The NFL regular season is just around the corner, and predictions of all kinds continue to flood in from around the league.
NFL.com on Tuesday posted a roundtable article featuring individual award predictions by its analysts.
For Offensive Rookie of the Year, a familiar name popped up for Vikings fans – two analysts opined that running back Dalvin Cook will earn the award at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Heath Evans wrote of Cook: "If Sam Bradford and the offensive line can stay healthy, he'll thrive in '17."
Adam Schein chimed in with his prediction: "He puts up monster numbers, becoming the featured back for the Vikings."
Cook has started each of Minnesota's three preseason games thus far. Latavius Murray, who was sidelined with an injury through most of training camp, saw his first preseason action against the 49ers on Sunday night.
With the fourth preseason game traditionally being the contest in which teams' starters are held out, it will be interesting to see if Cook plays any snaps.
Other too-early votes for OROY included running backs Leonard Fournette (Jaguars), Christian McCaffrey (Panthers) and Joe Mixon (Bengals). The only non-RB thrown in the hat was Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, voted on by Dave Dameshek.
Stefon Diggs critiques personal performance in preseason 3
Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer said after Sunday's game against San Francisco that many things need to be improved by the first team on both offense and defense.
Stefon Diggs, who finished the game with just two catches for six yards, spoke with Tim Yotter of *Vikings Update *and assessed his individual performance as "terrible."
"You don't really know until you turn the tape on," Diggs told Yotter. "Individually from my job, I didn't do good enough, and I dropped passes. That's something I don't do. Uncharacteristic, of course. I will not make a habit of it."
In 2016, Diggs led the Vikings with 84 catches and finished second behind Adam Thielen with 903 yards receiving. Yotter wrote:
Rare was the time that Diggs dropped passes that were as easily catchable as the two he let slip away on Sunday night.
The drops happened in back-to-back drives in the second quarter. The first came on third-and-11 near midfield that would have extended the drive but instead resulted in a punt. The second came on first down during the next series, but after the ensuing two plays resulted in a combined eight yards, the Vikings punted again.
"I feel like I've got all the trust in my teammates," Diggs told Yotter. "I'm the leader in my group so I'm more upset with myself because guys look at me. I set the example, set the standard, so I'll be back and I'll be better."
Diggs added: "I'm putting it behind me. It's preseason, so I'm glad we got them out of the way."
Robison family 'doing OK' despite flooding
A number of Vikings players have Texas ties, and some of them have been directly affected by Hurricane Harvey and the heavy flooding that has hit Houston and the surrounding areas.
Brian Robison's family is currently located about 45 minutes outside of downtown Houston. The defensive end spoke with Dane Mizutani of the *Pioneer Press *about watching the devastation from afar.
"It's truly a feeling of helplessness," Robison told Mizutani. "All those areas being shown [on] TV and things like that, I've been there in the offseason. You realize that those places will never be the same."
Robison said that he's been asked if he'll travel back to Texas to be with his family, but he explained that it's currently impossible to physically get there.
"The airport is closed, so I can't fly in there," Robison said. "And even if I did fly in somewhere else, like Dallas or something like that, I still don't think I'd be able to get home."
As of Tuesday afternoon, Hurricane Harvey had dumped as much as 50 inches of rain on Houston, displacing hundreds of thousands of people in the process.
*Robison, 34, said his family is safe despite being 'stuck in a 10-mile radius' because of road closures. *
"We got a lot of flooding," Robison told Mizutani. "At the end of the day, though, everyone is healthy, the animals are fine, and the house is good. We are doing OK right now."