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3 things to watch for in the first Vikings preseason game

Will Dan Bailey be able to make some kicks?
Chad Beebe

The Vikings' 2019 preseason kicks off tonight in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Although the majority of fans deem the preseason useless, there's still dozens of roster decisions that need to be made.

Even though Teddy Bridgewater will likely steal the show for the Saints, there are a few things Vikings fans should watch for.

1. Which quarterback gets the most playing time?

It's very rare for the first-team offense to receive a ton of playing time in the first preseason game and it wouldn't be surprising to see Kirk Cousins not even take a snap.

So that means Jake Browning, Sean Mannion and Kyle Sloter could all see playing time against the Saints.

Mannion was listed as the No. 2 quarterback in the Vikings' first unofficial depth chart earlier this week, so he might end up seeing the most playing time.

Browning was signed as an undrafted free agent in April after an impressive career at the University of Washington.

Sloter has been with the Vikings since 2017 when he was signed off the Denver Broncos practice squad, but it seems he might be the odd man out if Mannion and Browning impress in the preseason.

My guess is that Mannion will play the majority first half with Browning and Sloter splitting time the final two quarters.

2. Will Dan Bailey keep his job?

We all know how much Mike Zimmer loves kickers. Okay, love is the wrong word but Bailey needs to seize his opportunities tonight.

If he doesn't make his kicks, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see Zimmer bring in another kicker for competition.

Former Viking kicker Kai Forbath still remains unsigned. Forbath was cut by the Vikings last year, losing out to rookie Daniel Carlson, who then lost his job after two weeks only to become a stud in Oakland. 

Forbath's only knock was that he struggled making extra points, but he did make 88 percent of his field-goal attempts while in Minnesota.

Bailey might have the most to lose of all the Vikings tonight.

3. Who emerges as a third wide receiver?

We all know how talented Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are but the Vikings are throwing darts at the wall after them.

Chad Beebe, Brandon Zylstra, Laquon Treadwell and a surplus of wide receivers from the 2019 draft are vying for spots.

Early indications in training camp seem to have Beebe as the favorite, but he's certainly not locked in to be the No. 3 in Week 1.

Zylstra, a Minnesota native, has had a Cinderella rise to the NFL after dominating the Canadian Football League. He caught four passes last year for the Vikings but still has a lot to prove if he wants significant playing time.

Treadwell on the other hand seems to be the lame duck of the three. He's been a complete bust after being selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, but he's the only one with significant experience. Maybe this is the year he reaches his potential?

Plus, there's rookie wide receivers in Dillion Mitchell and Bisi Johnson, who are trying to push for roster spots. 

Kickoff between the Vikings and Saints is at 7 p.m.

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