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Lunchbreak: Griffen Tabbed by NFL.com Among 'Indispensable' Defenders

Which NFL players can teams "not live without" and why?

NFL.com's Adam Schein had some offseason fun with compiling a list of the league's most "indispensable defenders." He slated Everson Griffen at No. 5, but he seemed to have a hard time narrowing down with Viking to choose. Schein wrote:

The Vikings possess a fantastic defense, with three dynamite players in Griffen, CB Xavier Rhodes and S Harrison Smith. But I felt compelled to get Griffen on this list for the first time. This 30-year-old makes Minnesota's elite defense go. He's an unblockable and unstoppable defensive lineman who doesn't get enough credit. And he's the leader of the pack. Griffen, on my SiriusXM Radio show last week, refused to call the Vikings defense the best in the game – and stressed how much better the unit has to be with every detail. Somewhere, [Vikings Head Coach] Mike Zimmer smiles.

Griffen sacked the quarterback 13 times last year – he actually had 10 sacks in the first eight games, but then a torn plantar fascia really slowed him down – and truly became entrenched as an indispensable star.

While other Vikings arguably could have been included on the list, Schein didn't choose more than one player from any team.

His full list was as follows: DT Aaron Donald (Rams), LB Von Miller (Broncos), DT Fletcher Cox (Eagles), DE Khalil Mack (Raiders), Griffen, DE Joey Bosa (Chargers), DE Calais Campbell (Jaguars), LB Luke Kuechly (Panthers) and DE Cam Jordan (Saints).

Latavius Murray inspires students at old stomping grounds

Latavius Murray is entering his sixth NFL season and second in Purple.

He hasn't forgotten where he comes from, though. The running back returned to Central New York recently and worked out at Onondaga Central High School, where he invited current students to join him on the field.

Niko Tamurian of CNYCentral.com wrote about the experience.

"For me, I always try think of ways of how to giving back in a real, authentic way. To come out here on this very own field that I've played a lot of football on and a lot of memories," Murray told Tamurian. "A lot of good times, some bad, but to be able to come out here with guys that are following behind my footsteps, that means the world to me. I think for … me to come out here and show them that I'm no different and that I'm still able to … work on this field, hopefully that just does something for them."

Tamurian described the student-athletes as "thrilled." He quoted Onondaga Central running back Wes Corr, who said he's motivated by the fact that "a guy like him came from our school … so all of us should dream to be like him."

Tamurian wrote:

The common thread is that both the students and Murray work with legendary local trainer Vinny Scollo.

Scollo is a training expert for Scollo Strength and Performance and has worked with Murray his entire career.

Murray emphasized that being committed to a professional sport is a year-long commitment.

"There's truly no offseason because at some point and time, you're always doing something … to continue to get better," Murray said. "I'm working nonstop, whether it's in the weight room, on the field, off the field – you just have to get continue to work and get better."

3 Vikings make Top-50 merch sales from March-May

Lots of Vikings fans purchased Kirk Cousins' jersey after he signed with Minnesota as a free agent in March.

In fact, Cousins landed at No. 16 in the NFLPA's list of Top 50 player sales for March 1 through May 31, 2018. The NFLPA list is the only verified ranking of "all officially licensed NFL player products and merchandise."

Two other Vikings, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, ranked No. 31 and No. 37, respectively.

The top five player merchandise sales in the three-month span belonged to Nick Foles, Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Saquon Barkley and Dak Prescott.

Tickets are still available for 2018 Verizon Vikings Training Camp at the TCO Performance Center for select dates.Click hereto access more information.

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