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3 Observations: Justin Jefferson's 2023 Debut, Savvy Play by Jordan Hicks & Quick Strike

EAGAN, Minn. — Justin Jefferson made his 2023 offseason debut Tuesday as the Vikings opened their mandatory minicamp.

Jefferson spoke with media members after the session and said he had been participating in multiple marketing campaigns during the Vikings voluntary offseason workout program. He has also been working out in Miami and said he looks forward to training camp at the end of next month.

The session was the fourth of the offseason that was open to media members.

Vikings Legends, including Kyle Rudolph, attended Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center for the practice and an annual barbecue lunch.

Here are three observations from Tuesday's minicamp practice presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud LASIK Partner of the Minnesota Vikings:

1. Jefferson ramping up

Jefferson's on-field work included position drills, 7-on-7 passing periods and 11-on-11 team reps.

He made a nifty one-hander look easy during the individual drills with no defenders present, ran routes against defenders without contact and repped some hand placement during run plays.

There also appeared to be times of adjustment to the new wrinkles the Vikings have planned for the season. The work Jefferson puts in this week will still be more than he was able to learn from as a rookie in 2020, when the NFL canceled offseason programs because of COVID-19.

Training camp should provide ample opportunity for Jefferson and Kirk Cousins to connect, especially with the Vikings set to host two days of joint practices with the Titans and two more with the Cardinals at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

2. Hicks in the mix

Linebacker Jordan Hicks showed his experience during a situational drill at the end of practice.

With the defense leading 21-20, the offense got the ball at its 30-yard line. Cousins connected with Jalen Reagor for a gain of 14 on first down.

Jordan Hicks, however, stopped the momentum in its tracks by nabbing an interception on a pass over the middle intended for running back Alexander Mattison.

Hicks made multiple plays on the football in 2022, his first season with Minnesota, which included 129 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 10 passes defended, an interception and a forced fumble.

His continued savviness should help this fall, particularly with a generally young group on defense.

View photos of Vikings players during minicamp at the TCO Performance Center.

3. Thomas time

As for the second-team offense and second-team defense in the situational drill, Nick Mullens led a quick strike by the offense with the help of undrafted rookie receiver Thayer Thomas.

Listed at 6-foot and 195 pounds, the 25-year-old from N.C. State provided back-to-back-to-back receptions to move the offense into field goal range.

Thomas' first catch on a nice pass from Mullens resulted in a gain of 32. He followed with receptions of 17 and 7 as the second-team offense moved the ball from its 30 to the defense's 14 in 31 seconds.

The drive stalled at the 13, but Greg Joseph capped it with a 31-yard field goal.

Undrafted rookie kicker Jack Podlesny also attempted a field goal from the same distance. His was so down the middle it bounced off the pole that lifts a video camera for aerial shots of practice.