Five players to keep an eye on at Vikings rookie minicamp

The time has finally come.

A couple of weeks after being drafted by the Vikings, or signed as undrafted free agents, the 2024 rookie class will descend upon TCO Performance Center in Eagan for the weekend, starting on Friday. It will serve as a chance for many players to make a first impression on the coaching staff as they look to carve out a niche for themselves heading into next season.

Though the tandem of quarterback J.J. McCarthy and edge rusher Dallas Turner will arrive with the most hype after being selected in the first round of the draft, there are a handful of other names worth following when the Vikings hit the practice field this weekend.

Here are five players to keep an eye on at Vikings rookie minicamp:

J.J. McCarthy

This is a no-brainer. As the only quarterback the Vikings have ever drafted in the Top 10 in franchise history, McCarthy will be under a microscope every time he throws a pass on the practice field. It will be interesting to see how he looks his first time taking live reps with the Vikings. There’s going to be a learning curve for him as he acclimates to the next level. That said, McCarthy played in a pro-style offense at Michigan in college, and thus, could be more advanced in his development than some might think. His performance at rookie minicamp under the tutelage of head coach Kevin O’Connell will give a good indications where he stands.

Dallas Turner

Just go ahead and look up some highlights of Turner rushing the passer at Alabama in college. He was a dominant force in every situation, equipped with the speed to win on the outside, as well as the power to win on the inside. Though he won’t get to showcase his full repertoire this weekend, Turner should be able to give a glimpse into the dominant player he could become soon enough.

Khyree Jackson

It’s going to be fun to see how imposing cornerback Khyree Jackson looks in person. He is listed as having a 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame, which fits the mold of what defensive coordinator Brian Flores is looking for in a cornerback. It’s not hard to imagine Jackson developing into a solid player on the outside. How fluid is he going to be at his size? That’s the main question that needs to be answered.

Levi Drake Rodriguez

As far as excitement level goes among the rookie class, defensive tackle Levi Drake Rodriguez is up there simply because he is an unknown. There aren’t a ton of highlights of Rodriguez because he played his college ball at Texas A&M Commerce. He clearly has a passion for the sport, and that should serve him well as he tries to make the team. No doubt a good showing this weekend will put him on the right track.

Gabriel Murphy

The comparisons started as soon as edge rusher Gabriel Murphy signed as an undrafted free agent. The thought was that he could follow a similar path to that of linebacker Ivan Pace Jr., who signed as undrafted free agent ahead of last season and turned himself into an unquestioned star for the Vikings. The biggest knock on Murphy coming out of college was the fact that he lacked the prototypical arm length of an edge rusher. He has a chance to prove the doubters wrong starting now.

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