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Lunchbreak: Griffen Listed in's Top 5 Pass Rushers

Everson Griffen is known as one of the most vocal and energetic players on Minnesota defense.

The Vikings defensive end is also one of the most productive. He racked up 13 sacks during the 2017 regular season to set a new career best. 

Griffen, who has been named to three straight Pro Bowls, was recently recognized for his on-field exploits when he was ranked as the league's fourth-best pass rusher by analyst Willie McGinest.

McGinest is a former linebacker with the Patriots and Browns who holds the all-time postseason record with 16 sacks.

He wrote:

Griffen started the 2017 season on a tear, racking up 10 sacks in the first eight games. After the team's Week 9 bye week, though, Griffen was hampered by a torn plantar fascia (suffered in Week 8) and only recorded a total of four sacks the remainder of the regular season and through the playoffs. Now healthy, I expect Griffen to hit his stride in 2018 and once again lead the best defense in the league. Entering his ninth season in the fall, Griffen has great edge, nice lean and good speed. Coupled with good balance and hands, he's a huge challenge to contain, even with help.

Griffen spoke to Twin Cities media members in late April and **gave an update on his health**, saying he feels great.

The former fourth-round pick has 61 career sacks, which ranks seventh all-time in Vikings franchise history.

Griffen became a full-time starter in 2014 and has flourished in Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer's defense.

Griffen ranks fourth with 43.5 total sacks since 2014, trailing only Von Miller, Ryan Kerrigan and Chandler Jones.

McGinest's full list can be found here.

Vikings slotted 5th in ESPN's power rankings

Following the hustle and bustle of the 2018 NFL Draft, released its post-draft power rankings and slotted the Vikings in the fifth spot.

Less than a week later, it was ESPN's time to take their turn at putting the league's top teams in order, and the Vikings also **came in at No. 5** in ESPN's power rankings.

ESPN wrote:

After dolling out $84 million guaranteed to Kirk Cousins in free agency, the Vikings opted to continue building up a defense that allowed the fewest points last season in the early rounds of the draft. Cornerback Mike Hughes (No. 30) and defensive end Jalyn Holmes (102) join a stacked unit.

Minnesota was slotted behind Philadelphia, New England, Pittsburgh and New Orleans on ESPN's list.

The Vikings went 13-3 and won the NFC North in 2017 before advancing to the NFC title game.* *

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