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Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen Snubbed in Top-10 Rankings at Their Positions

The Vikings' quarterback and top wide receiver were disrespected in CBS Sports' position rankings.

Based on production and talent, I think it's pretty clear that Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen are top-ten players at their respective positions.

The good people at CBS Sports would disagree with me. They recently came out with top-ten rankings for every position in the NFL, and neither Cousins nor Thielen made the cut at QB and WR.

Let's start with Cousins. He was listed as "just missed the cut" along with Aaron Rodgers, Kyler Murray, Matt Ryan, and Jimmy Garoppolo. Here was the top-ten list from CBS's Sean Wagner-McGough:

  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Lamar Jackson
  3. Russell Wilson
  4. Drew Brees
  5. Dak Prescott
  6. Deshaun Watson
  7. Matthew Stafford
  8. Carson Wentz
  9. Tom Brady
  10. Ben Roethlisberger

In my opinion, there's a very clear top five at the quarterback position right now: Mahomes, Jackson, Wilson, Brees, and Watson. Then there's a jumble of players in contention for the 6-10 spots, which includes Prescott, Wentz, Rodgers, Ryan, Brady, Cousins, and Stafford.

Given their age and recent numbers, I don't think Brady or Roethlisberger belong in the top ten at this point. And I think Cousins secures his spot by being notably more productive than the entire aforementioned group over the past two seasons.

Since joining the Vikings in 2018, Cousins leads Rodgers, Ryan, Prescott, Wentz, and Stafford in passer rating and completion percentage. He's second to Ryan in touchdowns and second to Prescott in adjusted net yards per attempt. Across the board, he has the best efficiency numbers. Period.

Cousins isn't perfect, as he struggles with making plays outside of the pocket. But his decision-making and accuracy, especially on deep passes, puts him firmly in the top ten.

Read More

NFC North QB Rankings: Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers or Matthew Stafford at No. 1?

On to Thielen. Not only did he not make the top ten, but he wasn't even one of six receivers mentioned in the "final cuts" section of Jared Dubin's WR rankings for CBS Sports. That means that Dubin doesn't think Thielen is a top-16 receiver in the NFL, which is patently absurd.

I understand that Thielen missed half of last season with a hamstring injury, but that doesn't take away from his talent. Focus on 2017 and 2018 and you'll find that over that time span, Thielen was fourth in the NFL in receptions and sixth in receiving yards, though he was only 14 yards away from being fourth in yards as well. 

Thielen established himself as a truly elite player at the position during those two seasons. Because of his combination of size, route-running, and contested-catch ability, he was virtually impossible to cover for even the best cornerbacks in the game. That hasn't changed just because he got hurt last season. Yes, he'll be 30 this year, but that's not likely to slow him down. Julio Jones, Larry Fitzgerald, and Antonio Brown are just a few example of players who hit 30 and kept producing at extremely high levels.

Some of the other players in Dubin's top ten or "final cuts" were Amari Cooper, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Lockett, Allen Robinson, and Robert Woods. I would take Thielen over every single one of those players. I completely expect him to remind people of how good he is this season, even with Stefon Diggs no longer around. The former MSU Mankato star is a top-ten receiver in the NFL and I don't think that's even up for debate.

Ranking the NFC North Wide Receiver Rooms For 2020

Check out all of our Vikings 2020 season preview content right here.

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