Photos From Practice No. 7 >>
With the Vikings a week into training camp and my departure from Mankato to Canton for Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement festivities (Cris Carter), we thought now would be a good time to break out the Twitter-sized player evaluations to give fans a rundown of what’s happened through 7 practices.
A Twitter message has a character limit of 140, so below we’ve provided our own 140-character (or less) evaluation of some members of the Vikings roster. Part 2 will post on Saturday afternoon prior to the night practice so make sure to check back then.
Jarius Wright: An early standout in camp. Looks comfortable in offense, will go across the middle and make catch in traffic.
Blair Walsh: Shows no signs of regression and Priefer says his leg is actually stronger now than it was a year ago.
Stephen Burton: Having an impressive camp. Haven’t noticed a drop and is in the end zone a lot. Seems surer of himself.
Jeff Locke: Has impressed not only with distance, but hang time of punts. Other day had a handful of punts downed inside 10 w/ none in end zone.
Greg Jennings: A pro’s pro, good leader, talks with defensive players after drills to compare notes, can play outside or inside, great hands.
Matt Cassel: Best when going play-action and/or throwing on the run. Good spiral and velocity. Good poise and huddle presence.
Adam Thielen: Can separate with suddenness, has craftiness, reliable hands, looks the part.
Chris Cook: With attention of rookie CB, Cooks has flown under the radar while having a solid camp. Gotta stay healthy.
Josh Robinson: Training at nickel (inside) CB a bunch, never beaten badly, settles under punts very well, excellent short-area quickness.
Harrison Smith: Still plays with aggression, hates holding up from making hit in camp but does it, seems to be a strong blitzer.
Christian Ponder: Not bothered by attention and pressure. Improved in Thursday’s blitz period. Great touch, accuracy improved.
Joe Banyard: Gets a lot of reps with the third team, compact runner who is good in the passing game, too.
AJ Jefferson: Excellent speed and vertical leap, in right spot at right time frequently, needs to just “make the play.” Possible returner.
Adrian Peterson: Enjoying more “normal” build-up to season, looks fast and fresh, gains corner quickly on outside runs.
Xavier Rhodes: Poised to make immediate impact as cover corner who also has aggressiveness to play the run well. Great ball skills.
Toby Gerhart: Solid in all facets and great in the passing game. Might even find a role on punt team. Handles himself like a pro.
Jamarca Sanford: Emerging into a leader, always active on defense, aggressive, may be best kick/punt coverage guy.
Marcus Sherels: Instinctive, intelligent and tough on defense. Reliable on punt return. Having a good camp.
Robert Blanton: Haven’t seen the “wow” moment vs. the run, but is clearly a tough player who gets physical in the passing game.
Bradley Randle: Compact, sudden and reliable running the ball. Needs to work on footwork in passing game (blocking and route running).
Rhett Ellison: Jack of all trades, master of none but improving dramatically as a pass-catcher. Tough as it gets, outstanding work ethic.