Minnesota Vikings: 5 Players Who Could Make Their First Pro Bowl in 2011
It seems like every season, the Minnesota Vikings send the same cast of characters to the Pro Bowl.
Every year we see the likes of Peterson, Harvin, Williams (x2) and Steve Hutchinson take part in the most irrelevant game in sports. It's an honor for most of these players to get acknowledged for their hard play during the season.
In 2011, the Vikings look to rebound from a dreadful 2010 campaign and hopefully will be sending a few new faces to Hawaii in February.
Lets take a look at five Vikings that could be getting lei'd after the 2011 NFL season
Phil Loadholt, Offensive Tackle
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Loadholt is coming into his third year with the Vikings and is looking to become a force on a pretty weak offensive line. The 6'8" 343 lbs behemoth has put up pedestrian numbers in his first two years in the league but could become a Pro Bowler with new offensive line coach Jeff Davidson.
The former second-round draft pick out of Oklahoma State has been criticized for his slow footwork, but his ability to push defenders around and dominate the line with his size, which makes him a scary threat. Loadholt will only get better and could be a Pro Bowl right tackle in 2011.
Husain Abdullah, Defensive Back
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Abdullah did pretty well in his first year as a starter for the Vikings, contrary to what most people think. In 15 games, Abdullah had 75 tackles and tied for the team lead in interceptions with three.
Abdullah has yet to prove that he can be a star at the safety position, but he has proven that he can be effective and has the ability to make plays.
Coming into his fourth year in the NFL, Abdullah will most likely start again for the Vikings as Leslie Frazier likes his work ethic and believes he can get the job done. Being pushed by rookie Mistral Raymond, who has caused a buzz around Skol Nation, Abdullah will have to work hard to succeed in 2011. His efforts could lead him to high interception and tackle totals and a possible Pro Bowl in 2011. Be scared Aaron Rodgers.
Chris Kluwe, Punter
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I know the punter isn't the sexiest pick for a Pro Bowl, but Kluwe has a great shot at making the game in 2011. The Vikings punter is outspoken, nerdy and way too obsessed with video games, but man can he punt a football.
Kluwe punted 32 balls in 2010 that landed inside the 20-yard line which was top five in the NFL. His punts also only gave up 243 return yards, which was second in the NFL for punters with more then 70 punts.
Kluwe has placed himself as one of the top punters in the league. Do not be surprised if his ability to keep opposing offenses locked in their own territory garnishes him a spot on the 2011 NFC Pro Bowl team
Lorenzo Booker, Running Back/Return Man
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This may be the biggest surprise on the list, but Booker can shock a lot of people in 2011.
Signed from the UFL in 2010, Booker came on to the Vikings squad and made an immediate impact midway through last season.
Booker is a speedy threat who will definitely compete for the third-down running back spot. His running ability is not what will lead him to the Pro Bowl though.
What gives him Pro Bowl ability is his electrifying return skills that can cause him to score off of any kickoff. Look for Lorenzo Booker to weave through opposing special teams next season and become the 2011 NFC Pro Bowl kick return man.
Chad Greenway, Linebacker
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Chad Greenway is probably the most obvious Viking on this list. Greenway, in my eyes, has been a Pro Bowl snub the last two seasons. His play has been stellar, and he has been one of the most underrated linebackers in the league.
Greenway was fourth in the NFL in total tackles in 2010 and somehow did not find his way onto the Pro Bowl roster.
Greenway has been quickly improving every year he's been in the league. Now receiving tutelage from new linebackers coach Mike Singletary, Greenway will cement his name as a star linebacker in the NFL and as a perennial Pro Bowler for years to come.