MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – He may not be good enough to make the Pro Bowl, but at least Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith can hang his hat on an All-Pro selection.
Smith and cornerback Xavier Rhodes were both named first team All-Pro by The Associated Press.
Two more Vikings made the second team: defensive end Everson Griffen and wide receiver Adam Thielen.
Despite being snubbed by Pro Bowl voters, Smith may have played his best season as a pro in 2017. He had 5 interceptions, 1.5 sacks and 61 tackles, showcasing his ability to perform at any level of the field.
In most other secondaries, Rhodes would be the standout, but he should take no shame in playing second fiddle to Smith. This year, Rhodes routinely shadowed and shut down opponents’ top receivers – including All-Pro wide receivers Antonio Brown and Julio Jones, who together had just seven catches for 86 yards against the Vikings.
Thielen had the best year of his career and established himself as a top-tier NFL receiver, grabbing 91 passes for 1,276 yards and four touchdowns. Including Thielen, only three Vikings receivers have caught 90 passes in a season. You may have heard of the other two — Randy Moss and Cris Carter.
Griffen finished top five in the league in sacks with 13 and was part of a defensive line that menaced opposing quarterbacks all season.
Rhodes also earned second team honors as a defensive back.
In their final power rankings of the regular season, the AP ranked the Vikings second, behind only reigning Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots.