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Lunchbreak: Vikings Will See Top Rookies in 2017

The Vikings have completed the 2017 NFL Draft and agreed to terms with more than a dozen undrafted free agents.

And while most of the focus has been on Minnesota's draft selections, Mark Craig of the Star Tribune took a look at which top picks he's most looking forward to seeing in 2017.

Craig noted he's most intrigued about the Vikings Week 14 road game in Carolina, where they will be a pair of offensive playmakers in Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel. 

Defensive whiz Mike Zimmer will need his best brain cells when the Vikings face Carolina on the road in Week 14. The Panthers, who already had 2015 league MVP Cam Newton and a solid receiving corps, used their top two picks on a do-it-all running back who can play receiver (McCaffrey) and a do-it-all receiver who can play running back (Samuel). How many things can Carolina do with these playmakers? The Vikings will find out Dec. 10.

Minnesota will see the No. 2 player on Craig's list, New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara, in Week 1 at U.S. Bank Stadium on Monday Night Football.

In case Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram weren't enough to worry about, the Saints grabbed one of the best three-down backs in the draft in Round 3.

Cincinnati wide receiver John Ross, the ninth overall pick, landed at No. 3 on Craig's list.

U.S. Bank Stadium could look like an indoor track facility when Ross and A.J. Green visit on Dec. 17. Stretch out those hammys ahead of time, Vikings DBs. Ross' 4.22 40-yard dash set the combine record.

Myles Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick, was fourth. The Vikings and Browns meet at London's Twickenham Stadium in Week 8 on Oct. 29.

Assuming some element of the Browns' powerful jinx hasn't already worked its black magic by then, the best player in the draft could be chasing Sam Bradford all over London in Week 8.

Green Bay cornerback Kenny King, the 33rd overall pick, rounded out the top five. 

Remember that Christmas Eve shootout between the Vikings and Packers at Lambeau last year? Well, that's one reason the Packers used their top pick on a 6-3, 200-pound cover corner.

Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, Tampa Bay tight end O.J. Howard, Washington defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, Pittsburgh linebacker T.J. Watt and Atlanta defensive end Takkarist McKinley also made Craig's list.

Coller: Vikings have options with three running backs

The Vikings boosted their running game this offseason by signing free agent Latavius Murray and then adding Florida State running back Dalvin Cook in the draft.

Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota's leading rusher in 2016, is back for his fourth season.

Matthew Coller of wrote that the stable of running backs could give the Vikings plenty of offensive options going forward.

Coller noted he's interested to see how Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur uses all three backs out of the shotgun formation.

They all fit, but each player's skill set is a little different. Cook is a patient runner who excels in reading blocks and letting plays develop. His former head coach Jimbo Fisher said Cook has "smart eyes," meaning he knows where to read in order to make decisions.

*McKinnon has great quickness and can be used as a receiver and Wildcat quarterback. *

And Murray is a terrific pass blocker, giving the Vikings the option of using him more against teams that have a mismatch on the edge or blitz often.

Murray ran for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns last season while McKinnon added 539 yards and two scores.

Cook ran for 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns in his final college season.

The Vikings ranked last in the NFL with 1,205 rushing yards in 2016. If Murray, McKinnon and Cook form a strong trio, Coller said the Vikings will be much improved on the ground this season.

The Vikings would have already had a versatile run attack with just Murray and McKinnon. Adding Cook gives them many more options and a strong likelihood of getting out of the basement of the NFL in rushing.

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