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Lunch Break, 7/30: Barr, Floyd on 'All-Risers Team'

There are lists fans want to see players from their team make, and lists they want to avoid.

Barry Wilner of The Associated Press produced an "All-Risers Team" and an "All-Prove It Team." The Vikings had two players land on the "All-Risers" and did not have a player placed on notice, although Wilner did note Everson Griffen "showed his stuff as a sackmaster in Minnesota" in 2014, Griffen's first year as a starter, in introducing the players who need to show more.

As for the two Vikings looking to build on strong 2014 seasons on the "All-Risers," Wilner wrote:

(Sharrif) Floyd comes off a solid second season and seems ready for some dominating performances.

And:

(Anthony) Barr had a strong rookie year and will be a playmaker all over the field for Minnesota.

The "All-Risers" were loaded with players from teams the Vikings will face in 2015: Oakland RB Latavius Murray, Seattle WR Paul Richardson, Detroit TE Eric Ebron, Kansas City T Eric Fisher, San Diego T D.J. Fluker, Arizona DE Kareem Martin, Green Bay DE Josh Boyd and S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, San Francisco ILB Michael Wilhoite, St. Louis CB E.J. Gaines.

Less-Heralded Linval

The years turned in by Floyd and Barr in 2015 could be closely tied to what Linval Joseph is able to do.

We noted the closeness of Floyd and Joseph and how the starting defensive tackles might work well together in their second season side-by-side. Joseph, however, could help Barr cleanly penetrate the middle of the line on a blitz from time to time.

Joseph likely won't ever be the most heralded player on a Vikings defense that has talented playmakers, but he was the subject of stories by Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune *and Chris Tomasson of the *Pioneer Press.

Vensel wrote:

(Joseph) finished the season with 47 tackles and three sacks, but a *good nose tackle's impact cannot always be captured within a boxscore. *

"For us, he does a lot of dirty work. He's not a stat guy really," coach Mike Zimmer said. "He's a guy who helps keep linebackers clean and allows you to play a little bit smaller guys sometimes at linebacker. [Nose tackles] take on double teams. They have to fight at the line of scrimmage."

Tomasson noted that Joseph would like to play his way into consideration for the Pro Bowl* *and wrote:

After getting off to a slow start, Joseph played better in the second half of the 2014 season. He finished ranked 30th by Pro Football Focus out of 81 NFL defensive tackles in a 4-3 scheme.

"I think he'll be 10 times better (this season)," defensive end Brian Robison said. "I think he's looked good throughout (spring drills). I think he's got an opportunity to be a big weapon for us. He's a big presence there in the middle that can move around, that can really do a lot of things for us."

Diggs' Deep Respect for Turner

Rookie receiver Stefon Diggs joined the Vikings after his fifth-round selection and brought a deep respect of Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner with him from Maryland to Minnesota.

Tim Yotter of Viking Update noted that Diggs watched Turner as head coach of the Redskins, and later on TV across the country when Turner coached the Chargers. Diggs knew quarterbacks coach Scott Turner from his time as an assistant at Pittsburgh, but said coming face-to-face with the elder Turner provided a new experience:

"I watched the Chargers for a long time, too, and I always seen him on the sidelines so when I first seen him it was kind eye-opening a little bit, but I was just ready to get to work and looking forward to him being my coach," Diggs said.

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