Monday Morning Mailbag: Young Players Poised To Make A Leap, Expectations In Year One For Mattison, More

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What 2019 draft pick do you feel will make the biggest impact for us?
-- Tin Evancho
Ohio

A compelling case could be made for others, but the first name that comes to mind is the Vikings first pick of this year’s draft – Garrett Bradbury. The Vikings went into the draft hoping to add some talent to their offensive line, and fortunately for them the draft’s top-rated center was on the board when they were on the clock. Bradbury will likely come into the mix and be a leading candidate to start at either center or one of the guard positions, which gives him an outstanding opportunity to impact the team in his first season.

How about giving us some info on last year’s practice squad? Who developed and has a good chance of making it? They could be just as important as a draft pick this year. I’m particularly interested in Chad Beebe.
-- Gary Gimble

Beebe figures to be right in the thick of the competition for a wide receiver spot in 2019. He’s flashed some promise on the practice fields and now the key will be to continue showing well in practice, staying healthy and transferring it all to the field during games. It will be interesting to see if he can show he can help on special teams. As for a “practice squad update”, I’d say it’s a bit difficult to use that subset of the roster as a way to list and evaluate players because quite honestly the practice squad changes on an almost-weekly basis. I’ll just say a couple of developmental prospects I’m excited to see in 2019 include a quartet of defensive linemen – Ade Aruna, Jalyn Holmes, Hercules Mata’afa and Ifeadi Odenigbo.

How do you think the starting interior offensive line will pan out? It has been assumed that Josh Kline will be our starting right guard, but he started his career as a left guard I believe. With both Dru Samia and Pat Elflein having right guard experience (assuming Garrett Bradbury starts at center), do you think it would make sense to start Kline at left guard and have Samia and Elflein compete for the right guard spot? Do you have any thoughts/insights on this?
-- Michael Hintz
New Kent, VA

The Vikings have added several new players to the offensive line position group, they have a new play caller and offensive coordinator in Kevin Stefanski and they have a new offensive line coach in Rick Dennison. With all of that being the case, I would throw all the assumptions out the window and just use patience while the offensive staff experiments with combinations before finalizing their first version of the best five. It feels like Brian O’Neill and Rile Reiff will maintain their offensive tackle spots, but anything outside of that is up for grabs.

What can we expect from Alexander Mattison? Is he going to be our goal line back?
-- Grant Bayer
Jamestown, ND

I won’t be surprised to see Mattison get some goal line carries, but I actually think Dalvin Cook is an exceptional between the tackles runner and I have no issues with him on the goal line. The great thing about Mattison is that he is a three-down back, just as Cook is. So you don’t need to be in a particular down and distance to use Mattison. He can be used on 1st down, in the red zone and on 3rd down. He will be a great complement to Cook because he can give Cook a breather for an entire series or two and the offense won’t be limited to what it can do because of Mattison’s skill set.

Just a comment…Thanks for the outstanding job you and the rest of VEN did during the draft. All the content, videos and write ups were excellent and kept all the Vikings faithful up to date and on time. Thanks again!
-- Rick Fisher
Winnipeg

It is our pleasure. Thanks for the note, Rick. The VEN is comprised of many talented and passionate folks who work hard every day to produce and distribute great content. We are glad you enjoy it and we hope you keep coming back for more. And keep writing in to tell us what you think! Skol!

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