4 Vikings that Can Make Their First Pro Bowls in 2023

Vikings Draft Thermometer: WR Jordan Addison
Sep 24, 2022; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) makes a catch for a touchdown against the Oregon State Beavers in the second half at Reser Stadium. The touchdown was the game winner as Trojans defeated Beavers 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have benefited from a number of star players headlining their franchise over the years. This is no different in 2023. As much as folks will talk about the talent of Justin Jefferson, Danielle Hunter, and Harrison Smith, there are plenty of up-and-coming players that have been a bit under the radar on the roster. Today, we’re going to take a look at four Vikings that can make their first Pro Bowls in 2023.

LT Christian Darrisaw

Vikings LT Christian Darrisaw
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

After starting only 10 games during his rookie season of 2021, former first-round pick Christian Darrisaw took massive leaps and bounds forward during his second season in 2022. Amongst all offensive linemen last year, Darrisaw was given the third-highest grade by Pro Football Focus, trailing only Falcons guard Chris Lindstrom and 49ers left tackle Trent Williams.

Given the talent across the NFC at the tackle position, it was always going to be tough for Darrisaw to break through into the Pro Bowl roster in 2022. However, if he can put together another impressive year in 2023 at the same caliber as last season, perhaps he can find himself at the Pro Bowl this year.

OLB Marcus Davenport

Oct 20, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport (92) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Davenport finds himself with a very interesting opportunity in 2023. To this point in his career, the pass rusher has been a rather inconsistent player, having three seasons with fewer than five sacks over his five-year career. However, he did have a strong campaign in 2021, recording nine sacks over the course of just 11 games.

With Za’Darius Smith out in Minnesota, and some question as to whether or not Danielle Hunter could leave the team as well, there is a very real possibility that Davenport becomes Minnesota’s OLB1 by the time September rolls around. If he can continue to pile up pressures while also turning these pressures into higher sack totals, he could break through and find himself in the Pro Bowl.

RB Alexander Mattison

First Pro Bowls
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) reacts after losing a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings have had a Pro Bowl running back more often than not over the past 15 years, but Dalvin Cook, a four-time selection to the event, is no longer on the roster. Instead, the RB1 duties appear to be headed Alexander Mattison’s way in 2023. The fifth-year veteran has been in Minnesota for his entire career since being drafted out of Boise State, but he has never been given more than 166 touches in a season. His total of 89 in 2022 was also a career-low.

There are plenty of question marks surrounding the Vikings running game heading into the new season. Do Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, and DeWayne McBride have roles in the offense? Will Alexander Mattison be converted into a bell cow back? How many touches will RBs get in the first place? It does appear that the Vikings are going to try and get their RBs more involved this season, though. If that is indeed the case, Mattison has the first chance to continue Minnesota’s historic success at the running back spot.

WR Jordan Addison

Vikings Select WR Jordan Addison
Oct 1, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) runs away from Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back D.J. Taylor (3) for a first down in the first half at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Thielen is out, Jordan Addison is in. That seems to be the assumption from many, anyway, that Addison will step in and take the WR2 job this year. Of course, K.J. Osborn will have something to say about that, and we can’t forget T.J. Hockenson at tight end, either.

However, Addison does have the talent to be a sure-handed receiver at the NFL level. He is a smooth route runner, can play either on the boundary or in the slot, and after struggling with some drop problems early in his collegiate career, he seemed to get much better in 2022. Justin Jefferson immediately jumped into the Pro Bowl following his rookie season, so can the newest young WR in Minnesota follow suit?

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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