Three Vikings — Teddy Bridgewater, Sharrif Floyd and Anthony Barr — were placed on NFL Media analyst Elliot Harrison's third annual All-Under-25 Team.
Placement on this list illustrates the immediate impact that Barr and Bridgewater, who were both selected in the first round in 2014, had as rookies last fall, and the growth that Floyd, a first-rounder in 2013, experienced in his second pro season. Minnesota and Dallas each had three players placed on the list.
Harrison placed 26 total players on his team: 11 offense, 12 defense (an extra because of 4-3 and 3-4 defensive fronts) and three special teamers. The players will all be younger than 25 on the opening day of the 2015 season, which is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10.
Harrison's take on Teddy Bridgewater: Bridgewater beats out Derek Carr on this list, mostly because he avoided the valleys that the Raiders quarterback experienced in his rookie campaign. While each player's stats weren't too far off — Carr had seven more touchdown passes, while Bridgewater posted a completion percentage that was six points higher — Teddy's game-by-game consistency is a harbinger of larger success to come.
Harrison's take on Sharrif Floyd: Floyd made significant progress in Year 2. Everyone was focused on Cordarrelle Patterson entering last season, but it was this Vikings sophomore who flourished. Despite missing two games, he was a stud against the run and recorded 4.5 sacks.
Harrison's take on Anthony Barr: Give Barr a lot of credit. While [Khalil] Mack was (deservedly) racking up headlines, Barr had a pretty nice rookie campaign of his own. Despite missing four games, the 22-year-old had 70 tackles (six for loss) and forced two fumbles (returning one for the game-winning score in Tampa Bay).
Elliot Harrison's All-Under-25 Team(click here for full review):
Quarterback: Teddy Bridgewater
Running backs: Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh and Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati
Receiver: Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants and DeAndre Hopkins, Houston
Tight end: Zach Ertz, Philadelphia
Tackles: Tyron Smith, Dallas and Terron Armstead, New Orleans
Guards: Zack Martin, Dallas and Joel Bitonio, Cleveland
Center: Travis Frederick, Dallas
Defensive ends: Sheldon Richardson, New York Jets and Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia
Defensive tackles: Sharrif Floyd and Aaron Donald, St. Louis
Outside linebackers: Anthony Barr and Khalil Mack, Oakland
Inside linebackers: Luke Kuechly, Carolina and Chris Borland, San Francisco
Cornerbacks: Darius Slay, Detroit and Bene Benwikere, Carolina
Safeties: Tyrann Mathieu, Arizona and Eric Reid, San Francisco
Kicker: Chandler Catanzaro, Arizona
Punter: Brad Wing, Pittsburgh
Return Specialist: De'Anthony Thomas, Kansas City