Minnesota Has the NFL’s Youngest Offense

Justin Jefferson
May 26, 2021; Eagan, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) runs after the catch in drills at OTA at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Over the Cap recently published a handy chart detailing the average age of every team’s offense and defense. From there, they also provided the average age for the roster as a whole.

I was surprised to see Minnesota as having the league’s youngest offense. The average age of our offensive players is a mere 24.87. Now, after taking a few moments to think about it a little more, it really isn’t all that surprising.

We really only have two older starters: Adam Thielen and Kirk Cousins. From there, our skill position guys are either in their mid or early 20s. Dalvin Cook is one of the most seasoned veterans and he’s still only 26. Rookie phenom Justin Jefferson – who will soon be sophomore phenom Justin Jefferson – is only 22. Moreover, our offensive line is very, very young. Brian O’Neill was recently signed to a sizeable extension, but he’s just now entering the 4th year of his rookie deal. Garrett Bradbury and Oli Udoh are entering their 3rd years; Ezra Cleveland his second. Rookie Christian Darrisaw will one day be our starter at LT; until then, the 29-year-old Rashod Hill will start.

Our defense is a little bit older, but they’re still in the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the league. Our average defender is 26.13. Keep in mind that many of our starters are older: Bashaud Breeland, Anthony Barr, Patrick Peterson, Eric Kendricks, and Harrison Smith. Several others are in the middle of their careers: Xavier Woods, Dalvin Tomlinson, Michael Pierce, and Mackensie Alexander. Depth options like Stephen Weatherly, Sheldon Richardson, and Everson Griffen are older. The number works down to the middle ground because most of our depth is young.

Taken together, Minnesota has the 6th-youngest roster in the NFL.

To manage the sizeable deals handed out to Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, and several others, Minnesota has brought in a ton of draft picks in recent years. Doing so allows them to balance the books. It also ensures they continually have a lot of youth.