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Dalvin Cook Ranked No. 20 on NFL's Top 100 List of 2021

Dalvin Cook has made a repeat appearance on NFL Network's "Top 100 Players List," and he has moved up a spot from a year ago.

The Vikings running back was unveiled in the No. 20 spot Sunday night on the annual list, which is voted on by players across the league. He was the third-highest running back on the list.

Cook put together a second consecutive Pro Bowl campaign in 2020, setting career highs of 1,557 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns in just 14 games.

He added 44 receptions for 361 yards and a touchdown, and his 1,918 combined yards from scrimmage ranked second in the NFL. That total was also the second-most in a season in franchise history, behind the 2,314 yards Adrian Peterson had in 2012.

The impressive campaign moved Cook into eighth place all-time for career rushing yards by a Viking (3,661). He also moved into fifth place for career rushing touchdowns by a Viking with 33, a fitting number that matches the digits on his jersey. Only Adrian Peterson (97), Chuck Foreman (52), Bill Brown (52) and Ted Brown (40) are ahead of Cook in franchise history.


Cook's defensive peers had plenty to say about his game-breaking ability.

"Once he breaks the tackle box and gets out in space, he's probably the most explosive back in the league with his acceleration," said Steelers linebacker Joe Schobert.

"Being able to lower his shoulder in the hole, and being able to … when a linebacker or anyone comes up too make a tackle … make them miss … he uses his acceleration to separate from everyone else and get into the end zone," added Colts linebacker Darius Leonard.

And they had praise for the 5-foot-10, 210-pound Cook's ability to show some muscle, too.

"He's not easy to bring down, either. He's another one of those running backs where the first guy is usually not going to tackle him," said Panthers safety Jeremy Chinn. "He can strike you, make you miss, make you look silly."

Colts running back Jonathan Taylor added: "With Dalvin Cook and his size, people don't expect him to have the amount of power that he has when he runs."

Heck, even Packers linebacker Za'Darius Smith had praise for his division rival.

"He's lights out when he has the ball in his hands," Smith said.

Cook helped Minnesota rank fourth in the NFL in total yards per game (393.4) and fifth in rushing yards per game (142.7). The Vikings average of 4.88 yards per run play ranked fourth in the league, and Minnesota's run-play percentage (45.7) was the sixth-highest in the NFL in 2020.

Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (No. 53), linebacker Eric Kendricks (No. 70) and wide receiver Adam Thielen (No. 80) were recognized last weekend on the list.