Organized Team Activities (OTAs) have arrived as the Minnesota Vikings continue gearing up for training camp, which believe it or not is only about two months away.
The team's OTAs will run over the course of 10 days and be followed by a three-day minicamp.
The biggest talker over the next several weeks will undoubtedly be focused on rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and his chances of securing the starting spot.
Head coach Mike Zimmer is expected to split first-team reps between 32-year-old Matt Cassel, Bridgewater and fifth-year former first-round pick Christian Ponder, according to The Viking Age. This will be Bridgewater's first chance to compete alongside veteran players.
Access Vikings of the Star Tribune believes Cassel is the favorite to win the job. It refers to Bridgewater as a "dark horse" to claim the top spot while Ponder is called an "underdog."
Sporting News tabbed Cassel as the top quarterback, Ponder second and Bridgewater third. It adds that Bridgewater is considered by many scouts to be the most NFL-ready rookie quarterback.
Vikings.com's Mike Wobschall has 10 storylines to watch to during the OTA period. His top priority will be following the quarterback competition, too, but he also has his eye on how new offensive coordinator Norv Turner will use second year wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in the offense.
Patterson went to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner in his rookie season. The former Tennessee Volunteer wasn't a key cog in the offense over the first half of the season, but he exploded over the final five games with six touchdowns (3 rushing, 3 receiving).
Another rookie to watch is third-round pick Jerrick McKinnon, a running back out of Georgia Southern.
McKinnon did it all in college, playing quarterback, cornerback, running back and kick returner. During his pro-day workout he lined up at three different positions. Zimmer was impressed with his natural physical ability.
“Yeah, I like him,” Zimmer recently told the Star Tribune. “He’s short in stature, but he’s got big legs and a big rear end. He’s got explosiveness, so I think we’ll find some things for him to do.”
Minnesota's top pick in the draft Anthony Barr (UCLA, No. 9 overall) will be one of three draft picks that won't attend OTAs because they're still finishing their college year, as reported last month by the Star Tribune. Defensive end Scott Crichton (Oregon State) and offensive lineman David Yankey (Stanford) are also still in school.
OTAs run May 28-30, June 3-5 and June 9-12.