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Lunchbreak: Vikings Land 10 Players on All-NFC North Team

The Vikings were well-represented on the All-NFC North team, a group put together by a panel of writers at ESPN.com.

Minnesota landed 10 players on the team, which tied with Green Bay for the most selections.

The majority of Minnesota's players came on defense, where the Vikings ranked third in yards allowed per game (314.9) and sixth in points allowed per game (19.2).

ESPN.com wrote:

Three of the top four sack leaders in the division made the team: Minnesota defensive ends Everson Griffen (8.0) and Danielle Hunter (12.5) and Green Bay linebacker Nick Perry (11.0). The division's interception leaders, Minnesota cornerback Xavier Rhodes and Green Bay safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, also made the team.

The Vikings also had a pair of linebackers on the list in Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr. Kendricks led the Vikings with 126 total tackles (according to the coaches' tally), while Barr was named to his second straight Pro Bowl.

A pair of other Vikings Pro Bowlers — safety Harrison Smith and defensive tackle Linval Joseph — were also honored by the four writers.

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph was Minnesota's lone representative on offense. Rudolph set career highs with 83 catches and 840 yards, and added seven touchdowns.

Minnesota also had a pair of special teamers who were recognized.

Rookie linebacker Kentrell Brothers was honored for his play on special teams after recording nine tackles.

And Cordarrelle Patterson — another Vikings Pro Bowl selection — was an unanimous selection as the division's top returner after he led the NFL with a kickoff return average of 31.7 yards.

Robison gives advice on eve of Signing Day

National Signing Day is Wednesday, a day when high school seniors make a decision on where to play college football.

Members of the Vikings were in the same position in the past, so Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune took a look at how their rankings played out over time.

Krammer, who chatted with Vikings defensive end Brian Robison (a three-star recruit), wrote:

You don't need to look beyond the Vikings roster to see examples of the unheralded paths taken to the NFL by players both driven and fortunate enough to stand above the crowd. That's the case across the league with Sunday's Super Bowl littered with two-star recruits like Falcons center Alex Mack and unrated prospects such as Patriots receiver Chris Hogan, a Monmouth product.

"It doesn't really matter what these recruiting services put on what type of athlete you are — three stars, two stars or five stars — it really doesn't matter," Robison said. "It's about what you do when you're there."

This isn't a critique of the recruiting ratings system, which can be a relatively reliable barometer for future success. The Vikings field a handful of former five-star recruits, and most of them, such as Adrian Peterson, Stefon Diggs, Everson Griffen and Kyle Rudolph, proved to be worth the high marks bestowed upon them as teenagers.

But for many, including Robison, the ratings create chips on shoulders as the players are compared with their peers. Robison instantly recalled being tabbed a "three star" and assessing some of the five-star recruits he'd known back in 2002. Some prospects are even being judged at positions they may never play for their college and/or professional teams.

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