The Minnesota Vikings have a lot of players that may either flop or flourish this upcoming NFL season as we look at an early 2017 season outlook.
As we gear up for the start of the 2017 NFL season I took a look at the future of the Minnesota Vikings. This is a young team with a potentially great defense and an offense that can be explosive at times. Unfortunately towards the end of the 16′ season the were lackluster at best.
This is your Flop or Flourish list of the 2017 Minnesota Vikings.
Flourish: DE Danielle Hunter
Danielle Hunter is looking to be the biggest steal of the 2015 draft when he was selected number 88 overall. Hunter is mentored by elder defensive end Brian Robison, but this year Robison will be taking the backseat. Hunter has 18.5 sacks in only two seasons and as previously mentioned, he was playing behind Brian Robison. Pretty eye-popping numbers for a young 22-year-old. I believe Hunter has a bright future with no ceilings, meaning the sky is the limit and anything is possible for him. I am predicting a 10+ sack year from Danielle Hunter in 2017.
Flop: CB Terrance Newman
At age 38, Terrance Newman is going to keep trying to play one of the hardest positions in football. Although Newman had a pretty good year defensively in 2016, I believe that his physicality and abilities aren’t where they once were. In 2016, Newman served as a 2nd tier corner behind young blossoming star, Xavier Rhodes. The duo offered up as a tough tandem to tangle combining for two top 10 corner spots last year and one of the best cover corner duos on third down. While seeing Terrance Newman play well would be ideal,lowering expectations of him in his 16th NFL season is much more practical.
Flourish: QB Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford is coming off a historic 2016 NFL season where he completed 71.6% of his passes and beat Drew Brees’ previous record of 71.2% that was set in 2011. Bradford could potentially be an MVP caliber Quarterback if the Vikings offensive line can protect him. The Vikings have already made adjustments to the o-line this offseason with the addition of Mike Remmers and Riley Reiff. The two newcomers are looking to keep Bradford safe in 17′ making Bradford a breakout candidate. Bradford, selected number 1 overall by the Rams in 2010, still has the arm strength, talent, and all the intangibles to make him a successful QB in the NFL. We got a little glimpse of that in 2016. Predictions for Bradford in 2017 are 18+ TDs, 3,200+ yards, 8 INTS.
Flop: RB Jerick McKinnon
Jerick McKinnon saw quite a bit of playing time with Adrian Peterson out most of 2016 with a knee injury. He put up career highs in multiple categories, but with the addition of veteran running backs Latavius Murray and rookie Dalvin Cook McKinnon got bumped to the back of the line. Cook will earn the starting spot eventually, and Murray will become the goal line running back, thus leaving McKinnon with less touches. He will still see the field on passing situations and some WildCat formation they dabbled with last year. McKinnon will be lucky to in 2017 to reach 300 yards rushing, 350 yards receiving, and 2 TDs. If he can put up that stat line his season will be a success.
Flourish: WR Laquon Treadwell
Laquon Treadwell had a rough rookie season only seeing the field a handful of times in 2016. Some think that the Vikings have a deep receiving core and that would be true. Stefon Diggs headlines, and Adam Thielen shadows. That leaves one question, where is Treadwell going to fit? Treadwell is a big body receiver who is very capable of being a red zone target if utilized properly. Treadwell will play more this season and he will be a viable red zone option with his big frame. The Vikings could elect to put Diggs in the slot on a 3 WR set, thus allowing Thielen and Treadwell to be outside threats and spread the field with Diggs’ speed in the slot. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has options for the passing game and legitimate threats that could shred defenses. It’ll be fun to watch the Vikings offense in 2017 if they can get it figured out, because the defense is ready to do their part.
The Minnesota Vikings will be hoping that there are more flourishes than flops out of this bunch.