The start of June signals the first wave of NFL minicamps, with the Vikings scheduled to hold theirs next week.
ESPN wrote that fans are excited this time of year about the performance of their teams’ respective draft picks, “especially the first-rounders.” With that in mind, ESPN’s reporters gave early impressions of how each team’s first-round picks are looking through spring practices.
Courtney Cronin wrote the following of Vikings center Garrett Bradbury, drafted 18th overall:
One position battle appears to already be solved in Minnesota with Garrett Bradbury in line to become the Day 1 starter at center. He’s the right fit for the position with his athleticism, power and feel for an offense that runs an outside zone scheme. Plus, plugging Bradbury in at center allows the Vikings to move Pat Elflein to left guard, which seems like it will be a better fit. Bradbury has a lot on his plate, and it’s not always easy for a rookie center to shoulder the responsibility of calling an entire game. But, he can lean on Elflein, and quarterback Kirk Cousins is eager to perfect their communication from the jump given how many centers he worked with last year. “I just tried to set that vision for him to say, ‘You be the guy here for the next 10 years, and let's not have to worry about having anybody else snap for the quarterback,’ ” Cousins said. “He’s got a long ways to go to do that, but he’s got all the right stuff, and we’ll just keep stacking days on top of one another to get him where he needs to be.”
NFC North rival Chicago did not have a first-round pick this year. Detroit drafted Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson eighth overall, and Green Bay selected defensive end Rashan Gary (12th) and safety Darnell Savage (21st).
ESPN’s Michael Rothstein wrote the following of Hockenson, whom the Vikings are scheduled to face in Weeks 7 and 14:
It’s tough to get a true gauge on Hockenson – or any rookie – until training camp, but even more so at tight end because of the breadth of what they are asked to do. That said, he’s looked good so far in the limited amount of time the media has been able to watch him. His coaches have been impressed with how he’s picked up the offense, and they know he has the capability to do a lot. It’s just going to take some time, particularly in a new offense for every player, for that to truly be realized.
U.S. Bank Stadium a ‘leading example’ of NFL stadiums taking ‘leap’
The 2019 season will mark the Vikings fourth in U.S. Bank Stadium.
Since starting play in their new venue, the Vikings are 17-7 at home in regular-season games and 1-0 in the playoffs via the Minneapolis Miracle.
Recently, U.S. Bank Stadium was included in an Associated Press article that looked at the NFL’s “most iconic and impactful venues over the years.”
The following was written about the stadium, which was called “a leading example of NFL stadiums taking a big leap”:
Opened in 2016 for the Vikings and host of the second-highest scoring Super Bowl following the 2017 season, U.S. Bank Stadium became the NFL’s first facility with a translucent roof. The world’s largest pivoting glass doors add to the outdoor feel for the indoor stadium.
Six of the nine other stadiums listed — Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Soldier Field, Lambeau Field, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, CenturyLink Field and AT&T Stadium — are still in use, although the Rams are scheduled to move into their new venue in 2020. The other three stadiums — Candlestick Park, Three Rivers Stadium, Texas Stadium — have been replaced.
The Vikings will visit five of the six stadiums in 2019, including their preseason game against the Saints on Aug. 9.
Jared Allen participates in #PlayYellow
Vikings Pro Bowler Jared Allen continues to be active in the community for positive causes.
The former defensive end posted a golf course selfie on Sunday wearing his #PlayYellow polo. The #PlayYellow campaign was started by Jack and Barbara Nicklaus as a way to support children’s hospitals.