The Minnesota Vikings produced seven Pro Bowlers in 2012: Adrian Peterson, Jerome Felton, Kyle Rudolph, Matt Kalil, Jared Allen, Chad Greenway, and Blair Walsh.
At this current point in the offseason I will predict who will be doing the hula come January and who will be heating up their popcorn.
First off, I think every NFL fan with at least half a brain knows that Adrian Peterson will be a Pro Bowler next season.
At the quarterback position I don’t see Christian Ponder making the cut this year. He lacks the consistency of the five quarterbacks who get picked every year. Although I believe Ponder will have a solid season, his game management style of play just won’t be enough to get voters talking. Sorry Christian, maybe next year.
In the backfield, other than AP we have Jerome Felton. Felton is a guy who has shown an immediate impact with the team replacing Tony Richardson of late. I believe he gets in again due to the fact he blocks for the freak of nature that is Adrian Peterson.
I believe Greg Jennings will be healthy most of this season and will get himself into the Pro Bowl. He is a well respected player who will see plenty of votes if he has one of his more consistent seasons. Along with Jennings, I like Cordarrelle Patterson a lot. In my last article I discussed how his speed and playmaking ability will help the Vikings. I also believe he becomes a household name by December. Tight end Kyle Rudolph is in again. I agree with a lot of analysts who think Rudolph is about to explode next season. Last season he was incredible and will only get better as he develops his relationship with Ponder.
When it comes to the offensive line I see Matt Kalil and John Sullivan being surefire Pro Bowlers next season. I’m willing to put my life on it. I advise Vikings fans to do the same.
Blair Walsh has already broken out. Last season was amazing watching the rookie win games for the team. I expect him to only get better and kick some more bombs for the Vikings and the NFC team. Yes I said it, Blair Walsh two years in a row.
Jared Allen will represent the Vikings and the NFC in the Pro Bowl without a doubt. He consistently gets it done and is a fan favorite. Kevin Williams, although he is getting up there in age gets in for the sheer fact he’s been in the league for such a long time. My sleeper next season is Brian Robison who has been progressing the past few seasons into a solid defensive end opposite of Allen. This would be Robison’s first career Pro Bowl appearance with the Vikings.
I expect Chad Greenway and Harrison Smith to shine in the secondary next season and get a ton of votes. My other sleeper on defense is rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes. I really like his size and I expect the secondary to produce big plays with the help of Rhodes. He is the one guy I am unsure about, but after all this is a projection.
Two guys in my eyes who will have great seasons with the Vikings but fall short on the ballots are Erin Henderson and Desmond Bishop. I believe they will be left out for two reasons: They will be moving around a lot and will also be splitting time. This will cause them to get less exposure in games, but collectively produce together at linebacker.
Total Minnesota Viking Pro Bowlers: 14
My numbers may be inflated a bit, I admit. I based the selections off of last year’s performance and how I think the players will project this upcoming season. If I felt a player was snubbed last season I included them. This can be a deep playoff year for the Vikings and I expect many eyes to be on the purple and gold.
Hopefully by the end of the season, none of these guys will be playing in the Pro Bowl because the Vikings are Super Bowl bound.