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Lunchbreak: Trio of Vikings Make's Quarter Season All-Pro Team

The Vikings have seen a number of standout performances on both sides of the ball through the first four games of the 2017 season. 

But according to, a trio of players on Minnesota's roster have stood out above the rest.

The website recently released its quarter season All-Pro team, a list that included Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs, defensive end Everson Griffen and cornerback Xavier Rhodes.

Matt Harmon of wrote of Diggs:

He's done it all as the Vikings No. 1 receiver. Diggs moved into the slot last year out of necessity, lining up there on 58 percent of his plays. The Vikings changed his utilization this season and 78 percent of his targets have come on plays where he's lined up outside. The return to his true position brought back the possibility for big plays, and Diggs continues to deliver. He averages 15 air yards per target.

Diggs leads the NFL with 391 receiving yards and is tied for second across the league with four touchdown catches. His 22 receptions are the second-most on the Vikings behind Adam Thielen. 

Harmon highlighted Griffen's high level of play after signing a contract extension this past offseason.

So far this season, it's been easy to see why they made the move. Griffen has rushed the passer on 130 plays in 2017. Only the Cardinals Chandler Jones has more attempts in hunting the quarterback. Yet, Griffen puts heat on signal callers at an outstanding clip with a 17.7 pressure rate, ranking him fifth-best in the NFL. Minnesota has a top-10 defense this season in terms of yards allowed, and Griffen as a lynchpin on the stop unit is a big reason why.

Griffen has racked up 5.0 sacks in four games, which ranks fourth in the NFL. He also has 16 total tackles (according to the coaches' tally) with six tackles for loss.

Rhodes made his first Pro Bowl is 2016 and has responded with another strong season so far. He is tied for the team lead with three passes defensed.

Harmon wrote that Rhodes has fared well against opponents' top receivers through the first four games of 2017.

When Rhodes does shadow top receivers, he's one of the best in the business. He covered (Antonio) Brown on 71.4 percent of the receiver's pass plays in Week 3. Ben Roethlisberger threw to Brown eight times with Rhodes in coverage and only completed three passes for 28 yards. He followed that up by giving up just five catches for 53 yards on nine targets to Mike Evans during the Vikings next game. Those are some of the best wide receivers in the NFL, and Rhodes eliminated them from their offenses' attacks. It doesn't get more impressive than that.



Joseph leading the charge for Vikings run defense

Linval Joseph ranks sixth on the Vikings with 28 total tackles (according to coaches' tally) and is one of six defensive players to record a sack.

Matthew Coller of wrote that although Joseph's stats have been impressive, some of his best work comes when he frees up teammates to make plays.

Coller wrote:

Joseph currently ranks as the seventh best defensive tackle and No. 1 among nose tackles (according to Pro Football Focus). His performance against the Lions was masterful. He picked up nine tackles and one sack. But, as per usual, some of his best plays came on downs where he didn't pick up a tackle.

Coller highlighted a play in the first quarter in which the 2016 Pro Bowler took on multiple blockers, allowing linebacker Anthony Barr to stuff the Lions for no gain on a running play.

Joseph's play has been a big reason why Minnesota has one of the top defenses against the run so far in 2017. 

The Vikings' defense currently ranks No. 4 in the NFL in run defense allowing 3.1 yards per carry. Joseph's control of the middle has been the main reason.

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