Last year’s standouts, free agent signings and draft picks get most of the attention this time of year. And that means some players who will be standouts this upcoming season are being overlooked now. Here are seven Vikings who aren’t getting much attention now but whose play may command attention once the 2014 season begins.
Why He’s Overlooked: The Vikings have the best running back in the NFL on their side, and now fans are excited about how Norv Turner will use third-round pick
Why He Shouldn’t Be Overlooked:
Why He’s Overlooked: The selection of
Why He Shouldn’t Be Overlooked: Brinkley is a bona-fide thumper against the run on the inside and could be everything
Why He’s Overlooked: Barr gets most of the attention at outside linebacker and Greenway is a returning starter at the position.
Why He Shouldn’t Be Overlooked: Hodges came to Penn State as a safety but left the program as a linebacker selected by the Vikings in the 2013 NFL Draft. He flashed consistently on special teams as a rookie last year, and he possesses the “tweener” traits as an outside linebacker that may appeal to Zimmer as he schemes a way to defend matchup-nightmare slot receivers and tight ends.
Why He’s Overlooked: The only time we tend to notice offensive linemen is when they make a mistake, and Johnson has been much-maligned of late. Plus, many fans and media are focused on
Why He Shouldn’t Be Overlooked: He’s a returning starter who can start at as many as three positions along the line, he is durable and tough, he is smart and he is familiar with offensive line coach Jeff Davidson’s expectations.
Why He’s Overlooked: The Vikings have a Pro Bowl-caliber fullback in
Why He Shouldn’t Be Overlooked: At roster cut time, position flexibility and special teams ability reign supreme. Line was a dynamic runner in college, has the strength and toughness to be a lead blocker now, and can play on multiple special teams phases.
Why He’s Overlooked: Aside from being a returner from last year’s maligned secondary, Prater is also overlooked because there’s (rightfully) great anticipation about
Why He Shouldn’t Be Overlooked: Prater had one of the team’s three interceptions by cornerbacks last season, he was a standout at the team’s voluntary minicamp earlier this offseason and he fits the profile of the type of player coach Zimmer always seems to maximize.
Why He’s Overlooked: Jared Allen and Kevin Williams are gone,
Why He Shouldn’t Be Overlooked: Robison is now the dean of the Vikings defensive line, but at 31 years of age he’s still in his prime and he’s coming off a career season in which he had 9.0 sacks to go along with 14.0 TFLs, 40 quarterback hits and even a defensive touchdown.