Another Vikings player was recognized today in the latest installment of ESPN's NFL Rank project -- an effort to determine the top 100 offensive and defensive players in the game. Defensive end Jared Allen is the 14th-best defensive player in the game, according to a post highlighting players No. 11-20 on the list.
Here's what ESPN Stats and Information had to say about Allen:
"Allen has had at least 10 sacks in each of the past six seasons, tied with DeMarcus Ware for the longest active streak in the league. Allen hasn't missed a game since 2007."
My take: The fact that Allen still posted 12 sacks while playing all of last season with a torn labrum shows just how effective and consistent he continues to be for the Vikings. He is 31 this season, and is entering the final year of his contract with the Vikings, so in addition to his health, Allen will have plenty of motivation to put up big numbers this season. He remains the most formidable player on the Vikings' defense, and with Brian Robison and Everson Griffen also on the Vikings' defensive line, opponents can't single out Allen the way they might like to do. Expect another big year from him in his 10th season -- but by this point, it isn't exactly going out on a limb to say that.