Things to watch as the Minnesota Vikings host mandatory minicamp

Summer has arrived early, and the Minnesota Vikings enter their final week of offseason activity this week with mandatory minicamp Tuesday-Thursday at TCO Performance Center.

The Vikings have had three weeks of organized team activities, which are voluntary workouts, and have had nearly perfect attendance over the entire stretch. After Thursday’s practice, players get more than a month off before returning to the Twin Cities for training camp in late July. Then before we know it, the preseason and regular season will be here.

This week’s workouts are mandatory, and anyone who does not show up is subject to a fine. Here’s a few things to watch as the Vikings gather for one more week of workouts.


The Vikings’ star defensive end missed all of last season after having surgery on a herniated disc in his neck, something Mike Zimmer originally called a "tweak." He did not participate in OTAs, and reports the last several months indicate he wants a new contract with the Vikings and wants to be among the highest-paid defensive players in the NFL. 

Former NFL player James Jones, now an analyst for NFL Network, tweeted on Monday Danielle Hunter will be at mandatory minicamp.

If he does indeed show, that sends a positive message for his future in Minnesota. Hunter is the fastest player in NFL history to at least 50 career sacks in his first five seasons, and the Vikings need him back on the defensive line for 2021.


It appears more likely every day that the Vikings might be moving on from defensive back Jeff Gladney, who is entering his second NFL season. Gladney was arrested earlier this offseason on an assault charge in Texas involving his girlfriend. The Vikings have been silent on the matter, other than confirming they are aware and letting the legal process play out.

The Vikings’ current secondary features Cameron Dantzler, Mackensie Alexander, Patrick Peterson, Bashaud Breeland, Kris Boyd and Amari Henderson. The safeties include Harrison Smith, Xavier Woods and Camryn Bynum. There will be plenty of competition at minicamp and training camp for playing time, it’s just a matter now of it Gladney will be part of the future.


The Minnesota Vikings used the NFL Draft to invest in their offensive line, taking Christian Darrisaw with their first round pick and Ohio State’s Wyatt Davis in the third round. But Darrisaw has missed time at OTAs with a core injury, and we’ll find out if he practices at minicamp this week.

Through much of OTAs, the first team offensive line has featured Garrett Bradbury, Brian O’Neill, Ezra Cleveland, Dakota Dozier and Rashod Hill. There’s no need to rush Darrisaw or Davis, but at some point they’ll need to play on the first team offensive line to be ready for Week 1.


The Vikings’ special teams unit had an up-and-down season in 2020, so it will be interesting to see who wins position battles by the end of training camp. The Vikings cut Austin Cutting during the season last year, replacing him with Andrew DePaola.

Britton Colquitt is back at punter, but he’ll get pushed by LSU rookie Zach Von Rosenberg. Colquitt averaged 45 yards per punt last season.

The Vikings also have two kickers on the roster, after cutting veteran Dan Bailey in the offseason. Greg Joseph comes in after winning a Super Bowl on the Tampa Bay practice squad. He was 9-for-9 on extra points with the Tennessee Titans in 2019. He was also 25-of-29 on extra points in 14 games with the Cleveland Browns in 2018, and 17-of-20 on field goals. It’s not a Vikings’ offseason without a kicker competition.

We’ll see what comes of mandatory minicamp this week, and all eyes will be looking for No. 99 on the field.