Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


How can undrafted Vikings rookies impress Zimmer?

Posted by: Matt Vensel under Rookies, Vikings, Vikings draft Updated: May 19, 2014 - 10:42 AM

For Vikings draft picks such as Teddy Bridgewater and Anthony Barr, this past weekend’s rookie minicamp was an opportunity to meet future coworkers, settle into their new office and start to familiarize themselves with the team’s playbook and scheme on the field.

Not all of the 10 draft picks are locks to make the 53-man roster when the preseason ends, but they do have time to make an impression over the next few months.

The undrafted rookie free agents -- and even more so the couple dozen tryout guys who were invited -- could be gone in an instant, so they have less time to distinguish themselves.

So how exactly could they do that during the rookie minicamp that wrapped up Sunday?

“I think it’s just the flash part of things, the athletic ability, and then obviously knowing what to do a little bit,” head coach Mike Zimmer said. “Obviously, they aren’t going to know everything to do. But you see a guy with the right measurables, size-wise, and things like that and then he flashes at you a few times and gets better over the course of the weekend, those are the kinds of guys that we are really looking for.”

Zimmer said that before the first practice Friday, so we don’t know which undrafted rookies caught his eye. The minicamp featured all 10 draft picks, a handful of young veterans without NFL game experience, 15 signed undrafted rookie free agents and a couple dozen or so tryout guys.

But if they didn’t flash for Zimmer over the weekend, it is going to become even more difficult for the undrafted free agents to distinguish themselves in the coming weeks, when they will be competing against the Vikings veterans during offseason workouts, which start late next week.

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