The Vikings wrapped up their offseason program Thursday with the conclusion of a three-day minicamp, after which assistant head coach Gary Kubiak became the latest to heap praise onto second-year receiver Chad Beebe. Coordinator Kevin Stefanski already said Beebe has been “making a name for himself” in spring practices.
Beebe, who has been given looks as the No. 3 receiver and the punt returner this spring, responded in a way fit for the son of former NFL receiver Don Beebe.
“Obviously those are kind words and I appreciate it,” Beebe said after practice. “But the work is never done. I’m only a second-year guy. I got a lot ahead of me to still do and prove.”
That’s why Vikings coaches break for a five-week vacation high on Beebe, the shortest (5-10) and most promising youngster on an inexperienced receiver depth chart behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.
Should Beebe maintain his progress through training camp and the preseason, he’ll give Vikings brass something to think about as the offense pivots to predominantly two-tight end and two-receiver personnel.
“Let’s see how we end up,” Kubiak said. “I think we also have to look at the fact that [Beebe] has probably had as good an offseason as any player that I know on our side of the ball. He’s got a chance to be a really good player for us. It gives us good flexibility to be able to bounce around personnel-wise.”
In 2018, Beebe appeared in three games and caught four passes for 39 yards.
Rookie stands out
Another young receiver, undrafted Davion Davis out of Sam Houston State, ended his first NFL offseason with a bang. Davis, standing 5-11, caught a deep pass by Sean Mannion with one hand despite blanket coverage. Davis added another deep grab later in practice before ending Mannion’s two-minute drill by catching a tipped pass to convert a fourth down.
“He obviously is still learning a lot of the places to line up,” head coach Mike Zimmer said, “but he’s been a guy that caught our eye right from rookie minicamp, really.”
Cook backs food truck
Running back Dalvin Cook stepped up to be an ambassador for the Vikings Foundation’s new initiative, the Vikings Table food truck, unveiled Thursday at the TCO Performance Center in Eagan. The 38-foot food truck will serve meals biweekly at schools and summer programs “where childhood food insecurity is prevalent” from June to December.
“It truly means a lot to me, because of my upbringing,” Cook said. “I didn’t know the things to put in my body. Sometimes we skipped meals.”
Ham adds side dishes
Fullback C.J. Ham, the Duluth native, had a little more piled onto his plate this spring as he filled various roles from traditional lead blocker to in-line tight end. Zimmer praised Ham’s spring after he plugged the void left by three injured tight ends, rookie Irv Smith Jr., Tyler Conklin and David Morgan, who were sidelined this week.
“There’s a little bit more, but it’s fun,” Ham said. “I just want to be on the field.”
• Eight Vikings were sidelined by injuries throughout the final week of offseason practices, including cornerback Mike Hughes (knee) and defensive end Tashawn Bower (ankle).
• Zimmer invited Vikings alumni to Eagan on Thursday for the traditional offseason-ending barbecue, where team employees and players past and present gathered: “It’s important to me that we honor the guys that have come before us,” Zimmer said.