Viking’s Most Underrated Players Heading into 2021
The Minnesota Vikings are a team heading into 2021 under the radar. Just like Mike Zimmer likes it. Since the Vikings finished 2020 at 7-9, many people and analysts aren’t giving the Vikings a fair shot this year. Many players on the Viking’s roster are also being overlooked. Minnesota has a ton a great talent on both sides of the ball, and the national media has never really gave any players, and the team in general, any credit. If some of these players on this list played for the Patriots or Cowboys, they’d be household names. Let’s dive in and see who made the list.
1. Brian O’Neill
O’Neill was drafted by the Vikings in 2018, and many people thought selection at the time was a reach. The former Pittsburgh Panther was drafted in the 2nd round, and analysts thought it would take him 2-3 years to get acclimated to the NFL. O’Neill proved everyone wrong by having a very successful rookie campaign. Now in 2021, O’Neill should be considered one of the NFL’s best right tackles. The athletic lineman should also be looking at a sizable payday in the near future. O’Neill is consistently ranked in the top half of the league in PFF grading, and is most certainly overlooked across the league. He has yet to make a Pro Bowl, but his performance has been near All-Pro levels.
2. Tyler Conklin
Minnesota tight end may be a little overlooked by Irv Smith Jr. this coming year, but in my opinion, Tyler Conklin will have a very successful season for the Minnesota Vikings. Conklin has very good hands, and good run after the catch ability. He also does a lot of the dirty work for the Vikings. He opens lanes for Dalvin Cook, helps out on protecting Kirk Cousins, and does a great job getting open down field. In the last four games of 2020, Conklin caught 15 passes for almost 200 yards. His impact will be known from the get-go in 2021.
3. Eric Kendricks
This one may come as a surprise, but I still don’t think the Kendricks gets enough credit. The guy is an absolute machine. He is constantly all over the field, and is rarely out of position. Kendricks should be considered a top 3 MLB by everyone who knows anything about football. He was near the top in every defensive category before his injury in 2020, and I believe he is poised for an even better 2021.