EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The most anticipated matchup of the Vikings rookie minicamp didn't disappoint on the first day.
First-round wide receiver Laquon Treadwell battled against second-round cornerback Mackensie Alexander on multiple occasions Friday afternoon, with both players getting the better of each other at times.
The duo went against each other in one-one drills with Alexander draping himself on Treadwell in tight coverage on a hook route. But Treadwell responded the next time out by getting past Alexander on a medium dig route toward the middle of the field.
Alexander, who lined up as a nickel cornerback at times, also had solid coverage with sixth-round wide receiver Moritz Boehringer.
The German wide receiver flashed solid speed on a handful of deep routes and also used his strength to get past a pair of defenders when lined up as the gunner on punt coverage.
After going through roughly an hour of a walkthrough practice earlier in the day, Minnesota's draftees and rookie free agents worked through a warm afternoon practice for more than 90 minutes.
Here are a few other observations about the first practice of rookie minicamp:
—Defensive linemen B.J. DuBose, a 2015 draft pick who was eligible to participate because he spent most of last season on the Vikings practice squad, and offseason signee Toby Johnson surgeded their way into the backfield on back-to-back plays during a team drill.
— Terrell Sinkfield, an offseason free agent from Minnetonka, impressed with his speed and hauled in a deep ball down the middle.
— Fifth-round linebacker Kentrell Brothers had solid coverage on sixth-round tight end David Morgan II during the afternoon session. Morgan managed to slip past the linebackers a few times for a handful of grabs.
Morgan, the first All-American in program history at the University of Texas at San Antonio said the biggest adjustment was the level of competition.
"Everyone is the best at their position," Morgan said."It's pretty much a team full of All-Stars. You just have to step your game up even more."
— The first thing you notice when safety Jayron Kearse lines up in the secondary is his height. Kearse stands at 6-foot-4 and is the tallest defensive back on the Vikings roster.
The Clemson product said there was a bit of a learning curve but felt he handled his first day as an NFL player pretty well. Kearse had plenty of conversations with assistant defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon and said coaches were mainly instructing him on where to go with his eyes during a play.
"Nothing happened today that really caught me off guard," Kearse said. "Whatever came my way, I was going to attack it with full speed."
— Rookie free agent cornerback Keith Baxter lined up as the first-team cornerback opposite Alexander. Baxter started 26 games at Marshall and had two interceptions.