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Lunchbreak: ESPN Issues Camp Predictions for NFC North

The Vikings are holding their first full-team training camp practice Wednesday (helmets only; no pads).

As on-field action ramps up across the league, ESPN asked its beat reporters to make camp predictions for their respective teams.

ESPN's Kevin Seifert predicted that Vikings rookie cornerback Andrew Booth, Jr., "will emerge as a starter." Seifert wrote:

The Vikings have been raving about Booth since trading up to draft him in the second round, and he joins a position group that is ripe for newcomers. Strictly from a skill and playmaking perspective, Booth was among the best cornerbacks in the draft. His injury history pushed him into the second round, but he believes that surgery to repair a hernia in March has put him on the road to permanent recovery. If that's the case, and he goes through training camp healthy, he'll prove good enough to start opposite Patrick Peterson – or at the very least in the nickel package that the Vikings will use frequently.

Per usual, it's worth seeing what ESPN's other NFC North reporters are saying about Minnesota's rival teams.

Courtney Cronin believes the Bears top draft pick, Kyler Gordon, "will be better than advertised" and even lead the team in interceptions.

In Detroit, Eric Woodward said "No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson will live up to the hype" for the Lions.

There are obviously high expectations for the Plymouth, Michigan, native entering his first training camp, but throughout the offseason, the coaching staff and his teammates have been impressed with his work ethic and ability to adjust to the new surroundings. Hutchinson was an All-American at Michigan, but the Wolverines defense struggled on the national stage in the Orange Bowl against Georgia. Can he become an elite talent in the NFL ranks? Detroit could've gone in a number of different directions in a draft featuring several quality pass-rushers, but the feeling here is Hutchinson will meet – or exceed – expectations.

And don't look now, but Rob Demovsky is making a quarterback prediction about someone other than Aaron Rodgers, saying Jordan Love "excels" this season for Green Bay.

If it's going to happen for the third-year quarterback, it should be now. Behind him are the COVID-19 year that wrecked his rookie offseason and training camp (he had no preseason game action), and his first NFL start – the disastrous loss at Kansas City. It was in Year 3 when Aaron Rodgers showed his potential, and there's no excuse for Love not to follow suit – unless, of course, he's not the answer to the question of who will succeed Rodgers. With Rodgers almost certain to sit out preseason games, as has been the case in recent years, this is another opportunity for Love.

Veterans and rookies arrived at the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center for 2022 Training Camp.

Hasan makes 7 bold predictions for Vikings camp & '22 season

'Tis the season of predictions, and The Athletic is joining in the fun.

Last week, The Athletic's Arif Hasan made seven “bold predictions” for Vikings Training Camp and the 2022 season.

One defensive prediction Hasan made was that Jaylen Twyman, who missed his 2021 rookie campaign after being injured in a shooting, will "earn a big role" for Minnesota. Hasan wrote:

Without any chance to prove himself [last] season, it was easy to forget that Twyman has tremendous upside that can be unlocked if he returns to his previous athletic profile. But back in camp, Twyman has the opportunity to earn the second "defensive end" spot as an interior pass rusher.

The Vikings don't have a pass-rush presence on the interior and will need someone who can penetrate on third down or when the Vikings decide to play in their "base" 3-4 defense. The player featured in that role — one essentially behind Harrison Phillips and Dalvin Tomlinson — could be Armon Watts, James Lynch, rookie Esezi Otomewo or another interior defender. But Twyman, forgotten in this competition, has the potential to wreak havoc.


2022 Vikings Training Camp

Find out everything you need to know about Vikings Training Camp including schedule, tickets, activities and more.

Looking at the other side of the ball, Hasan believes second-year quarterback Kellen Mond – who currently is listed as the third quarterback on the roster – will move up to QB2 behind Kirk Cousins.

Mond's primary issue was his ability to keep pace with NFL offenses, a difficult one to resolve after he missed 10 days of training camp on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. […] Because third-string quarterbacks hardly receive any reps during the regular season, it was difficult for Mond to get into a rhythm, and his brief appearance against the Packers was disastrous.

This time, he'll not only have the experience of being in an NFL environment for a year but also a more stable practice environment. He could beat out Sean Mannion for the No. 2 spot — something he was on track to do last year were it not for his missed time in training camp and some worrisome preseason performances. […] Mond will get a fair shot this time, and his competition to get to that spot is far from insurmountable.

Click here see the rest of Hasan's predictions, which include spotlights on guard Chris Reed and cornerback Cameron Dantzler.