The Minnesota Vikings had a good showing in Bleacher Report’s Top 1000 project this season, which employs a team of their own hand-picked experts to grade each player at each position every week. Those experts grade exclusively using the All-22 film released later in the week and are asked to ignore statistics in their grading process.
They’ve just released their aggregate midseason grades, and the Vikings are dominant.
While I personally have had issues with some of the individual weekly grades throughout the course of the project, they’ve done good and exhaustive work.
The Vikings tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for having the most players in the top 50, with four—though one of those players may surprise you.
As expected, Harrison Smith showed up on the list, ranking 34th overall between Ndamukong Suh and Tom Brady. One could also reasonably imagine Sam Bradford making the list, and he did—at 32.
One player that may not have immediately come to mind is Eric Kendricks, but though his game against the Chicago Bears was worrisome, his overall ability in coverage allowed him to check in at 39th overall.
And the name you may not have seen coming? Sharrif Floyd. His limited time on the field showed so much to the evaluators at the Bleacher Report that he ranked just above Sam Bradford—and every other Viking—at 31st overall.
Bradford is the third-ranked quarterback, behind only Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton. Other top five players at their position include Everson Griffen (number two), Harrison Smith (number two), Eric Kendricks (number three), Sharrif Floyd (number four) and Anthony Barr (number five).
There were other top ten players, too, including Kyle Rudolph (number seven), Danielle Hunter (number seven) and Joe Berger (number ten). While Zach Line ranked tenth overall, it was in a class of 20 fullbacks.
Linval Joseph and Andrew Sendejo barely missed the top ten cut at defensive tackle and strong safety respectively—but if Joseph was given the same consideration Sendejo was by splitting the defensive tackle positions into nose tackle and three-technique, then he would have ranked second or third among his peers.
There were other high-ranking players, like Stefon Diggs, Brian Robison and Xavier Rhodes, while Griffen and Smith were given special recognition as the best pass-rusher and best slot defender in their position groups respectively.
The defensive line overall was absolutely dominant, while the offensive line was the exact opposite. It’s well worth checking out.