General managers and head coaches are always on the lookout for talent across the NFL.
And if they can find young talent, even better.
The Vikings have a handful of budding stars on their roster, and a pair of them were recently highlighted on ESPN's under-25 starting lineup. The team was created by 43 football minds at ESPN, each of whom voted on the best players across the league who have yet to turn 25.
Minnesota landed a pair of offensive players on the list in wide receiver Stefon Diggs and center Pat Elflein.
ESPN's Field Yates wrote about Diggs:
Diggs, 24, has shown the ability to dominate in different ways at the NFL level. He excelled as a vertical threat as a rookie, chewed up catches in a volume role as a sophomore and took another step in his third season. When the ball is in the air, Diggs is a good bet to win in man-to-man coverage.
The former fifth-round pick tied for the team lead with eight touchdown catches in 2017. He has totaled 200 catches for 2,472 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first three seasons.
Elflein was a rookie in 2017 but made a big impression on teammates and others around the league.
The center position involves more than just meets the eye; Elflein, 24, absorbs great responsibility pre-snap in getting the offensive line in sync. His acclimation to the pro game from his college days was an expedient one.
Elflein, a third-round pick out of Ohio State, was named to the Pro Football Writers of America's All-Rookie Team after starting 14 games for the Vikings this past season. His steady play helped Minnesota improve to seventh overall in rushing after the Vikings were 32nd in that category in 2016.
Hughes tabbed as newcomer to watch in training camp
Training camp is looming on the horizon, as rookies are scheduled to report to Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center a week from Tuesday.
It will be another big taste of NFL life for the first-year players, a group that includes cornerback Mike Hughes.
John Shook of NFL.com recently wrote a training camp preview for the NFC North and tabbed Hughes as his newcomer to watch on the Vikings.
Minnesota boasts a solid secondary, with established starters in Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes (with ageless wonder Terence Newman providing depth and leadership as he nears his 40th birthday), but the Vikings still went with Hughes with the No. 30 overall pick, due to his upside. Hughes will likely make his earliest impact on special teams as a returner, but if he develops faster than expected, he could also add another level of depth to Minnesota's stellar defense.
Hughes recorded 49 tackles (37 solo) with four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, in 11 games for the UCF in 2017.
Hughes also returned 14 punts for 233 yards and a touchdown and added 20 kickoff returns for 635 yards and two touchdowns. He was a First-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection as a cornerback and earned Second-Team All-American Athletic Conference honors as a return specialist.
Tickets are still available for 2018 Verizon Vikings Training Camp at the TCO Performance Center for select dates. Click here to access more information.