4 Standout Players from Vikings 2024 OTAs

Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Nailor (83) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings started organized team activities (OTAs) last week and continued this week, with mandatory minicamp kicking off this Tuesday.

4 Standout Players from Vikings 2024 OTAs

It’s the first look at players in their 2024 apparel, notably featuring glimpses of newcomers from the 2024 NFL Draft and free agency.

And so far, these four players have stood out (detailed in alphabetical order).

1. Sam Darnold (QB)

Minnesota quarterback S. Darnold addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center during OTAs. Darnold joined the Vikings’ roster in March 2024 during free agency, on deck as a Kirk Cousins replacement and sharing the QB room later with rookie passer J.J. McCarthy of Michigan.

The Athletic’s Alec Lewis tweeted Wednesday about Darnold’s performance at (OTAs): “One day of practice, so no reason at all to make more of it than need be, but thought Sam Darnold looked very good today. Just unafraid throwing over the middle, accurate, some nice juice on it. Lot of solid connections with Jordan Addison.”

Before that, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said last week, “We don’t always get quarterback competition, and this is a real one. The fact that Sam Darnold is in there. I have also heard he has looked good, he is going to look good. Something he has done his entire career, when it’s the spring, when it’s the preseason or when he has been unbothered, he has looked excellent. It’s really a matter of when he gets in games, is he the same quarterback when it doesn’t all go perfectly?”

Darnold is doing the Darnold thing — he looks great in the spring and summer. Here’s to hoping for a regular season translation.

2. Shaquill Griffin (CB)

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Griffin turned heads in Eagan at OTAs, and the veteran corner told Star Tribune, “I love the defensive scheme that we have. I feel that they put me in the right spot to be able to play my game how I’m used to playing it.”

His experience will help the younger cornerbacks develop in 2024 and perhaps beyond.

Star Tribune’s Andrew Krammer wrote this week, “Griffin, a 28-year-old veteran who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal in free agency, has stepped into a starting role during spring practices. When he looks around at his new teammates, coaches and a playbook that includes more man-to-man coverage, Griffin said he sees the recipe for him to return to a Pro Bowl form he once showed with the Seahawks.”

3. Jalen Nailor (WR)

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Nailor has done this before — and actually made our 2023 OTAs standout list. So, note that.

The aforementioned Lewis wrote this week, “With Jefferson absent, Nailor, Jordan Addison and Brandon Powell saw the majority of the snaps with the No. 1 unit. Nailor remains an intriguing option if he can stay healthy; a lower-leg injury ended his training camp early last year, and a concussion sidelined him for the final five weeks of the season.”

The speedy Viking enters Year No. 3, a vital season for his career trajectory — on a team that needs someone from his position to blossom.

4. Dallas Turner (WR)

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ESPN’s Kevin Seifert tweeted Wednesday, “Christian Darrisaw was just raving about rookie Vikings LB Dallas Turner. Said he saw Turner put a spin move on another lineman that was faster than the one Danielle Hunter used to put on people.”

Darrisaw told KSTP’s Darren Wolfson, “He had a spin move last week, it was quicker than Danielle’s. I was like, ‘Damn, this guy’s gonna be special.'”

Turner is already turning heads, and such praise from Darrisaw wasn’t required. If a Vikings fan had authored the quote, it could be chalked up to a rah-rah category. But Darrisaw’s opinion is meaningful.

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.