CBS Publishes List of Top 100 Players; 6 Vikings Make It
About a week ago, CBS published an article where they rank the top 100 players in the NFL. It’s the kind of meaningless offseason content that can generate clicks at a slow point in the news cycle. Interested fans can hop over to read the full thing, but we’re going to briefly discuss the CBS list of top 100 players in relation to our Vikings.
The highest Viking – very rightly – is Dalvin Cook, arguably the best running back in the NFL. He comes in at 19th, one spot ahead of Khalil Mack. Were it not for nagging health issues, Cook would likely be higher on the list. Health is really the only thing keeping him back from being considered a top-10 NFL player. If Minnesota succeeds this season, it’ll be because Cook was excellent.
Somewhat surprisingly, the next member of the Vikings on the CBS top 100 is Justin Jefferson at 45th overall. Mildly controversial opinion among purple fans: Jefferson isn’t better than Adam Thielen (not yet, at least). I understand the Jefferson hype, and I think it’s mostly well-deserved after his sensational rookie year. That being said, fans and writers should pump the brakes a little bit. Let’s see him do it again before we anoint him as the WR1 in Minnesota.
Danielle Hunter at 75th only makes sense within the context of a missed season due to injury. When healthy, Hunter ought to rank considerably higher. Harrison Smith is also very underrated, coming in at 77th overall. Expect Smith to shine as Minnesota’s defense takes a massive step forward.
Kirk Cousins, God bless him, is coming in at 93rd overall. I won’t quibble with this ranking. I’ll merely say that the Kellen Mond selection may finally be enough motivation to vault Cousins into true top-tier status. Adam Thielen finishes things off for our Vikings at 97th overall. Like Hunter, Thielen’s spot is impacted by injury.
Two Vikings are listed in the honorable mentions: Eric Kendricks and Patrick Peterson. Peterson’s play has been declining for a couple years, so I can’t be overly critical here. That said, PFF has recently made the case for how Peterson can revive his career in Minnesota, so fans shouldn’t be without hope.
The fact that Kendricks isn’t on the list is a massive miss. He is rightly recognized as among the game’s elite middle linebackers. His presence in Zimmer’s defense makes life considerably easier for not only the crusty coach, but the rest of the players. Kendricks has the kind of effortless play-style that virtually guarantees he puts in a ton of effort; no one makes it look so easy without having first put in a ton of work. He is easily a top-50 player in the league, even after considering the fact that MLB isn’t as important as other positions (QB, corner, EDGE).
Alas, one can only get so worked up about a meaningless list, so we’ll move on. We’ll merely conclude by suggesting that hopefully these relatively modest rankings serve as one more small bit of motivation for our Vikings.