running back Matt Forte (No. 48). Surprisingly, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery didn’t make the cut.
It’ll be interesting to see the list next year given all the hype the Vikings have received as a “surprise” team this year. The Vikings have some talent knocking on the door, like Smith, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, defensive end Everson Griffen, linebacker Anthony Barr and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
@MasterStrib Who are my LBs in the nickel defense? What is single statistical category we’ll see greatest Def improvement? Thank you sir…
— Ivan Carter (@IvanCarter9) July 7, 2015
Anthony Barr was limited during OTAs and minicamp, but he’s a lock to be on the field in the nickel package. We saw him at defensive end a few times on third downs, and I’m sure Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer will line him up along the defensive line in certain situations again this year, but he’ll be on the field.
Right now, I’d lean towards using Chad Greenway over Eric Kendricks as the second linebacker. As the season progresses, I can see that changing as Kendricks gets more comfortable. Right now though, you lean on the veteran. Greenway isn’t in his prime, but he can still get the job done. As impressive as Kendricks has looked so far this offseason, he still has a lot to learn as a rookie. I do think, however, that we’ll see Barr, Greenway and Kendricks as the starting linebackers in the base 4-3 defense.
@MasterStrib With AP back, how do you see Jerick McKinnon’s role developing?
— Doug Burger (@dougburgs) July 7, 2015
Adrian Peterson will get the majority of the carries in this offense. We all know that. I think McKinnon’s role will be as an occasional third down back. We saw the Vikings use Peterson and McKinnon together in split formations in the backfield, so there’s a possibility we’ll see that again in training camp. We’ll likely see Matt Asiata again in short yardage situations, but McKinnon made a good impression before his back injury last season to carve out a niche role.
@MasterStrib who starts opposite Rhodes? Newman? #vikings
— dm (@may_derek) July 7, 2015
I think the safe money is on Terence Newman right now. I must admit, I didn’t expect much from the 36-year-old once the Vikings initially signed him in the offseason in the same manner I didn’t expect much from safety Taylor Mays. Zimmer has been pleased with Newman, however, during OTAs and minicamp. He’s been working alongside Xavier Rhodes so far and unless Trae Waynes makes a strong impression during training camp, I don’t see another cornerback on the roster beating Newman for the starting job this summer.
@MasterStrib who sees more snaps, Crichton or Hunter
— Eric Thorson (@Eric_Thorson) July 7, 2015
This is a good one. I’ll go with Crichton though. The coaching staff has been pleased with his progress so far, but we’ll see how he performs in pads during training camp. Crichton has more experience than Hunter in this system, plus there’s a chance we’ll see Crichton sliding in as a three-technique defensive tackle at times. I’ve been warned not to sleep on Hunter’s impact this year, though. He’s physically gifted and appeared to be on the right track so far this offseason, according to the coaching staff. I’m very interested to see Hunter in pads to see how he performs.
@MasterStrib how’s teddy lookin’?
— Jim Andrews (@realjimandrews) July 7, 2015
@MasterStrib How’s Teddy lookin?
— Summer Adam (@arburnside) July 7, 2015
@MasterStrib How’s Teddy lookin’?
— John Sharkman (@JohnSharkman) July 7, 2015
@MasterStrib How’s Teddy lookin’
— Steve Neuman (@RandBallsStu) July 7, 2015
This question will never die.