EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings are a day away from a well-deserved break.
Minnesota held its second of three mandatory minicamp sessions on Wednesday, practicing for almost two hours outside on a sunny but breezy day at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center. The Vikings wore helmets, shells and shorts.
The Vikings will wrap up minicamp Thursday with their final practice of the 2019 offseason practice.
Here are three observations from Wednesday morning’s session:
1. Finding pay dirt
Good luck trying to cover Chad Beebe.
The Vikings wide receiver stood out in the early portion of practice when wide receivers were lined up against defensive backs in 1-on-1 situations near the goal line.
Beebe twice got the best of All-Pro safety Harrison Smith, using a quick cut to the inside in their first matchup to snag a touchdown. Beebe, who is listed at 5-foot-10 but is one of the most elusive players on the field, ended up with a score on each of his three reps.
All in all, offensive players found the end zone on 15 of the 21 reps. Adam Thielen scored twice, while Laquon Treadwell, Dillon Mitchell and Davion Davis also had multiple touchdowns.
Perhaps the best battle was between Stefon Diggs and Trae Waynes. The cornerback snagged an interception in the first rep and forced an incompletion later on, but Diggs got the last laugh with a touchdown catch in the final showdown.
2. Epps, Boyd get INTs
A pair of rookie defensive backs continued their strong springs with notable takeaways on Wednesday.
First, sixth-round pick Marcus Epps tracked down a deep Sean Mannion pass and took it the other way. With Kris Boyd in coverage on Davis, Epps swooped in for an over-the-shoulder grab with Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman watching nearby.
Boyd later got a takeaway of his own, as he picked off a pass in a team drill.
3. Bring the noise
The Vikings have less than two months until their preseason opener on the road in New Orleans, which is home to one of the noisiest stadiums around.
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer began giving his group a feel for hostile environments Wednesday, as he has speakers piping in crowd noise during various team periods.
The noise could help prepare Minnesota’s offense for road games in Seattle and Kansas City in 2019, two places known for loud crowds.
And, of course, it could also benefit the Vikings defense, who usually play in front of a raucous home crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium.