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3 Observations: Vikings Youth Movement Wraps 2024 Offseason Program

EAGAN, Minn. — Youth were at the forefront — and at the sides — of Wednesday's Organized Team Activity practice.

The final session of the 2024 offseason program featured a focus on younger players with three or fewer accrued NFL seasons hitting the field a week after Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell sent veterans home a week early.

While players generally referred to as part of the developmental squad participated in position drills, coaches' children (8 and older was the age requirement) watched their fathers and played football games off to the side. It was a cool jumpstart for Fathers' Day.

The session was held inside the Indoor Practice Facility because of rain. It included some work in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 periods, as well as some punting and kicking.

Here are three observations presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud LASIK Partner of the Minnesota Vikings:

1. McCarthy & Hall at QB

O'Connell moving minicamp up to last week (instead of this week) originated with a couple of goals that included giving veterans a little bit longer break before training camp starts and getting a longer look at the young players.

Rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy and second-year pro Jaren Hall handled the reps at Wednesday's practice.

Both executed multiple completions. McCarthy's run through 11-on-11 included consecutive completions to Thayer Thomas, Jeshaun Jones and N'Keal Harry, who has moved from receiver to tight end.

Hall's throws included completions to Harry, Jones and Ty James. Jones' catch on a deep pass from Hall was particularly impressive, defeating single coverage by Jaylin Williams. He high-pointed the ball and then protected it through the catch.

Thomas and James added nice catches from McCarthy during the 7-on-7 period toward the end of practice.

2. Nice breakups

Linebacker Abraham Beauplan effectively dropped into coverage down the middle to break up a pass from McCarthy early in the 11-on-11 period.

Cornerback Andrew Booth, Jr., who manned an outside spot opposite undrafted rookie Dwight McGlothern, recorded an impressive pass breakup on a throw from Hall to James. With those two players on the outside, the Vikings moved second-year pro Mekhi Blackmon to the slot.

3. Strong day for the kickers

The Vikings ended the session with having sixth-round pick Will Reichard and free agent addition John Parker Romo kick an extra point and several field goals.

Each made their kicks, although Reichard had a beneficial double-doink bounce on a 45-yarder. He followed with clean kicks from 48 and 58 with punter Ryan Wright holding.

View photos from the Vikings ninth OTA practice, which took place on June 12 at the TCO Performance Center.

Romo also made his kicks with punter Seth Vernon holding.

All-Pro long snapper Andrew DePaola was excused like the other vested veterans, so the Vikings had backup offensive lineman Tyrese Robinson snap a couple before just having each holder simulate snaps and spot the footballs.