Finding and cultivating young talent is a cornerstone to success for any NFL franchise.
The Vikings have 24 players on their roster that are 25 years old or younger, and two of them recently earned some recognition.
Minnesota defensive end Danielle Hunter and wide receiver Stefon Diggs were each named to a list of the top 25 players under 25 years old in an article by ESPN writer Mike Sando.
Hunter landed at No. 16 on the list and was the third-highest defensive lineman. The former third-round pick is 23 years old and has 27 total tackles (according to coaches' tally) with 4.0 sacks, five tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
Hunter had 12.5 sacks last season and has four through nine games in 2017 while ranking among the league leaders in quarterback pressures, depending upon who is doing the charting. He's a key player at a key position on one of the NFL's strongest defenses, and he's young enough to be back on this list in 2018 as well.
"He definitely belongs on this list," an evaluator said. "He is so, so good."
Diggs was two slots behind Hunter in the 18th spot and was the third wide receiver listed. He has 31 catches for 500 yards and a team-high five touchdowns in 2017.
"He is special," an evaluator said. "Diggs can play inside and outside. He has burst, agility. He reminds you of an Antonio Brown-type dude."
The Vikings were one of seven teams with two players on the list.
Vikings O-line praised for play in latest win
Their might not be a more improved unit in all of football than the Vikings offensive line.
Minnesota finished last in the NFL in rushing in 2016 with just over 75 yards per game and allowed 38 sacks, which was 10th-most in the league.
The Vikings rushing attack ranks 11th with 118 yards per game, and Minnesota has given up just 10 sacks in 2017.
NFL Network analyst and former Pro Bowl center Shaun O'Hara recently recognized the Vikings offensive line after Minnesota's 38-30 win against Washington.
O'Hara wrote that he thought the Vikings had a top-five performance in Week 10.
The Vikings traveled east and outlasted the Redskins, 38-30, for their fifth straight win. Minnesota's offense hit all the right offensive notes: eclipsing 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing, while also converting 66 percent of third-down attempts and going a perfect 5-for-5 in red-zone efficiency.
Case Keenum was red hot in the first half -- taking a perfect passer rating into the break -- and although he threw a pair of picks in the second half, he still finished with four touchdown passes and a sparkling 72.4 completion percentage. Of course, Keenum got a little help from his friends, as the O-line yielded just one QB hit and zero sacks.
With Mike Remmers out (concussion), Rashod Hill got the start at right tackle -- and didn't allow a single QB pressure. Real nice job by the second-year man.
The Vikings have used four different starting combinations on the offensive line this season.
Left tackle Riley Reiff, center Pat Elflein and right guard Joe Berger have started all nine games. Nick Easton, Jeremiah Sirles and Danny Isidora have all started at left guard. Remmers and Hill have each started at right tackle.