Two Young Vikings Make ‘Top 25 Under 25’ List

Two Young Vikings Make 'Top 25 Under 25' List
Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings have made a very conscious effort to get younger across their roster over the past couple years, and they’ve been lucky enough to land a few superstars in recent drafts. As a result, on Pro Football Focus‘ list of top-25 players under the age of 25, two young Vikings have made the cut. The list was written by Trevor Sikkema.

Of course, those players are LT Christian Darrisaw and WR Justin Jefferson. Both players are entering their age-24 seasons in 2023, so this will be their final opportunity to be on such a list.

Reaction to Vikings Win over Giants
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Jefferson is listed as the second-best player in the group, coming in only behind Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys. This comes as no surprise considering the Vikings 2020 first-round pick has quickly blossomed into one of the best players in the entire league. Here is what Sikkema had to say about the superstar:

Three straight seasons of elite receiving grades for Jefferson — 90.4 in 2020, 90.1 in 2021 and 90.2 in 2022 — means he stands alone at the top of the young receiver list in terms of dominance and consistency. He’s unmatched, not just for his age, but among all NFL receivers.

There is certainly an argument to be made that Jefferson deserves the top spot on this list, but Parsons has had a very dominant career in Dallas as well since being drafted in 2021. The linebacker has the sixth-most sacks and fourth-most tackles for loss of any player in the league since he entered the league and completely revamped the Cowboys defense.

On the other hand, Jefferson has the most receiving yards in the NFL since joining the league in 2020. It’s by a wide margin as well. The Vikings wide receiver has totaled 4825 yards over his first three seasons, and the player with the next highest receiving total over those three years is Davante Adams with 4443 and then Tyreek Hill at 4225. Jefferson led the league in both receptions and receiving yards in 2022, becoming the youngest player in NFL history to do so.

Week 16 NFL Playoff Picture
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Someone between Parsons and Jefferson had to be ranked second, but the duo should probably be viewed as a 1A/1B rather than a 1/2. They are the clear top two right now among the group of young NFL players.

Meanwhile, Darrisaw is listed as No. 15, right between a couple of wide receivers in Tee Higgins and Devonta Smith. The young left tackle has hit a few injury troubles along the way, which probably prevents him from being a bit higher on this list. However, when he’s been on the field, the performances have been nothing short of dominant.

Vikings LT Christian Darrisaw
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

Darrisaw especially began coming into his own during the 2022 season where he allowed just five sacks in 853 snaps at left tackle. Here is what Sikkema had to say about the Vikings left tackle:

Darrisaw dealt with a groin injury in his rookie season that caused him to miss four games, and he finished the year with a 71.9 overall grade. But this past season, he played in 15 games, recording 910 snaps, and earned an elite 90.4 overall grade. That massive jump was extremely impressive, and something that should give him a baseline to be one of the top young offensive linemen in the game moving forward.

On Sikkema’s list, Darrisaw is the fifth offensive tackle listed. He comes in behind Tristan Wirfs (No. 3), Rashawn Slater (No. 8), Andrew Thomas (No. 10), and Penei Sewell (No. 13).

Had Darrisaw not missed six games over the course of his first two seasons, it would be much harder to make the argument that he doesn’t deserve to be much higher among this group, particularly among other offensive tackles. That being said, if he stays healthy in 2023, we could see another huge leap in year three for the elite Vikings left tackle.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.