Four days into Minnesota Vikings training camp and there is already plenty to talk about. There have already been a few fights, head coach Mike Zimmer has been cussing out his players, and there was even a rain delay.
Minnesota gets the day off today from camp and then it is four straight days of practice until the team’s next day off on Sunday. So let’s take this opportunity to gage who the best and worst performers of Vikings camp have been so far.
- Jayron Kearse, safety
In his first year out of Clemson, the 22-year-old safety has been impressing coaches with his size (6’4”) and length. Kearse practically looks like a giant among mere peasants standing out there on the practice field.
For someone who’s spot on the team was thought to be in question heading into camp, he has been playing very well against the Vikings second and third team offenses. If his good play continues, starting safety Andrew Sendejo may have a battle on his hands before the season begins.
- Laquon Treadwell, wide receiver
No one feels bad for Minnesota that they missed out on drafting TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson and instead had to “settle” for Treadwell in this past spring’s NFL Draft. When the 2016 season is all said and done with, Treadwell is hoping that Vikings fans will be saying, “Doctson who?”
The rookie out of Ole Miss has been making plays all over the place in each of his four days at camp and his coaches are taking notice. Even when the whistle has blown and the afternoon practice has ended, Treadwell has been staying out on the field catching even more passes.
- Jerick McKinnon, running back
With running back Adrian Peterson missing the first four days of practice with a hamstring injury, McKinnon has been taking most of his reps. If not for Peterson’s all-pro reputation, McKinnon might actually have a shot at taking his starting spot.
In his third NFL season, the young running back is looking to be more involved in the Vikings game plan. He has been taking advantage of his opportunities this offseason and offensive coordinator Norv Turner has already mentioned including McKinnon more in the team’s 2016 strategy.
- Cordarrelle Patterson, wide receiver
It may not be fair for Patterson, but his injury on the first day of camp has hurt his chances at becoming more involved in Minnesota’s offense for this season. It is unclear of when he will be ready to return to the practice field, but he cannot afford to miss too much time when he is currently in the last year of his rookie contract.
With fellow wide receivers Charles Johnson and Laquon Treadwell dazzling fans with amazing catches throughout camp so far, Patterson’s standing on the depth chart is not getting any better with him on the sidelines.
- Matt Kalil, left tackle
Like Patterson, Kalil is another player that could be currently spending his last year with the Vikings in 2016. The former top-5 draft pick has failed to live up to the expectations that come with being selected so high.
The Vikings brought in a new offensive line coach in Tony Sparano and a new left guard in Alex Boone this offseason to try and improve the play of a struggling unit from a season ago. Minnesota hoped that the new additions would help improve Kalil’s play as well, but it seems like it is still the same story.
- Shaun Hill/Joel Stave, quarterbacks
When the Vikings had an opportunity this offseason to add a backup quarterback in free-agency, they did not. When they had an opportunity to add a backup quarterback in last spring’s draft, they did not.
So now they are left with two guys that would not be able to find Andre the Giant in the back of the end zone. If Teddy Bridgewater misses any games this season with an injury, do not include Minnesota in any Super Bowl predictions.