Basically this is a rough compilation of what I could scrounge up while reading over the stuff posted and written by those there at the rookie minicamp thus far. Naturally my sources are your typical: Tom Pelissero, Paul Allen, et al. And of course the primary focus is on those whom we drafted as opposed to the UDFAs, although Duran Carter is mentioned.
- Sharrif Floyd is big. But those arms...
- Duron Carter had a bit of a rough start but apparently settled down later. (Supposedly he dropped his first three catches, very un-Carter like.) He was also worked out at punt returner, alongside Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg McCoy, Jerodis Williams, and Bobby Felder. Keep in mind heritage/ pedigree aside, Carter is a long shot to even make practice squad at this point. Not only is he only at minicamp right now as a tryout (rather than a signed UDFA), he also hasn't really played football in 3 years. Let's all be 100% honest- this guy would have never even been remotely considered by an NFL team if it weren't for his father.
- Speaking of Cordarrelle Patterson, he apparently looked very good today running around and catching passes from the UDFA and tryout QBs. He was paired up once against fellow first rounder Xavier Rhodes, but the pass sailed wide. For what it's worth right now, it's looking like the Vikings grabbed the ‘steal' they hoped was worth the trade.
- Rhodes however did net an INT on his first one-on-one. (It was a pass from UDFA James Vandenberg to PS dude LaMark Brown, so take it for what you will.) Somewhat interestingly he also worked out at LCB, but we'll obviously have to wait for the veterans (namely Chris Cook) to show up before presuming where everyone will actually be at.
- Oft-injured potential wunderkind/ MLB Mike Mauti unsurprisingly spent most of his time just talking with and listening to Fred Pagac and Mike Singletary, although he did do some sprinting and light (non-contact) drill work. He watched as fellow Penn Stater Gerald Hodges went through the full rigmarole. Leslie Frazier mentioned Mauti as a possibility to start at MLB, alongside Tyrone McKenzie, Erin Henderson, and AUDIE COOOOOLEEEE!!!! Mauti himself seemed determined to be ready for full training camp in late July, and that may well determine whether or not he makes the full team or if the Vikings attempt to slip him through onto the Practice Squad (a move I predict would fail). For all his potential and the need at MLB, remember he was still "only" a 7th round pick with considerable injury concerns, and in theory it is feasible for the Vikings to give up on the project if they come the conclusion it's not worth the roster spot.
- Jeff Locke was worked out thoroughly today, not only going through various punting drills with ST coach/ uber-guru Mike Priefer but also working on holding (which if he takes over for Chris Kluwe is a second job he'd inherit). Due to a snowstorm (seriously, does it ever stop snowing up there?) today however he did not punt outside, something I would imagine Priefer is eager to see before pulling the trigger. Regardless, we're all well aware that Locke is our PotF- otherwise, that 5th rounder was even more boneheaded than it really already was. At this point all Locke has to do is perform as well as Kluwe to win the job- he doesn't even have to be better. Ignoring the fact that he's cheaper and younger, the FO is probably not willing to look even more foolish over that 5th round pick by letting Locke walk- they already look silly by having the dubious distinction of joining the Lions as the only NFL teams to draft punters. I love Kluwe but the dude is gone.
- In considerably less-publicized ST news, it's vaguely possible the team is looking for a younger long snapper as well. While they didn't spend a draft pick on one, UDFA Colin Anderson, who claimed that he was there to play tight end, joined tryout Scott Albritton as 2 experienced long snappers in minicamp. I couldn't find if they actually practiced drills at that position or not, but I suppose the Cullen Loeffler era might be ending at the same time as the Kluwe era. (Prior to last season, Ryan Longwell, Kluwe, and Loeffler were the longest tenured ST ‘trio' of punter/ kicker/ long snapper in the league. I suppose once the band starts breaking up it's only a matter of time before its fresh faces at all 3 positions.) Loeffler was given a 3 year extension in 2011, and I have absolutely no clue what the potential cap ramifications would be of letting him go.
- As to our drafted linemen, Jeff Baca played right guard and center. Travis Bond played right tackle. If they both prove their mettle enough to make the team, that's one entire side of the line potentially insured (assuming of course Baca wouldn't have to fill in for both RG and C). DeMarcus Love would be another potential backup T, and we may keep Joe Berger, Troy Kropog, Kevin Murphy (currently listed as a tackle), and/or Seth Olsen for a second backup G/C spot- that's assuming the team wants 4 or even 5 backups for the O-line (not unheard of). That's ignoring the possibility that any of the various UDFA/ tryout linemen end up making the team. That's also of course assuming both Baca and Bond make the team, I didn't really find any information on how well they did/ did not perform.
- CB Michael Carter, a tryout from the University of Minnesota, was apparently injured enough at one point that he was forced to sit out the majority of the day. I don't know really how many Gopher homers there are here, but the odds of a tryout making the team after missing precious minicamp time are not good- particularly considering the Vikings are at max roster capacity already.
- 7th round draft pick Everett Dawkins, DT, was the only draftee I couldn't find any information on. That said, fellow DT Sharrif Floyd was also apparently less than news-worthy, which means that maybe the positional drills there just made no noise. (Dawkins himself did tweet some very positive feelings about being at the minicamp, but I suppose that's not really surprising for any rookie.)
There's more minicamp tomorrow and Sunday, but reporters are not allowed in so the news will likely be scant. And I don't know about you, but every passing day I'm getting more and more excited for OTAs... then training camp... then preseason... THEN FOOTBALL AGAIN YEAAAAHHHHH BOIIII!!!