NFL Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings: 5 Players Who Could Be ‘X-Factors’ In 2014

5 Minnesota Vikings Who Become the X-Factor In 2014

Minnesota Vikings
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The Minnesota Vikings are poised to rebound from last year's disappointing five-win campaign. With Norv Turner and Mike Zimmer now running the show, the chances of the purple and gold turning things around have certainly increased. But of course, it will take a total team effort.

One key part of every team is the X-Factor player, the guy who can change the course of a game with one touch of the ball. Here are 5 potential Viking X-Factors:

5. Jerick McKinnon

Jerick McKinnon
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5. Jerick McKinnon

Jerick McKinnon

McKinnon is a bit of a mystery coming into his rookie season. Why? He played QB for most of his college career and will now make the shift to RB. He has blazing 4.4 speed, and the Vikings reached for him in the draft, which makes you believe there are big plans in place for the youngster. If he can become a reliable pass-catcher out of the backfield, he could develop into an X-Factor type of player in no time.

4. Everson Griffen

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings
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4. Everson Griffen

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings opened up their checkbook in a big way for Griffen this offseason. They bet in-house on a guy who's showed promise as a back DE over the past four years. It's his time to step into the spotlight and deliver. Can he be the sack/turnover-causing machine on Zimmer's new defense?

3. Jarius Wright

Bruce Kluckhohn-Jarius wright
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3. Jarius Wright

Bruce Kluckhohn-Jarius wright

The time is now for Wright to take a big step forward in his NFL career. 2014 will be his third year in the league, and he'll now be working with the great Norv Turner. He could prove to be big time this season out of the slot.

2. Captain Munnerlyn

Captain Munnerlyn
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2. Captain Munnerlyn

Captain Munnerlyn

The Munnerlyn signing was a big win for Vikings this offseason. He's coming off his best year, and Pro Bowls could be in his future. It'll be interesting to see if he can top his career-high of three interceptions, as well as continuing his streak of taking INTs to the house. The Captain has scored two defensive TDs in each of the past two years.

1. Cordarrelle Patterson

Cordarrelle Patterson-Brace Hemmelgarn USAT - Copy
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1. Cordarrelle Patterson

Cordarrelle Patterson-Brace Hemmelgarn USAT - Copy

If you had to bet on one player becoming Minnesota's X-Factor in 2014, it'd no doubt be the speedy Cordarrelle Patterson. With a full year of NFL experience under his belt and a great new OC to work with, big things could very easily be in his future. He's already proven to be an X-Factor in the return game, but the Vikings must find ways to give him chances to break things open in the passing game as well. If they can -- look out.