The 5 Biggest Takeaways from the Minnesota Vikings' Rookie Minicamp

Giancarlo Ferrari-King@@GiancarloKingFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2013

The 5 Biggest Takeaways from the Minnesota Vikings' Rookie Minicamp

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    If there's one thing that's clear as a chilled glass of Evian water, it's that the 2013 Minnesota Vikings draft class has stirred up a tremendous amount of buzz.

    From first-rounders like Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson, to undrafted guys like Duron Carter and Zach Line, this year's Vikings rookie minicamp was jam-packed full of questions, potential and riveting storylines.

    Now that things have finally wrapped up, it's time to start the slideshow and check out the five biggest takeaways we got from the team's 2013 rookie minicamp.

Duron Carter Leaves Without a Contract

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    One of the most talked about storylines heading into this year's rookie minicamp was the Vikings' willingness to give a kid who hasn't played football in three years a chance to make the team.

    Duron Carter, the undrafted son of Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver (and Vikings legend) Cris Carter, was invited to minicamp and given a shot to follow in his father's footsteps.

    While many Vikings fans were holding out hope that the younger Carter would somehow morph the second coming of his iconic father overnight, those dreams were quickly dashed and laid to rest when Duron left camp without even making the practice squad.

    But fear not, hope has not totally vanished for the younger Carter. Reports have surfaced linking Duron Carter to the New Orleans Saints. According to Pro Football Talk, the Saints will give Carter a chance to make their roster in the coming days.

Cordarrelle Patterson Impresses

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    Arguably the most talked about pick of the Vikings' 2013 draft class, Cordarrelle Patterson, was put on full display this past week at camp.

    Patterson, rocking the always important Randy Moss No. 84 across his chest, reportedly impressed during his time on the field.

    Yes, it's been well documented the amount of athletic ability and mind-numbing potential this kid possesses, but to see him coasting up and down the field like a thoroughbred on a racetrack had to be an awesome feeling for the Vikings' staff and general manager Rick Spielman to watch in person.

    Needless to say, if this young man pans out, the future of the Vikings organization will shine brighter than a diamond soaking in the hot Florida sun.

Gerald Hodges Is Ready to Rock

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    When the Vikings selected former Penn State linebacker Gerald Hodges in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft, the team was expecting to add a productive collegiate player who could develop into a quality starting defensive asset a few seasons down the road.

    Coming from a school that has historically produced some pretty great linebackers—most recently, NaVorro Bowman, Sean Lee, Cameron Wake and Paul Posluszny—Hodges came into camp with something to prove.

    Before the draft, this guy was considered by most to be a player who was undersized and slow, but somebody who flashed-above average athletic ability at times, and always seemed to make the big tackle. 

    During his time at Penn State, Hodges was of the most productive defensive players on the field. After watching him debut during rookie minicamp, it looks like the Vikings may have found themselves a defensive starter who could help out from day one.

    Showing an understanding for the defensive concepts being dictated to him, Hodges turned out to be a pleasant surprise to watch early on. And outside of his on-field performance, another thing that should make Vikings fans happy, is that this young man is coming into camp with the right state of mind.

Sharrif Floyd Slips Under the Radar

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    While the other two first-round draft picks, Cordarrelle Patterson and Xavier Rhodes, shined during camp, former University of Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd was relatively quiet.

    By no fault of his own, Floyd and the rest of the defensive linemen were held to limited-contact drills. Meaning, without some good old-fashion roughhousing, none of us were able to witness Floyd throw people around like rag dolls.

    But to quote the brilliant Mr.Miyagi, "No such thing as bad student, only bad teacher." Meaning, once Floyd learns the in-and-outs of the Vikings' system and the pro game from his coaches, in due time we will all get to watch this kid—who was originally projected to be a top-five pick in the draft—dominate on Sundays.

    If he can stay out of trouble, and continues to say all the right things, Floyd should fit in nicely with a very talented Vikings defensive unit.

Xavier Rhodes: The Next Big Thing

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    Out of all the guys selected in this year's draft, it's looking more and more like Xavier Rhodes has a real shot to become an elite playmaker.

    Rhodes more than impressed during his time at rookie minicamp. On the field, he's fast, instinctive and can bottle up receivers with ease. Off the field, when he speaks, he comes across as a super-intelligent young man who just understands the game.

    And although it's only rookie minicamp, watching a corner with his size and ball skills dominant from day one gives you a pretty sensational feeling in your stomach.

    Opposing NFL receivers better watch out, because Rhodes is here to play.