The NFL completed another of its belabored offseason lists this weekend, finishing off its list of 25 NFL non-rookies that are expected to “Make the Leap” to the big time of the NFL in 2014.
The list concluded with the selection of Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson as the No. 1 player expected to make the leap. But he was also the third Viking selected to the list, joining defensive end Everson Griffen (No. 13) and cornerback Xavier Rhodes (No. 24).
What made this trio of Vikings unique is that, of the 25 honorees, the Vikings were the only one with three players on the list. Jacksonville also had three, but only two of them were players – safety Johnathan Cyprien (No. 6), running back Toby Gerhart (No. 8) and head coach Gus Bradley (No. 18).
Pittsburgh had two players named to the list (RB Le’Veon Bell at No. 4 and WR Markus Wheaton (No. 20), as did New Orleans (safety Kenny Vaccaro at No. 2 and RB Khiry Robinson at No. 19).
The remainder of the list was made up of one member from 15 different teams – Arizona, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, New England, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee and Washington.
Whether there is anything to be made by the Vikings standing above the rest of the NFL’s 32 teams with multiple players ready to make the big leap forward in 2014 is up to fans to determine. But considering the list didn’t include players like Harrison Smith, Matt Kalil and Sharrif Floyd, there is plenty of reason for optimism that the Vikings might be on the cusp of something big.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.