3 Vikings in top-10 Pro Bowl balloting

The wins are down and so is the popularity of Vikings players in fan voting for the Pro Bowl. Only three Vikings are in the top 10 of their position in Pro Bowl voting, and only one is in the top three after sending seven players to the Pro Bowl from last season.

The Vikings have one player in the top 10 overall in voting for the 2014 Pro Bowl, but after that the pickings are slim in the top 10 vote-getters at each position.

Adrian Peterson is one of four running backs in the top 10 players among fan voting for the Pro Bowl, joining Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks, Jamaal Charles of the Chiefs and LeSean McCoy of the Eagles. Peterson is third among running backs and sixth overall.

Quarterback Peyton Manning of the Broncos and Drew Brees of the Saints lead the overall voting.

Last year, the Vikings had seven players named to the Pro Bowl – Jared Allen, Jerome Felton, Chad Greenway, Matt Kalil, Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph and Blair Walsh. Peterson and Felton were named starters to the NFC squad.

This year, the selection process is "unconferenced" – fans, coaches and players will vote in prospective players not based on the standard AFC-NFC format.

Peterson had over 596,000 votes in the tallies released last week. It was a rare top-10 ranking among Vikings early in the voting process.

Last year's Pro Bowl MVP, Kyle Rudolph of the Vikings, didn't make the top 10 of the tight ends. He hasn't played since Nov. 3 and was placed on season-ending injured reserve Monday.

Center John Sullivan still hasn't earned recognition as a Pro Bowler and he, too, isn't among the top 10 centers in fan voting. Neither is any other Minnesota offensive lineman, including left tackle Kalil, who made the Pro Bowl last year.

Sullivan has an annual $500,000 escalator in his contract if he were to become a Pro Bowl player but admitted during the offseason it probably wasn't the best contractual move for him.

Felton also made the Pro Bowl last year, but he, like Rudolph, isn't even in the top in fan voting while two fullbacks, Carolina's Mike Tolbert and Cleveland's Chris Ogbonnaya, each had more than 190,000 votes (10th place Anthony Sherman had less than 55,000 votes).

Allen is fifth among defensive ends, registering more than 211,000 votes, but he was still about 67,000 votes short of the leader at the position, Houston's J.J. Watt, with Buffalo's Mario Williams, St. Louis' Robert Quinn and New England's Chandler Jones between them.

Despite Greenway making the Pro Bowl cut last year, he was only 10th in fan voting three weeks ago when the initial tallies were released and has since fallen out of the top 10. Kansas City's Tamba Hali led the outside linebackers with more than 233,000 votes as of last week, and four linebackers had in excess of 200,000 votes.

It's hardly a surprise that the Vikings don't have a player in the top 10 at cornerback or safety given their performance and/or injury struggles there.

Walsh, who set a record last year as a rookie by making all 10 of his field goal attempts from 50 yards or more, is not in the top 10 for voting. New England's Stephen Gostkowski leads the position with more than 150,000 votes and Buffalo's Dan Carpenter is 10th with more than 36,000, meaning Walsh would have to make a dramatic comeback in fan voting to be a serious contender.

The last Viking in a position to be a contender for the fan voting portion is kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson, who had 71,690 votes when they were tallied last week. That was good for fifth place among returners, but well behind leaders Devin Hester and Trindon Holliday, who each had more than 140,000 votes.

The fan balloting will conclude Dec. 26, prior to the final week of regular-season games. The players will be announced Dec. 27, but won't know until January which team they've been selected to. The week leading up to the Pro Bowl, a draft will be held of the available players to make up the lineups.

The Pro Bowl will be played Jan. 26, 2014.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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