A Look At 8 Standout Players As Vikings OTAs Conclude

Posted Jun 13, 2013

Photo Gallery: OTA No. 10 >>

The OTAs portion of the Vikings offseason program concluded today with OTA No. 10.  Let's take a look at eight players who stood out as the team heads into next week's three-day mandatory minicamp...

Stephen Burton
Entering his 3rd NFL season after the Vikings selected him with a 7th-round choice in 2011, Burton has long been an afterthought in the Vikings wide receiver competition, often times assumed to be either a practice squad player or bottom of the depth chart body.

But this offseason Burton is on a mission to prove he can be a contributor for the Vikings during the regular season. On Monday Burton made a pair of highlight-reel catches, coming across the middle to make a leaping grab in front of the safety early in practice and then running underneath a monster heave from Christian Ponder down the right sideline for a long reception late in practice.

Cordarrelle Patterson
By all accounts, Patterson impressed during the rookie mini-camp in May and continued to look good during OTAs. He’s a smooth runner with the extra burst to get past pursuing defenders. Everyone expects him to contribute right away as a returner, but Patterson is out to prove he can be a productive receiver for the Vikings offense right away as well.

Jarius Wright
Typically one of two things happens during a player’s 2nd season – A) a big improvement the 2nd time through the drill or B) the dreaded sophomore slump. Based on his performance during OTAs, Wright is headed for Option A. The diminutive receiver is versatile enough to line up in a variety of spots on the field and he figures to be a prominent fixture in the Vikings passing game this season.

John Carlson
Injuries plagued this talented pass catcher during his 1st season as a Viking in 2012. But 2013 is off to a great start for Carlson. He was consistent throughout the 10 OTAs and had perhaps his best day on Thursday, hauling in the catch of the day with a 1-handed grab in the back of the end zone.

Christian Ponder
2013 is a big season for Ponder, and he’s off to a good start during the Vikings offseason program. Ponder has command of the offense, has looked sharp most of the time and has responded well to adversity in the other times. With a better complement of weapons around him this season, Ponder is expected to take a big step forward.

Brian Robison
Since 2000 the Vikings have had just 3 different pass rushers collect double-digit sacks in a single season (Jared Allen 2008-12, Lance Johnstone 2003, Kevin Williams 2003-04). Robison is looking to increase that number to 4 in 2013, and he has one very important believer – head coach Leslie Frazier. “I think he’s one of those guys who can be a double-digit sack guy,” Frazier said. “He has that type of burst and athleticism. We’ve seen it on a number of occasions.”

Kyle Rudolph
Perhaps no one had a better OTA season than last year’s Pro Bowl MVP. Rudolph was hauling in passes left and right during the 10 offseason practices, and he will be Ponder’s right-hand man in the passing game.

Joe Webb
It doesn’t matter what position he’s playing, Webb impresses you. As a receiver, he shows off his athleticism by running past speedy CBs and out-jumping any defender that tries to guard him. He still has refinement to make on his game, but Webb’s transition to receiver is off to a good start.