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3 Observations: Vikings Newcomers Mix with Returnees at OTA Practice

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings 2024 OTAs are under way.

Minnesota participated in its first Organized Team Activity practice of this offseason on Monday, holding a session outside, before moving indoors at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center Tuesday.

Tuesday's session was the first of the offseason that was open to Twin Cities media members.

Players wore helmets but no pads for a session that lasted about 90 minutes.

The practice included individual position drills, as well as a couple of 7-on-7 passing periods and some 11-on-11 reps.

Although weather limited the Vikings to one field Tuesday, the squad was able to get work done with the first-team offense and defense going head-to-head at one end of the indoor facility and the developmental squads at the other end.

Here are three observations from Tuesday's OTA practice presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud LASIK Partner of the Minnesota Vikings:

  1. QBs on display

When the Vikings split the experienced players and developmental squad, newcomer Sam Darnold and returnee Nick Mullens took reps at quarterback with the veteran squad.

Darnold showed mobility and the ability to throw the ball on the move, connecting with Jordan Addison a few times (Justin Jefferson was among players not in attendance at the voluntary session).

Second-year pro Jaren Hall and J.J. McCarthy took quarterback reps with the developmental squad.

Receiver Lucky Jackson, who appeared in three games on a limited basis late in 2023, made several catches for the developmental squad.

Another receiving target who made several plays throughout the day was tight end Robert Tonyan, a veteran who signed after impressing during a workout last week.

  1. Brandel steps in at left guard

The Vikings first-team offensive line has returned LT Christian Darrisaw, C Garrett Bradbury, RG Ed Ingram and RT Brian O'Neill from its 2023 starting lineup.

The group was joined at left guard by Blake Brandel, a 2020 sixth-round pick who has offered versatility and depth over his first four seasons. Brandel has made five starts for the Vikings.

The offensive line for the developmental group began with sixth-round pick Walter Rouse at left tackle, Tyrese Robinson at left guard, Dan Feeney at center, Henry Byrd at right guard and David Quessenberry at right tackle.

  1. Defensive combos

Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores was attending the 2024 Coach Accelerator program as part of the Spring League Meeting, which is being hosted this year in Nashville, Tennessee.

His group, however, is mingling returning players and newcomers that were added during free agency and the draft.

First-round pick Dallas Turner took plenty of snaps in 7-on-7 drills (Jonathan Greenard was not participating). Veteran addition Blake Cashman also was in the mix, along with fellow newcomer Shaq Griffin at cornerback. Ivan Pace, Jr., now rocking the 0 jersey, was involved a good bit when Minnesota implemented nickel and dime coverages.

Harrison Smith, prepping for his 13th NFL season, was part of a three-safety set that included Josh Metellus and Theo Jackson. Camryn Bynum later joined the fun at safety.