The Minnesota Vikings hosted their yearly night practice, and there was a lot to take away from last night’s practice...
Kirk Cousins arm strength was evident
Cousins had a number of throws during night practice that stood out as elite football throws. Adam Thielen was lined up in the slot, and bent his route outside to pull coverage, but broke back inside in between the hashes. Two defensive backs blanketed Thielen over the top and underneath, but Cousins fit a ball in a tight window. Cousins quick release was on full display, and saved him from a couple of easy sacks.
Laquon Treadwell is... better
Laquon Treadwell is making splash plays every day at camp. He had a few contested catches that illustrated his bully mentality. He looks thinner than previous years, and is getting more looks from Kirk Cousins. Unfortunately, he is still struggling to gain much separation from defensive backs, but he is doing a better job with angles, and giving his quarterback more room to make the pass. Treadwell lined up a couple if times from the slot, which will only add to the flexibility of the Vikings offense with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.
Wide Receiver Drops
During individual drills there were a number of drops from all the wide receivers. There isn’t too much concern here, but the drops did show up on a few team, and 7-on-7 drills. Diggs showed his leadership by talking to a few of the younger receivers on technique.
Dalvin Cook and Nick Easton held out
Dalvin Cook was not suited up for the late night scrimmage. He has been having a great camp thus far, and his left knee is holding up well. The hope is that Cook was held out to give him a night of rest, but it is something to monitor as the first injury report comes out this week. The best decision for the Vikings would be to continue to ease Cook into all football related activities. With the first preseason game next week, Cook will have more time to rehab and return to form. Nick Easton was another notable name missing from the night practice. Cornelius Edison had to take center reps, but Easton missing time is cause for concern. The Vikings are becoming extremely thin on the offensive line, and will likely be a worse unit from 2017. With Joe Berger retiring, the Vikings need their starters healthy and ready for the season.
Brandon Zylstra and Cayleb Jones are standing out
Zylstra had a number of circus catches during the night practice. He had a particularly impressive one-handed catch one the sidelines. The Vikings will need a couple of guys to start to separate themselves during preseason, and Zylstra looks to be one of those guys. Cayleb Jones was also making plays by consistency in and out of his breaks. Sloter found him on a few passes, and he rewarded the confidence with numerous completed catches. The back up wide receiver battle is shaping up to be an exciting one.