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Lunchbreak: Looking at Best-Case Scenarios for Vikings Rookies

Posted May 9, 2018

The collection of Vikings rookies have quickly jumped into NFL life as they have completed rookie minicamp and now look ahead toward Organized Team Activity practices.

They will then peek ahead to training camp before getting ready for their first season in the NFL.

Matthew Coller of 1500ESPN.com took a look at all eight Vikings draft picks and laid out the best-case scenario for each, starting with Minnesota’s first-round pick, cornerback Mike Hughes

Coller wrote: 

If Hughes wins the nickel corner job, then the Vikings have a darn impressive young player on their hands. Not only would that prove he is up to the mental challenge that is required to be a great NFL player, it would also mean the Vikings wouldn’t have to rely on either Mackensie Alexander or Terence Newman to play slot corner.

And if second-round selection Brian O’Neill becomes an immediate starter at tackle, the Vikings will have snagged two starters in two picks.

If the former Pitt O-lineman takes big steps under Tony Sparano and adds the needed strength this offseason, he could force the Vikings to start him at right tackle with Mike Remmers moving inside to guard. Quick progress would be a very good sign considering O’Neill has an athletic profile similar to star tackles.

Coller wrote that defensive end Jalyn Holmes, a fourth-round pick, could carve out a role to spell the starters on the defensive line.

And he noted that the Vikings would be thrilled in fifth-round pick Tyler Conklin adds a different element to the passing attack.

If Conklin lives up to his skill set as a player with great leaping ability and strong hands, he could have a role in the Vikings’ passing game. John DeFilippo appears to have a great appreciation for the mismatches that good tight ends create, which could mean using all three in the passing game. Conklin could be anywhere from the practice squad to catching 20-30 passes next year.


CBS Sports: Aruna could have biggest impact among Vikings newcomers

The Vikings used their second-to-last draft pick on Ade Aruna, but some believe the defensive end could make an immediate impact in Minnesota.

Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports recently released his list of a rookie from each team who could contribute right away, as the former Tulane defensive end was his choice for the Vikings.

Trapasso wrote:

Going deep in the draft here with Aruna, a size/burst specimen at nearly 6-5 and 262 pounds who quietly ran 4.60 at the combine. Mike Zimmer will put Aruna in clearly defined, one-gap spots in sub-packages, and the former Tulane standout will be an important role player along the Vikings' defensive line as a rookie. 

Aruna, who was born in Nigeria, played four seasons at Tulane. He appeared in 44 career games (with 34 starts). He recorded 107 total tackles (70 solo) with 19 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries during his time with the Green Wave.

He was one of the top standouts at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine as he had the top vertical jump (38.5 inches) and best broad jump (10 feet, 8 inches) among defensive linemen. Aruna also recorded the second-fastest 40-yard dash for players at his position with a time of 4.60 seconds.