As the Minnesota Vikings surprised most with their dominance last season, they have another great draft class coming in and more players coming back from injury. Who will be the breakout players this year?
The Minnesota Vikings are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. The front office has done a great job at keeping the team loaded with talent every offseason through the draft or free agency.
Last season we saw multiple surprise breakout players who helped contribute to the franchise winning it’s first division championship in years. Who will be the surprise players this season?
This will not be much of a surprise to most who watched the fifth round rookie break out last season but expect Stefon Diggs to put up his first 1000 yard season this year. With added time to develop a relationship with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and gain experience at the next level, Diggs is primed for an excellent season.
All training camp we have seen loads of tape of Diggs putting moves on the Vikings secondary. His route running and speed will help him become the Bridgewater’s top target. Since coming in the league at a fifth rounder, Diggs continues to play with that chip on his shoulder. Expect him to have some decent fantasy value this season.
Charles Johnson had a lot of hype coming into last season before nagging injuries kept him on the sidelines for most of the year. Johnson has had all offseason to get healthy and so far he is looking like his old self.
More from Sporting Sota
- Minnesota Twins bullpen will be their downfall
- Top 5 Minnesota Twins Pitching Prospects
- Kyle Rudolph signing gives stability to Minnesota Vikings offense
- Jake Odorizzi’s emergence fueling Twins starting staff
- Former Minnesota Twins player David Ortiz shot
Another player who plays with a chip on his shoulder, Johnson was listed at the top of the Minnesota Vikings depth chart at split end wide receiver. It is his job to keep. The tall, long wide receiver has the skills to be a nice, reliable weapon for third year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
So far in camp, Johnson has been seen mentoring first round rookie Laquon Treadwell. His leadership ability has been something that will help him in the eyes of Head Coach Mike Zimmer.
The Minnesota Vikings used their first round pick this year on Laquon Treadwell, who all offseason was ranked as the nations top wide out before his slow 40 yard dash time. Treadwell has been seen putting in extra work after practices and seems to want this bad.
Treadwell has been praised for his blocking skills and his initial burst off the line. His blocking should help him get on the field a lot this year as the Vikings have always been a run first team. His burst off the line should help him get involved in red zone plays.
Being a big, physical wide out Treadwell should be able to help bail out quarterback Teddy Bridgewater at times with his big catch radius. As we all know Zimmer likes to have his rookies learn from the sidelines, Treadwell is the type of player that should be able to see the field this season with the skill set he has.
Jerick McKinnon has been a player that Minnesota Vikings fans have seen grow exponentially over the last two seasons. McKinnon is the perfect type of player to change the pace on the defense from Adrian Peterson.
McKinnon has shown amazing athletic ability with the ball in space. He has a talent to make defenders miss and amazing breakaway speed with the ball in his hands.
Expect McKinnon to see more opportunities to showcase his skills this season. He has added 11 pounds of muscle and looks to be in the best shape of his life. If you are drafting Adrian Peterson in your fantasy league, you might want to grab McKinnon as your handcuff back.
There will be a lot of people who see this take as a no brainer. After backing up Brian Robison last season, Danielle Hunter will push Robison for starting time this year.
Hunter is a physical freak. The Vikings front office saw the potential in a raw prospect in last year’s draft and took him in the third round. After finishing last season with 6 sacks, Hunter has added weight and looks primed for a great season.
He could be the Vikings next Everson Griffen(late round defensive end who shines). With the Vikings defensive line loaded with talent, offensive lines will be hard pressed to choose who to put the double team on and most of the time it will go to Linval Joseph. This will give Hunter a lot of opportunities to put the fear of god into opposing quarterbacks.
Eric Kendricks is blowing people away in Vikings training camp. The game has slowed down for him and he is starting to really grasp the position.
Kendricks showed up to camp in the best shape of his life. The coaching staff has commended Kendricks on his play in coverage. Expect him to be a key member of the Vikings front line and rack up a lot of tackles this season.
The Minnesota Vikings are primed for another great season. The expectations are high after taking over the NFC North last season. If everyone can stay healthy, they should have a great chance to repeat and put together a deep playoff run.