David Yankey seems to be the odds on favorite to win the label of 'sleeper pick' for the Vikings 2014 draft class. Considered by many to be as high as a late first rounder to third round guy, the former Stanford standout slipped down into the fifth round, where Minnesota selected him with the 145th pick overall.
As soon as he was selected, most people presumed he would be pushing for the starting LG job, currently held by Charlie Johnson. After the first few days of camp, Johnson is still lining up with the first team offensive line, but Yankey has all the tools to be a top flight offensive lineman in the NFL.
Yankey took a few minutes after practice to talk to us about life in the NFL, his new team, and blocking for a guy like Adrian Peterson.
DN: When you fell into the fifth round, a lot of people felt you might have been the steal of the draft for the Vikings. What were you told leading up to draft day, and were you surprised with the way things fell out?
DY: You know, the draft is a crazy process. It's something where you don't have a lot of control, but I'm happy to be in Minnesota. This is a great group of offensive linemen that I can learn from, and hopefully I can continue to make a good impression throughout training camp.
DN: What have the first few days of camp been like for you?
DY: It's been good. Like I said, the guys are great, and I'm learning as much as possible. I missed a lot of the OTA's with the late graduation from Stanford...
DN: Because of the Pac-12 quarter system?
DY: Yep, because of the quarter system, graduation was in June. I had two OTA's, the mandatory minicamp, and the rookie minicamp, so a total of seven or eight days when everyone else had like three weeks.
DN: So do you think you're playing catch up with the rest of the team?
DY: No, I feel pretty good on the playbook as far as knowing what to do. I've only had a few mental errors, so it's more a matter of playing in pads, being a better player, all that good stuff.
DN: What's it like blocking for Adrian Peterson and the other backs in that backfield?
DY: All of them are great backs, especially AD. You see him do crazy things, and it's kind of unbelievable. I watched him growing up, and it's cool to get to play with him.