As the NFL heads into the final stretch of the 2016 regular season, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper, Jr., assembled a list of "top 25 players under 25."* *According to Kiper, the athletes were chosen and ranked by a "blend of production and potential."
Stefon Diggs, who turned 23 on Nov. 29, came in at No. 20.
Diggs comes with the Josh Norman seal of approval after impressing the Redskins No. 1 cornerback during the Minnesota-Washington game last month. "Heck of a talent" was the phrase Norman used to describe the Vikings second-year receiver.
Diggs is still averaging 7.5 receptions per game, most among players not yet 25 years old.
Diggs was the sole player from the NFC North division that made the list.
Coming in at one, two and three, respectively were Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and Jets defensive end Leonard Williams.
Fran Tarkenton hasn't lost faith in former team
The 2016 Vikings season has been a doozy, but Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton said he hasn't given up postseason hopes for his former team.
Tarkenton wrote the following in his column for the Pioneer Press:
I still have hope and faith that the Vikings can get back on track and compete for a playoff spot, and even win the division.
With all the problems the Vikings have had, they have as good a defense as anybody in football. They have some good weapons on offense. Sam Bradford has held up admirably amid all the problems with the offensive line, taking every hit and getting right back up. And above all, the team continues to play hard in every single game, through every injury and every bad break.
Tarkenton said Minnesota has had every excuse to "crater and move on to next year," but the team has continued fighting under Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings remain two games behind Detroit in the NFC North.
The Vikings can't control what the Lions do, or any of the other contenders for NFC wild card spots, but what they can do is go out and win some football games down the home stretch. They're right there in the hunt, and I expect them to go for it.
U.S. Bank Stadium 2nd-most Instagrammed location in Minnesota
U.S. Bank Stadium hasn't yet been open for six months, but it's already made its mark in Minnesota – and on social media.
According to USA TODAY's Natalie DiBlasio, U.S. Bank Stadium is the second-most popular Minnesota location posted on Instagram, after Mall of America. DiBlasio wrote the following about Instagram's popularity and trends:
As the year comes to a close, we took a look at some of the photo-sharing app's most popular things, courtesy of Instagram's 500 million active users. They love filters (the most popular are Clarendon and Gingham) and emojis (the most popular are hearts and the smiley face with heart eyes), and they shared the most on Halloween and 9/11.
*The most Instagrammed places in the world are Disney Theme Parks, Universal Studios Theme Parks, Central Park in New York City, Times Square in New York City, the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum and the Las Vegas Strip. But each state has iconic Instagram spots, too. *
The Vikings new home is one of three Twin Cities sports venues, as Xcel Energy Center and Target Field come in at No. 3 and No. 4. The fifth-most Instagrammed location in Minnesota is Lake Minnetonka.