From the offensive line to Laquon Treadwell's progress, FOX Sports North lists a few things were able to take out of the Minnesota Vikings' May and June workouts.
USA TODAY SportsBrad Rempel
Still SO many questions on the offensive line
Not that we were going to have complete answers in the trenches by training camp, but who knows what to expect this year? Third-year tackle T.J. Clemmings comes out of OTAs with the most Vikings experience among current guards and tackles on the roster, which isn’t saying much. Clemmings has played in 31 games for Minnesota in two seasons at right and left tackle with varying results. There also hasn’t been any clarification on where third-round pick Pat Elflein will start -- or even, get playing time -- at guard or center. A new season brings the same big question mark on the offensive line, but the 2017 version looks to have much more depth.
Teddy Bridgewater is still the QBOTF … maybe
The Vikings made national headlines on May 23 when they tweeted out a slow-motion video of Teddy Bridgewater throwing a football during an OTA practice. The video immediately went viral, mostly because the media weren't at the practice, and, ultimately, weren't expecting him to throw just yet. So, why would the Vikings tweet out such a video? If Bridgewater isn’t a part of the Vikings’ future plans, they don’t tweet out a video that features such a basic (yet, encouraging) part of his recovery. Or maybe we’re just overanalyzing the whole thing. That tends happen after OTAs. Regardless, we’re all rooting for No. 5 to be back on the field as soon as possible.
The Laquon Treadwell hype machine is revving up … again
It has become a cottage industry of sorts: Reports emerge emphasizing a player's supposed progress as offseason workouts begin, noting that former star X, role player Y or post-hype youngster Z is looking good. Coaches like him, they say, and he's catching everything in practice. He's about to break out. Maybe. So, what's the word on Treadwell, the former first-round pick who had just one catch as a rookie? Well, there's plenty of anecdotal hype to go around. He beat cornerback Trae Waynes in practice, Xavier Rhodes says he looks good and head coach Mike Zimmer is impressed with his work ethic ("maybe he works too hard," Zimmer said). So while the Vikings appeared to be hedging their bets after signing Michael Floyd, maybe Treadwell is finally figuring things out.
Bucky Hodges is the early frontrunner for the "Training Camp Player of the Year" award
Speaking of hype, the early word on Hodges has been encouraging, but Vikings fans should exercise caution when getting too worked up about the hulking tight end's potential. A 6-foot-6 pass-catcher in the mold of receiving tight ends like Travis Kelce and Jordan Reed, Hodges' physical tools and resume are intriguing. However, he was pick No. 201 for a reason. Hodges has rarely been called upon to block -- a necessary skill on a team with protection deficiencies -- and spent most of his time in OTAs and minicamp working with the second-team offense. That's not necessarily a huge predictor of his usage once the actual games get underway, but with incumbents Kyle Rudolph and David Morgan around we might not see much of Hodges right away.
Jerick McKinnon isn't going to let Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook supplant him without a fight
It can be easy to forget about diminutive scatback McKinnon with free-agent signing Latavius Murray and second-round pick Dalvin Cook around, but he appears to be making a real push for some sort of timeshare. McKinnon says he's added some major muscle to his 5-foot-9 frame over the offseason, and spent his spring training with former teammate Adrian Peterson. He had plenty of reps with the first team in OTAs and minicamp, and figures to be in the mix come training camp.