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.


Vikings 4 Downs: Yankey, Bridgewater, McKinnon, wings

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: June 2, 2014 - 9:47 AM

Every Monday morning during the offseason we’ll take four questions from Twitter for our weekly mailbag using the #VikingsST hashtag.

He hasn’t participated in OTAs, but rookie guard David Yankey is someone that can compete at left guard with Charlie Johnson. We’ve only had one chance to see him during rookie minicamp, but Yankey comes in to the league at 6-5 and 315 pounds. He's a physical lineman and played on an agressive offensive line at Stanford. Plus, there's some sort of familiarity with offensive line coach Jeff Davidson. His son, Nick, is an offensive lineman at Stanford. We’ll get a better understanding of how quickly he can adjust to the NFL over the next two months, but it’ll be something to watch during training camp.

Defensive tackle Shamar Stephen also has a chance at backup nose tackle behind nose tackle Linval Joseph, as explained here

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is another possibility with an open quarterback competition (more on that later).

Bridgewater wasn’t at the open practice on Thursday due to an NFLPA event in Los Angeles. We’ll get another chance to see him during Thursday’s OTA session.

Looking back at my notes though from the open rookie minicamp practice, Bridgewater had good timing and anticipation. I wasn’t expecting that from a rookie quarterback that's in a new system and throwing to receivers he barely knows. And yes, that 50-yard pass at rookie minicamp was in stride.

Bridgewater looked good, and Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has been impressed so far and said Bridgewater will get some first team reps in OTAs. We shouldn’t read into how many he gets until training camp but rather watch to see how he does. Why isn't the quantity important at the moment. Because it’s OTAs.

I wouldn’t compare him to Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, but there’s some similarities with Eagles running back LeSean McCoy. It’s too early to tell to be honest whether he can be an every down back down the road. Fortunately for both McKinnon and the Vikings, it’s not an issue in the short-term with Adrian Peterson.

For the most part, Matt Asiata was receiving second team reps at running back. He’s someone that can come in for Peterson for a few snaps. As for McKinnon, general manager Rick Spielman made it clear the team envisions him as a change-of-pace third down back.

He had just 10 career catches at Georgia Southern, but McKinnon made a nice over the shoulder grab last week on a nice pass from Ponder. He's athletic and versatile enough that it seems McKinnon will get more comfortable (if he’s not already) as a pass catcher with more reps.

No, but it won’t stop me from dreaming.

Background: rapper Rick Ross sent out a tweet to Bridgewater (both friends) on Draft Day.

Well, Ross owns a handful of Wingstop franchises (as he mentions in pretty much every song). There isn’t one in Minnesota sadly, so of course food is the first thing to come to mind. I jokingly told Bridgewater after his introductory press conference that he should get Ross to open one up in the Twin Cities.

A passive aggressive joke, might I add. But if we ever get one, and the odds haven’t increased over the last month, you’ll know where to find me.

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