They’re coming! Vikings young, on rise

The Vikings rank fourth with talented players 25 and under, according to ESPN.

The NFL is a young man’s game and, if you believe ESPN Insider Matt Williamson, the Vikings have some of the best young men in the NFL moving forward.

As part of one of the first looks to the 2015 season, Williamson ranked the 32 NFL teams by who has the best five players under the age of 25 as of Jan. 1 of this year. The Vikings finished fourth on the list, despite the exclusion of Xavier Rhodes from the list. The Vikings listed were Anthony Barr (age 22), Teddy Bridgewater (22), Sharrif Floyd (23), Harrison Smith (25) and Kyle Rudolph (25).

Williamson explained leaving Rhodes off the list by saying that Rudolph’s size and receiving skills are just what Bridgewater needs to develop into an upper-echelon QB.

Indianapolis ranked first with QB Andrew Luck, WR T.Y. Hilton, TE Dwayne Allen, G Jack Mewhort and LB Bjoern Werner. New England ranked second with TE Rob Gronkowski, LBs Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower, DE Chandler Jones and DT Dominique Easley. St. Louis finished third with DE Robert Quinn, DTs Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald, OT Greg Robinson and RB Tre Mason.

The criteria listed for the rankings included positional value, durability and contract status, with a special emphasis placed on the potential of having a franchise quarterback.

It may be little consolation for a 7-9 Vikings team, but with the youth infusion of the Vikings’ current roster, which didn’t include Rhodes, Matt Kalil or Cordarrelle Patterson as potential long-term component pieces, the rest of the league is taking notice that the Vikings are a team on the rise for 2015.

WEDNESDAY NOTES

  • According to multiple reports, wide receiver Duron Carter, the son of former Viking Cris Carter, is going to sign with the Indianapolis Colts once CFL free agents are allowed to sign with the NFL. While nothing can officially be announced, the story is that Carter will choose Indy over the Vikings, who were deemed the other primary finalist to land him.

  • Brett Favre will be part of Super Bowl Sunday, as he joins Rex Lee, who reprises his role as Lloyd from the HBO series Entourage as Favre’s agent. Favre delivers some self-deprecating humor about whether his agent (Lee) can find him a job in the CFL or the Arena League. He responds to Favre that he should create his own website at Wix.com, which includes short vignettes of Terrell Owens’ “T.O.’s Humble Pie” website, Emmitt Smith’s bar “Emmitt’s Double Deuce,” Franco Harris’ wedding planning site “Immaculate Receptions” and Larry Allen’s one-man towing company “Larry Allen All-Pro Tow.” Favre’s idea is called “Favre and Carve,” which Favre describes by saying, “It’s Charcuterie.”

  • By a strange twist of fate, two former Vikings will be in the main event at Wrestlemania XXXI – Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. Lesnar quit the WWE in 2004 to give the NFL a try, despite not playing football since high school. While he had his moments in the his short stint with the Vikings in the 2004 preseason, he didn’t survive the final cuts. Reigns, whose real name is Joe Anoa’i, was an undrafted free agent in 2007. Viking Update interviewed Anoa’i during that training camp and asked him about his wrestling lineage – his father was one of the WWF’s Wild Samoans and he is cousins with such wrestling greats as The Rock, Rikishi, Umaga, Yokozuna and the Uso Brothers. Like Lesnar, Anoa’i was among the final cuts in 2007. Years later, there will be a reason for Vikings fans to be invested in the main event of Wrestlemania, which will pit Lesnar, the current WWE champion, with Reigns, who earned the right to meet Lesnar by winning the Royal Rumble Sunday.


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