The preseason opener for the Minnesota Vikings is officially in the books, and the scoreboard says that the purple fell to the Las Vegas Raiders by a final score of 26-20. However, as we always say, the most important thing about the preseason is whether or not anyone gets hurt, and it appears that the Vikings got out of this one relatively injury-free.
There were some players I saw on Sunday that helped their chances of making the team and some that didn’t really do much to distinguish themselves. While I’m not going to do the full-blown “Stock Report” or anything like that, I can identify some players that fall under each heading. This is just one man’s opinion. . .your mileage, as always, may vary.
Kellen Mond, QB - Mond got off to a bit of a rough start on his afternoon, and at one point had only completed 4-of-9 passes. The Vikings did a weird bit of quarterback shuffling, putting Sean Mannion back into the game after putting Mond in at the end of the first half, but Mond finished with a pretty solid game. He completed 9-of 14 passes on the afternoon for 119 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to Albert Wilson.
We’ve said this before a bunch of times. . .we know what Mannion brings to the table. Mond is still, mostly, an unknown quantity at this point. What we do know is that, in order for the Vikings to know whether or not Mond has any sort of ability to contribute to the team, he needs to play. A lot. I’m guessing he’s going to get more time going forward.
Kene Nwangwu and Ty Chandler, RBs - I understand that they were going against mostly backups when they were out there, but the two young running backs certainly acquitted themselves well in Sunday’s action. Nwangwu carried the ball seven times for 41 yards and threw in a pair of receptions for 18 yards, while Chandler carried the ball five times and averaged an even ten yards/carry. Chandler even threw in a big kick return that led to the Vikings’ first touchdown. The Vikings have some serious depth at running back, and Alexander Mattison probably needs to watch his back a little bit.
T.Y. McGill, DT - The Vikings need plenty of depth on their defensive line, and even though McGill probably isn’t a name that a lot of folks had their eyes on going into this one, he certainly got himself noticed today with a pair of quarterback sacks. Considering that the depth behind Dalvin Tomlinson and Harrison Phillips can charitably be classed as “suspect,” McGill could be playing himself into a reserve role for this team.
Wyatt Davis, G - At this point, I don’t even know what to say about Davis, other than it appears he’s about to be one of the most disappointing picks in recent Vikings’ history. He was mired with the third team on Sunday and certainly didn’t do anything to distinguish himself. I don’t think he makes the team, honestly. Hell, he might not make it past Tuesday’s first cuts.
Bryant Koback, RB - Not a great afternoon for the night stalker, who wound up with four carries for nine yards. More notably, he dropped a couple of passes that could have potentially gone for larger gains with the blocking that was set up. I’m not sure if Koback had much of a chance to make the roster, but he didn’t do anything to help his chances on Sunday.
Sean Mannion, QB - It’s not that Mannion had a bad game necessarily. . .it’s just that he didn’t look as good as Mond did. He did see more of the Raiders’ top defensive players than Mond did, but also had an opportunity against the lower-tier guys later in the game when he got in for another series and did next to nothing. Again, we know what Mannion is, and I think we may finally be seeing Mond overtake him a bit.
What about you folks? Anyone you want to highlight that you were either impressed by or not impressed with from this afternoon’s action?