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5 Vikings land in ESPN's top-100 players of 2023

Danielle Hunter at No. 70 is the 12th best edge rusher on ESPN's ranking

The Vikings landed five players in ESPN's annual top-100 list for the 2023 season, the second most in the NFC North.

After a disappointing 0-3 start the Vikings bounced back to .500 before eventually limping to a 7-10 finish. Despite the roller coaster of a year, that featured plenty of key injuries, the Vikings still had outstanding performances throughout the season.

Both starting tackles were in ESPN's top-100 with Brian O'Neill ranked at No. 55, followed by Christian Darrisaw at No. 86.

Returning from a season-ending Achilles injury in 2022, O'Neill played in 14 games for the Vikings. His 73.4 passing grade was 24th best out of all tackles in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. His 71.7 run blocking grade was 22nd in the league.

Darrisaw continued to impress as one of the best tackles in the league. The third-year left tackle finished the season with the second-best pass block grade in the NFL (85.3), only behind Dallas' Tyron Smith. Darrisaw had the 16th best run blocking grade among tackles at 73.9.

Pass rusher Danielle Hunter came in at No. 70 on ESPN's ranking, good for 12th best among pass rushers. The 29-year-old had a career year in Brian Flores' defense, accumulating 16.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. Hunter's 80 total pressures was ninth among edge rushers, according to PFF.

Despite missing seven games due to a hamstring injury, star receiver Justin Jefferson comes in at No. 88. Jefferson surpassed 1,000 yards despite playing just 10 games in 2023.

Swiss-army knife Josh Metellus was the final Viking to make the top-100, coming in at No. 90. Metellus had a breakout season for Minnesota, totaling 116 tackles, 2.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and an interception. Flores used Metellus all over the field throughout the season.

Metellus snap counts (according to PFF)

  • Free safety - 55
  • Slot corner - 396
  • Corner - 29
  • Defensive line - 206
  • In the box - 377

Minnesota's five players in the top 100 is second most in the NFC North. The Detroit Lions had six players make the list. The Bears had four players on the list while Jordan Love was the only member of the Packers in the top 100.