News | Minnesota Vikings – vikings.com
EAGAN, Minn. – Several Vikings rookies are already making an immediate impact in the NFL.
Last week, receiver Jordan Addison became the 20th receiver since 1970 to catch a touchdown in each of his first two games. On Thursday, Pro Football Focus named undrafted rookie linebacker Ivan Pace, Jr., one of the five highest graded first-year players in the league through two weeks.
Pace, the only undrafted player to make this list, again finds himself ranked among the league’s best rookie defenders, having previously come in at 11th on this list after Week 1.
Similarly to his first outing, Pace wasn’t the most efficient coverage or run-stuffing backer, but his appeal as a pass-rusher is undoubtedly there. Through the first two weeks of play, Pace has produced a massive 53.3% pass-rush win rate on his way to earning a 90.0-plus pass-rush grade in each contest. While the workload is limited, expect to see more of Pace moving forward.
The only rookies rated higher than Pace are Eagles defensive tackle Jalen Carter, Colts tight end Will Mallory and Falcons running back Bijan Robinson.
Pace graded out ahead of Rams receiver Puka Nacua, Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez and Lions tight end Sam LaPorta.
Click here to read all Pro Football Focus’s Top 15 highest graded players.
ESPN Grades Vikings Trade for Running Back Cam Akers
On Wednesday the Vikings announced an agreement to trade for running back Cam Akers.
Here is what ESPN writer Seth Walder wrote about the deal:
Even before the trade, Akers’ career has been a disappointment — in terms of both on-field production and a right Achilles injury that robbed him of most of his 2021 season. On the field, he had negative rush yards over expectation (RYOE) in every season of his career, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He adds little in the receiving game, with just 27 regular-season receptions and one score. So why the B+ here?
The player he will compete with for playing time in Minnesota is similar: Alexander Mattison has carried the ball 19 times for 62 yards as the Vikings lead back this season. He had negative RYOE in 2021, 2022 and through two games this season. Last season, Mattison recorded minus-42 RYOE, and Akers had minus-14.
Rams get: 2026 conditional sixth-round pick
Vikings get: Akers, 2026 conditional seventh-round pick
Grade for the Vikings: B+
Labeling Akers career a disappointment is a bit unwarranted. In 15 career starts and 30 total games played, he has scored 10 touchdowns. In two 2021 playoff games, Akers averaged 110.5 yards and one touchdown per contest. He was a key contributor to the Rams Super Bowl LVI victory. During that championship run (four games), Akers recorded 67 carries for 172 yards.
For more from ESPN’s analytical breakdown of the Rams-Vikings trade, click here.
NFL.com highlights Jordan Addison as a Week 3 Fantasy Football Sleeper
Vikings fans are already familiar with Jordan Addison. But back-to-back scoring weeks has put the 21-year-old rookie receiver on Fantasy Football radars nationwide.
NFL.com writer Marcas Grant named Addison his top receiving sleeper for Week 3.
Jordan Addison isn’t a secret. He’s rostered in almost 98 percent of NFL.com fantasy leagues. But while fantasy managers are aware of Addison, it seems they don’t trust him. He was started in fewer than a third of fantasy leagues last week. That number is about to change.
The rookie has had 60-plus yards and a touchdown in each of his first two games. It’s gone relatively unnoticed because they’re already engraving Puka Nacua’s name on the Fantasy Rookie of the Year trophy. But it’s been a great start to the season for Addison. That shouldn’t change this week against the Chargers. Los Angeles has been in a pair of high-scoring games and has given up some big plays in the passing game. Kirk Cousins has shown a willingness to take downfield shots with Addison. That should be a big part of Minnesota’s Week 3 plan of attack. He’s a strong WR2 candidate this week.
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