These 12 Veterans Reported Early for Vikings Training Camp

blake brandel
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota Vikings training camp is underway as of Sunday. Rookies arrived in Eagan, and everyone else is required to attend on Tuesday, July 25th.

Camp at TCO Performance Center marks the sixth installment away from Mankato and at Vikings headquarters in Eagan.

These 12 Veterans Reported Early for Vikings Training Camp

And while Jordan Addison’s presence Sunday at camp was front and center after his reckless driving infraction Thursday morning, 12 veterans showed up early.

These 12 Veterans
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

These dozen vets attended Sunday:

  • Ross Blacklock (DT)
  • Kirk Cousins (QB)
  • William Kwenkeu (LB)
  • James Lynch (DT)
  • Nick Mullens (QB)
  • Brian O’Neill (RT)
  • Harrison Phillips (DT)
  • Blake Proehl (WR)
  • Jaquelin Roy (DT)
  • Sam Schlueter (OT)
  • T.J. Smith (DT)
  • Josh Sokol (C)
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

And here were the 25 others — or rookies:

  • Jordan Addison
  • Junior Aho
  • Alan Ali
  • Calvin Avery
  • Abraham Beauplan
  • Mekhi Blackmon
  • Andre Carter II
  • Jacky Chen
  • C.J. Coldon, Jr.
  • Jaren Hall
  • Wilson Huber
  • Lucky Jackson
  • Cephus Johnson III
  • Malik Knowles
  • Garett Maag
  • DeWayne McBride
  • Zach Ojile
  • Ivan Pace Jr.
  • Jack Podlesny
  • Jaquelin Roy
  • Ben Sims
  • Thayer Thomas
  • NaJee Thompson
  • Jay Ward
  • Jaylin Williams

A couple of the rookies listed above are expected to command attention immediately, perhaps via regular season playing time right away. The aforementioned Addison was drafted in Round 1 three months ago, and men drafted that early generally contribute sooner than later — if they stay out of trouble. The Vikings also have a glaring need at cornerback, so USC’s Mekhi Blackmon could win the team’s slot CB gig, almost by default.

Rookie minicamp highlights from Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mekhi Blackmon’s first practice as a Viking after being selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. Blackmon is a cornerback from USC drafted by Minnesota in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Moreover, Jay Ward, a safety-cornerback hybrid, could theoretically experience some run in the 2023 defense, and if defensive tackle Jaquelin Roy ‘looks the part’ at training camp as he did at minicamp in June, he could siphon some regular snaps from veterans Khyiris Tonga or Dean Lowry.

Undrafted free agents Ivan Pace Jr. (ILB) and Andre Carter II (OLB) probably should’ve been drafted in April but fell to the Vikings via free agency. Both are expected to seriously vie for 53-man roster spots and maybe receive on-the-field action in 2023 inside Brian Flores’ new defense.

Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK.

Minnesota won 13 games in 2022, head coach Kevin O’Connell’s first season as head coach. Most NFL pundits foresee regression from the 2023 team, though, to the tune of an 8-9 or 9-8 record.

Vikings fans also await the resolution of Danielle Hunter’s contract situation. The pass rusher wants a new deal, and it is unclear if general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will oblige or trade the 28-year-old.

Fans can attend training camp beginning Saturday, July 29th.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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