INDIANAPOLIS — Welcome to Combine Week, one of the busiest and most exciting points of the offseason.
All 32 NFL teams have converged on Indianapolis to scout more than 300 college prospects through in-person interviews, on-field drills and various medical tests.
It's sunny in Indianapolis with temperatures in the low 40s and no snow in the forecast.
The Indiana Convention Center was quiet as of Tuesday afternoon, with podiums empty as final preparations were being made for the hustle and bustle of the days to come.
The Vikings, as usual, will have a large group in attendance. General Manager Rick Spielman and Head Coach Mike Zimmer will each meet with the media to explain where Minnesota stands.
Here are 5 Vikings storylines to follow this week as the action heats up in Indianapolis:
1. New coaches, same goal
The biggest news of the offseason so far for the Vikings has been the addition of a handful of new coaches, primarily on the offensive side of the ball.
With Gary Kubiak, Rick Dennison, Brian Pariani and Klint Kubiak now in the mix, not to mention new Special Teams Coordinator Marwan Maalouf, there are some new faces on staff who will be able to add to the evaluation of prospects and state the likelihood of a player being a good fit in the Vikings scheme for 2019 and beyond.
The staff will have the opportunity to interact directly with prospects and see how players move through various drills.
2. What to do at pick No. 18?
The Vikings currently hold the 18th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, which is the highest selection they have had since tabbing Trae Waynes at 11th overall in 2015. Spielman, Zimmer and the rest of Minnesota's personnel department should have plenty of options at that spot.
With the mid-round pick at their disposal, the Vikings could go a number of different directions, including sliding up if there's a player they covet or possibly moving down in the round and reaping a reward if another team is enticed by the 18th spot.
The Miller Lite Vikings Draft Party is scheduled from 6 to 11 p.m. on April 25 at U.S. Bank Stadium, the team announced Monday. Click **here** or visit **Vikings.com/DraftParty** to sign up for notifications about tickets for the event.
3. Expert Takes: How can the Vikings bounce back in 2019?
There will be plenty of league experts and analysts on the ground in Indianapolis, and you can be sure Vikings Entertainment Network will track them down. Perhaps the biggest question will be how Minnesota can rebound from its 8-7-1 campaign in 2018. The Vikings struggled to find consistency throughout the past season.
League experts will give their takes on how the Vikings can rectify that problem and accomplish more of their goals going forward.
View photos of current Vikings players during their time at the NFL Scouting Combine from previous years.
4. Keeping an eye on free agency
The focus this week will be on the 337 draft-eligible prospects in attendance at the combine, but NFL general managers and other front-office members will also have free agency in the back of their minds, too.
Free agency officially begins at 3 p.m. (CT) March 13, but teams and agents can enter contract negotiations from March 11-13 to discuss potential terms for Unrestricted Free Agents whose contracts will expire on March 13. By the time the combine ends, the free-agency period will be just days away, meaning it will be a juggling act for teams.
5. NFC North outlook
We can't forget about our friends in Chicago, Detroit and Green Bay. A year ago at this time, each of the other NFC North teams was either incorporating a new head coach (Matt Nagy in Chicago and Matt Patricia in Detroit) or general manager (Brian Gutekunst in Green Bay) into the fold.
This offseason, the Packers hired Matt LaFleur as their new head coach, shifting the division from two Matts, two Mikes to three Matts and a Mike.
What have the Bears, Lions and Packers been up to of late? Their leaders will be scheduled for podium sessions, so we'll keep an eye on what they have to say.