There’s no denying the volume of young talent that stands out each season across all 32 NFL teams.
Every offseason, NFL.com releases a “25 under 25” list to highlight some of the top names impacting the league before their 25th birthday.
Elliot Harrison unveiled the 2018 lineup Thursday afternoon and included two budding Vikings, Stefon Diggs and Pat Elflein. Harrison wrote the following of the “top shelf” receiver, who will turn 25 on Nov. 29:
He posted 849 receiving yards and eight TDs despite missing two games with a groin injury. Oh, and he contributed the biggest playoff reception in years. His catch radius is fantastic.
Diggs was joined in the receiver room by Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill.
Elflein anchored an offensive line surrounded by tackles Jack Conklin (Titans) and Ryan Ramczyk (Saints), and guards Dan Feeney (Chargers) and Ethan Pocic (Seahawks).
Yet another rookie makes the All-Under-25 Team, and for good reason. Elflein helped the Vikings improve in the one area they had to get better: up front. The unit allowed 11 fewer sacks than in 2016 and went from 32nd to seventh in rushing.
Only one other NFC North name appeared on the list; Harrison pegged Bears running back Tarik Cohen as the top returner under 25.
Goessling: Vikings have ‘relatively short to-do list’ at offensive line
Mike Remmers, who primarily played guard this spring, spoke Thursday about relying on versatility and said he’ll be prepared to play wherever he’s asked when the team returns to Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center for training camp.
Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune recently delved into Minnesota’s offensive line situation and said that although the line was somewhat fluid throughout OTAs and minicamp, “there shouldn’t be nearly as much furniture to move around in front of quarterback Kirk Cousins” later this summer. Goessling wrote:
Center Pat Elflein, who did not practice with the team this spring after recovering from ankle and shoulder injuries, figures to be back by training camp. The Vikings could then return Nick Easton to left guard, while counting on Riley Reiff to be a mainstay again at left tackle. At that point, their only tasks would be finding a right guard to replace the retired Joe Berger, and figuring out if Rashod Hill can start at right tackle should Mike Remmers move inside to Berger’s vacated guard spot.
Goessling called it a “relatively short to-do list” for a Vikings team familiar with questions on the offensive line.
Goessling referenced Hill, who said that Minnesota’s pair of postseason contests taught him about handling fourth-quarter fatigue. The tackle told media members Wednesday that he dropped from 325 pounds to 313, primarily by eliminating late-night snacks and watching his diet.
“You’ve got to move better here. You got younger guys coming in, people coming in,” Goessling said. “You have to keep moving. That’s what I’m up to. I’m not worried about it.”