Vikings

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Vikings-Broncos: 10(ish) players who stood out

The Minnesota Vikings opened their preseason against the Denver Broncos on Saturday night. Here are 10 players who made an impact…

Kirk Cousins

The Vikings’ starting quarterback only played one drive. He went 4-for-4 for 42 yards and a touchdown. Cousins dropped a terrific pass down the sidelines into the hands of Stefon Diggs for 28 yards.

Roc Thomas

It’s hard to have a better preseason game than Roc Thomas had against the Broncos. He scored two touchdowns, both on pass plays and one of which went for 78 yards. Aside from his TDs, Thomas showed patience in the running game, rushing for 29 yards on eight carries and added a quality pass block in his second drive. In the race for RB3, Thomas took the lead during the Vikings’ opening preseason game.

Latavius Murray

While Dalvin Cook has made huge progress in his recovery from ACL surgery this offseason, he was not active for Saturday’s game. Instead Latavius Murray got the start and immediately busted open several big runs on the team’s opening drive. He finished with 43 yards on just four carries. With Cook back, it will be interesting to see how many touches Murray gets.

Danny Isidora

With Mike Remmers injured, Isidora got the start and had the best performance of any of the Vikings’ offensive linemen. He’s received a large number of first-team reps during practice due to injuries. The 2017 fifth-round pick from Miami will have an opportunity to win a job with Nick Easton out for the year. Tom Compton struggled at times at left guard.

Takeaways from the Vikings’ preseason win over Denver (ep. 351)

Brian O’Neill

The Vikings’ rookie tackle did not allow a pressure in pass protection, according to Pro Football Focus. That’s a positive step, though he did not face first-team defenders.

Daniel Carlson

While Kai Forbath took the kickoffs in the opening half, the first kicker to get a shot at field goals was the rookie Carlson. He boomed both extra points through the uprights and nailed a 39-yard field goal in the first half and bombed one from 57 in the second half.

Tashawn Bower

Last year’s Mr. Mankato had a strong first half picking up one sack and knocking down a screen pass from Paxton Lynch. This offseason Mike Zimmer has mentioned using more of a defensive line rotation this year and Bower will have a shot at working his way in at defensive end. However, special teams could play a role in how often he sees the field. While he did make one tackle, Bower was also a part of a kick return for touchdown.

Mike Boone

The Vikings’ undrafted runnng back received the first reps of the players battling for RB3 but struggled. He rushed for just nine yards on six carries in the first half and appeared to miss opportunities to pick up bigger gains. Boone also may have missed an assignment on a sack in the first half.

Aviante Collins

The Vikings gave Collins reps at both tackle and guard against the Broncos. On several occasions, the former TCU lineman flashed his athletic ability. With Nick Easton out for the year, it’s plausible he could challenge for the starting job if he outplays Compton and Isidora.

Jaleel Johnson

While Johnson did not blow up plays like he did in last year’s preseason, it was notable that he played nose tackle to start the game with Linval Joseph sitting the night out. When David Parry came in, Johnson moved to three-technique. Because of the exit of Shamar Stephen, last year’s fourth-round pick could be the backup to Joseph.

Jack Tocho

The Vikings’ 2017 draft pick saw a ton of action on Saturday night. He came up with an interception and had good coverage on another pass that was tipped in the air for an Anthony Harris pick.

Chad Beebe/Kyle Sloter

The undrafted receiver scored a fourth quarter touchdown on a throw from Kyle Sloter. Beebe ran a solid route, breaking open to the corner of the end zone. He caught two other quick passes playing in a slot role.

Sloter stepped up against his former team going 9-for-11 with a passing and rushing touchdown.





Vikings

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