5 Minnesota Vikings make NFL's top 100 players list

Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints is pursued by Danielle Hunter #99 of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 05, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. ((Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images))

The NFL’s top 100 players list is out, and there are five Minnesota Vikings players on it. The list comes out annually, and is voted on by the players themselves.

In a bit of a surprise, recent Super Bowl champion and MVP Patrick Mahomes was ranked fourth on the list, behind Aaron Donald, Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson. There were no Vikings in the top 20.

Here’s a look at who made the list, and where they were ranked.

No. 21 – Dalvin Cook

The Vikings’ top ranked player at No. 21 on the NFL’s top 100 list is currently in a bit of an awkward position with the team. Dalvin Cook reported to Training Camp earlier this week, after saying in the off-season he was opting out of team meetings and workouts until he can work out a new contract with the team. Cook is currently in the final year of his rookie deal, and making about $1.3 million for the 2020 season.

Cook ran for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Vikings last season. He also was the No. 2 receiver for Kirk Cousins with 53 catches for 519 yards, nearly 10 yards per catch.

No. 40 – Danielle Hunter

At No. 40 on the NFL’s top 100 list, Danielle Hunter is poised to become the leader of the Vikings’ defensive line in 2020. That’s with Linval Joseph and Stephen Weatherly gone in the off-season, and Michael Pierce opting out due to Covid-19 concerns. Hunter was a force at defensive end last season with 14.5 sacks, and became the fastest player in NFL history to at least 50 sacks in his first five seasons. Hunter finished with 70 tackles, and three forced fumbles.

Hunter is a two-time Pro Bowl pick and entering his sixth NFL season.

No. 59 – Kirk Cousins

Coming in at No. 59 on the top 100 list, Kirk Cousins worked out an extension in the off-season to remain in Minnesota for three more seasons at $96 million. Cousins earned his first career playoff win as a starter last season, leading the Vikings past the Saints in New Orleans in the Wild Card round. He was a Pro Bowl selection last year after passing for 3,603 yards and 26 touchdowns, with just six interceptions while completing 69 percent of his passes. Cousins has 56 touchdowns in two seasons with the Vikings, and has at least 25 touchdown passes in five straight seasons.

No. 64 – Harrison Smith

One of the leaders of the Vikings’ defensive backfield comes in at No. 64 on the NFL’s top 100 list. Harrison Smith had 85 tackles, four tackles for a loss, two quarterback hits and a sack in 15 starts last season. He added three interceptions, forced three fumbles and had two fumble recoveries. Smith is one piece of one of the best safety duos in the NFL, alongside Anthony Harris.

Smith has been voted to the Pro Bowl five straight seasons, and was named an All-Pro in 2017.

No. 83 – Eric Kendricks

The ranking might feel a little low, but Eric Kendricks is one of the core leaders of the Vikings’ defense and comes in at No. 83 on the NFL’s top 100. Kendricks led the Vikings’ defense last season with 110 tackles, including four tackles for a loss, two quarterback hits and a half sack. In 15 starts, Kendricks had 12 passes defended, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was always around the football, and makes for one of the top linebacker duos in the NFL with Anthony Barr.

Kendricks was named to his first Pro Bowl last season, and was also selected All-Pro.

The Vikings reported to TCO Performance Center for Training Camp earlier this week. The regular season opener is set for Sept. 13 against the Green Bay Packers.