Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has shown steady progress during his first two seasons as a starter.
He made his first Pro Bowl in 2015 and helped lead the Vikings to an 11-5 record and an NFC North title.
He also increased his completion percentage (64.4 to 65.3), overall passer rating (85.2 to 88.7) and third-down passer rating (95.2 to 99.8).
Even so, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com thinks the 23-year-old is Minnesota's most underrated player.
By Football Outsiders' numbers, Teddy Bridgewater was not a top-20 passer last season, but that's not fair, because the quarterback spent too little time playing football and too much time running for his life. No quarterback was pressured more often in 2015. Erase all pressure plays from all quarterbacks, and Bridgewater's ranking jumps up to 12th. With a rebuilt offensive line, Bridgewater should have better protection and better production this season.
Greenway's Leadership Is A Key Part of Vikings Defense
Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway is entering his 11th season in the NFL, meaning he's been around the block a time or two.
Greenway has developed plenty of leadership qualities during that time to go along with his strong on-field accolades.
Tim Yotter of Viking Update recently looked at how Greenway helps and mentors Minnesota's younger linebackers such as Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks.
*Although he continues to bring a strong level of play to the field, Greenway adds a steadying mentorship ability with a generally young linebacker corps. At this stage, Barr and Kendricks may have more athleticism, but they can still learn plenty from a 10-year veteran. *
"I think that's invaluable and part of the reason we think he can contribute," Vikings linebackers coach Adam Zimmer told Yotter.
"I wouldn't say a major factor, but it's a plus. I think Eric and Anthony will be fine no matter what, but to have that guy that they can lean on – he's been through a lot, he played a lot of games and he's seen a lot of stuff."
Linebacker Emmanuel Lamur signed with the Vikings as a free agent this offseason. Even though the two play the same position, Lamur told Yotter that the veteran linebacker has been a big help during his first few months with the Vikings.
*Lamur said he didn't let Greenway's status with the Minnesota Vikings enter into his decision to sign with the team after four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, but he's learning all about Greenway's leadership qualities. That includes Greenway's work on the field and off. *
"One of the reasons why I came here is because of his leadership as well. There's something I can learn from him. Good players, you've got to steal some things from him, of course," Lamur said. "He's a great guy off the field as well. I don't think people give him enough credit for that, but he does a lot off the field and that's something I salute. It's not just about the game of football, it's all about doing the things right every time – while you're on the field and off the field and that's something I'm just learning from him as a veteran, especially playing in the league for 10 or 11 years. Chad Greenway is a great leader."