MANKATO — The Minnesota Vikings training camp in Mankato has come to a close, but the battle at wide receiver remains relevant.
Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen have locked down the first two spots, but guys like Jarius Wright, Laquon Treadwell and Michael Floyd are others that will should see a significant amount of action over the next month. With Floyd facing a four-game suspension however, it will be interesting to see who else steps up in his absence.
Rodney Adams, a wide receiver from the University of Southern Florida, was drafted by the Vikings in the fifth round. He was the 127th pick overall and is one of the rookies looking for more time on the gridiron.
The 6-foot-1, 189 pound Adams is expecgted to see time backing up Marcus Sherels on punt return, and is set to see time at the kick return position, as well.. Fans should watch for Adams in the first preseason game this Thursday against the Buffalo Bills.
“I’m excited; it’s been a learning process but I’m pumped to get some game-time action in, show what I can do,” Adams said about the first Vikings' preseason game coming up Thursday night.
At USF, Adams showed his quickness and shiftiness, as he captured All-American Athletic Conference honors in 2015. He caught 42 passes for 822 yards and nine touchdowns, while averaging 29.1 yards per kick return last season.
Adams has his own YouTube channel posting his progress and every day duties during the preseason. He has also posted his workouts, saying it is an ‘inside scoop’ for the fans.
“I don’t do it to draw attention as like ‘hey look at me.’ It is just another hobby for me and I just like to give a different perspective on what this whole journey has been for me,” Adams said.
As of right now, the unofficial depth chart has Adams at the third-string spot behind Diggs and Wright under the right wide receiver position. Behind Adams is the other rookie wide receiver from the University of Miami, seventh-round draft choice Stacy Coley.
Coley talked the talk while in training camp, and showed off his speed and excellent hands. As a Hurricane, the 6-0, 195-pound receiver finished his career with the second-most receptions in Miami's history.
“I’m ready to contribute all that I can for this team, no matter what I got to do,” Coley said. “The (upcoming preseason) game is my chance to go out there and prove my worth.”
Coley also saw time as a kick-returner in college, but the depth chart does not have him in front of Sherels or Adams going into the preseason. With so much time remaining before the first regular season game, that could very well change.
“To me, it doesn’t matter what the depth charts are looking like. I’m just here to get better as a football player and help any way I can,” Coley said.
Both draftees have the speed and athleticism to stretch the field for the Vikings on offense. The question will remain if they are able to step up when their name is called.
Other receivers looking to turn some heads in these preseason games are University of Minnesota alum Isaac Fruechte, Cayleb Jones and Moritz Boehringer.
The opening exhibition game is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST in Buffalo. How much playing time they get, if any, could go a long way toward determining their future with the team.