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Lunchbreak: Patterson Posted 2 of 5 Fastest Kickoff Returns in 2016

The Vikings have six players at the Pro Bowl in Orlando, including Cordarrelle Patterson, who led the league in kickoff return average for the third straight season.

What helps make Patterson, who averaged 31.7 yards per return, so dangerous is his speed. recently put together a photo essay of superlatives for Pro Bowl players, and Patterson's ability to get moving didn't go unnoticed.

Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson is one of the most dangerous returners in the NFL due to his speed and playmaking ability. Patterson owns two of the top five speeds for fastest ball carrier on a kickoff return this season, reaching speeds of 21.66 mph in Week 1 and 21.48 mph in Week 11.

Patterson also fared well as a wide receiver in 2016, catching a career-best 52 passes for 453 yards and two touchdowns.

The former first-round pick is at his second Pro Bowl and is joined by Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, Anthony Barr, Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith.

Krammer: Waynes took step forward in second season 

Trae Waynes didn't play extensive snaps on defense during his 2015 rookie season, but the Vikings cornerback saw an increased role in 2016.

Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune took a look at Waynes' sophomore season and where the 11th overall pick from the 2015 draft can still improve.

Krammer wrote:

A closer look showed the makings of a disruptive defender with the speed and length to stick with just about any receiver. His improvement, which included eight deflections to two penalties in the second half of the season, was overshadowed by the team's indefensible collapse.

Waynes led the Vikings with 16 passes defended and was second on the team with three interceptions. But it was his 54 total tackles (according to the coaches' tally), where Krammer was impressed.

Another bright spot came with Waynes being the Vikings' most efficient tackler, according to Pro Football Focus. His one missed tackle was the fewest on the team as he showed to be a willing defender against the run. As a whole, Vikings cornerbacks in Rhodes, Waynes, Terence Newman and Captain Munnerlyn were among the most efficient tacklers in the league.

Waynes played almost 56 percent of Minnesota's defensive snap counts, a number that could go up next season as the former Michigan State standout continues to grow and enhance his game.

Moving forward, the Vikings would like to see Waynes put the entire picture together as they'll undoubtedly lean on him in his third NFL season in 2017.

"He has played better technique. Obviously, there are still things to work on with him," (Vikings Head Coach Mike) Zimmer said in November. "But his next development will come with understanding more about the game as opposed to just playing corner."

Zimmer and his defensive assistant coaches pride themselves on developing the mental side of the game along with physical traits. Formations, alignment and down and distance are all critical factors for a defender to quickly process before the snap — and the right assessment can put a defensive back in an advantageous spot.

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