4 Takeaways from Vikings 2023 Minicamp | Day 1

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings commenced mandatory minicamp Tuesday, some 88 days before they begin the 2023 regular season versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

For now, oddsmakers peg the Vikings for about 8.5 wins in head coach Kevin O’Connell’s second season — the same forecast assigned to the club at this time last year.

4 Takeaways from Vikings 2023 Minicamp | Day 1

Minicamp lasts through Wednesday, followed by a summer break until training camp. These are Minnesota’s four big takeaways from Day One, ranked in no particular order.

1. Justin Jefferson Is in the House

Jefferson Makes
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center during 2023 Mandatory Minicamp. Jefferson won the 2023 Offensive Rookie of the Year award and enters Year 4 as a pro in 2023.

You can backlog any panic about Justin Jefferson and his future with the Vikings. He showed up to minicamp Tuesday and was all smiles.

Jefferson was absent from organized team activities (OTAs) in the last few weeks, so many wondered if he’d play hardball about a contract extension. He said about his absence from OTAs, “I had a lot of stuff going on. They didn’t really force me to come back too, too much. It didn’t seem like I was missing too, too much. They definitely wanted me back here, and I wanted to be back here but had a lot going on.”

The phenom wideout hinted that missing OTAs wasn’t totally contract-related, “It’s not something that’s new towards the game. Eventually, we knew we were going to have to talk contract.”

Jefferson’s extension with general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will be completed before too long, and the soon-to-be 24-year-old will be committed to the Vikings roster for the next 5-7 years thereafter.

“I’m just blessed to be in that type of situation to have a lot on my plate,” Jefferson added.

2. Danielle Hunter Indeed Absent

Vikings 2023 Minicamp
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

On the other hand, as reported earlier in the week, Minnesota’s top defender was not in attendance at minicamp and will evidently hold out until he receives an extension.

“I’ve got all the respect in the world for Danielle Hunter as a player, leader, and person on our team. We feel very strongly about being solutions-oriented with everything that comes about. This example, just like the other ones that have come about, we’ll do the same and hope to have continued dialogue and have a real positive outcome,” O’Connell said Tuesday.

When asked if Hunter would remain in Minnesota this season, the Vikings skipper replied, “I definitely see that as a real outcome. But there is a lot to be determined, and I want to be very sensitive to that situation to play out both for our organization and for Danielle.”

And that sounds like a big fat maybe regarding Hunter’s future with the Vikings. Stay tuned.

3. Jaquelin Roy Gets Surprise Run with 1st Teamers

Tigers Jaquelin Roy during the NFL Pro Day at LSU. Wednesday, March 29, 2023. Roy was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in Round 5 of the 2023 NFL Draft by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. © SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Athletic’s Alec Lewis tweeted at Day One of minicamp, “Rookie DT Jaquelin Roy got lots of snaps with 1s.”

Roy is a rookie 5th-Rounder considered by most a raw developmental prospect who could hopefully take over starting duties in 2024 or 2025. Don’t look now, but the man is off to a fast start if he’s getting run with the big boys.

Of course, this doesn’t mean Roy will start on the Vikings defensive line in September — there’s a long way to go in formulating the 53-man roster + starters — but for Roy’s sake, this is wonderful news.

Men from Round 5 rarely start out of the gate, nor do they usually earn 1st-team reps at minicamp.

4. No Jordan Addison until Training Camp

Rookie minicamp highlights from Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison’s first practice as a Viking after being selected in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Addison played at the University of Pittsburgh and USC in college.

Back in May, rookie WR Jordan Addison encountered some kind of minor injury that caused the franchise to proceed cautiously. Meanwhile, at minicamp, Addison didn’t participate — and will be shelved until late July.

O’Connell noted on Addison’s non-involvement, “We’ve had a plan in place for him and continuing to kind of build up to where he’ll be. He’ll be spending quite a bit of time continuing in his playbook. He’s been phenomenal in meetings and out here, asking great questions when they come up. My expectation is that Jordan will be full when we get going in late July.”

No-Addison isn’t doomsday, but folks will now monitor his summer progression, especially his health, with a magnifying glass.

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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.