/Minnesota Vikings: 5 best rookie seasons of the Mike Zimmer era
Minnesota Vikings: 5 best rookie seasons of the Mike Zimmer era

Minnesota Vikings: 5 best rookie seasons of the Mike Zimmer era

Minnesota Vikings: 5 best rookie seasons of the Mike Zimmer era

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Minnesota Vikings on the clock at the NFL Draft

Which Minnesota Vikings rookies have made the most impact in their rookie campaigns since Mike Zimmer took over?

The Minnesota Vikings have drafted seventy-four rookies in six drafts since Mike Zimmer was hired as team’s head coach on Jan. 15, 2014. Many others have auditioned (and sometimes contributed) as undrafted personnel.

In a retroactive analysis of past drafts, it’s vital to weigh sheer contribution to the team versus what was expected from the player from the onset (i.e. how much draft capital was spent). Players have often been coined as “steals” if selected in later rounds–as opposed to players who simply “play up” to their draft projection.

Five Vikings players since 2014 have particularly stood out. Several were on the bubble, so to speak. Here are the honorable mentions: Jerick McKinnon (2014), Charles Johnson (2014), Pat Elflein (2017), Irv Smith Jr. (2019), and Alexander Mattison (2019).

As for the illustrious five seasons, they are ranked from good-to-best.