The Vikings have held training camp in Mankato for 49 consecutive years. For many members of the organization, this is all old hat. But for 10 players in particular, 2014 Verizon Vikings Training Camp is an entirely new experience. Those 10 players are the team’s 2014 draft class.
Many other Vikings are making their NFL training camp debuts, as well, such as offensive tackle
Barr has come to Mankato and hit the ground running. He’s played defense for just two seasons and he was drafted by a team that employs a complex scheme, but Barr stands out regularly anyway and is being used in a variety of roles by the defensive staff.
Buzz has been building for Bridgewater of late, stemming largely from an impressive performance in Monday night’s practice. Every step of the way, from the moment he was drafted to Practice No. 6, the moment has never seemed too big for Bridgewater. No one is declaring him the winner of anything at this point – Cassel appears to be taking most of the first team reps – but Bridgewater is clearly game to compete for the prize.
While running largely with the second team at right defensive end, Crichton flashes as a pass rusher regularly. He is strong at the point of attack and doesn’t seem to rely too heavily on either an inside move or outside move.
Billed largely as a scat back-type who could help on special teams, as well, McKinnon has demonstrated inside running ability during camp. He scored two touchdowns during the goal line period of Monday night’s practice, with both of those runs coming between the tackles. Yes, McKinnon looks to be an effective receiver and potential 3rd down back, but he may also contribute as a between the tackles runner, too.
The starting five offensive linemen from last season all return this season, and at this juncture it doesn’t look as if Yankey is poised to crack the starting lineup. But he has looked solid, and had one of his best moments of camp on Wednesday when he pulled on consecutive plays and opened up huge holes for the running backs to hit.
The Vikings continue to train Exum, a college cornerback, at safety. On Thursday, he even worked with the first team defense for a period with
It’s easy to see James has a nose for the ball when watching him in practice. He hasn’t made a bunch of splashy plays at training camp, but it also wouldn’t be a surprise if they started coming in bunches. For now, James is buried in a deep position battle for roster spots, but there’s a long way to go and it’s not time to rule this rookie out.
The Vikings defensive line was rebuilt this offseason, and where exactly Stephen fits into that rebuilding project remains to be seen. More time is needed to author a complete evaluation of the big defensive tackle, but he did see some action with second team defense on Thursday.
It’s easy to overlook a late-round linebacker from Georgia Tech who plays the same position as the ninth overall pick (Barr) and a nine-year veteran (
A few notes from Practice No. 6
-- Jamarca Sanford was inserted into the lineup with the first team at safety. It was Mistral Raymond who took those reps on Wednesday, but the defensive staff decided they wanted a look at Sanford on Thursday.