By Kristen Fazio @Kristen_Fazio on July 10, 2014
We are in the midst of the biggest lull in the NFL offseason, but that doesn't mean there aren't rumors floating around heading into Vikings Training Camp. Teddy Bridgewater is certainly a topic of discussion, but there's another rookie garnering a lot of attention as well. These are the five biggest whispers surrounding the team as the Vikings shift their offseason from Winter Park to Mankato.
Mike Zimmer's revamped defense has drawn raves from the defensive players, and it seems as if it is inevitable that they will be better than they were a season ago. With additions such as first-round pick Anthony Barr, Captain Munnerlyn and Linval Joseph there are a lot of players to keep an eye on in camp.
McKinnon was a man of mystery coming out of the draft in the third round, but after some time on the practice field, Adrian Peterson is calling him "the most Impressive Viking" thus far. McKinnon is said to be a "natural" catching passes out of the backfield. Coaches, teammates and fans alike are excited to see what McKinnon brings to the offense.
Patterson took the NFL by storm last season and he hopes to have an even bigger impact in the 2014 season. He is athletic, versatile and a natural play-maker. His role will be expanded under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, and he is now running with the 1's. Patterson grew from his time at Tennessee into Year 1 with the Vikings and hopes to grow even more into Year 2.
Rudolph has lost 15 pounds since last season and will have an expanded role this season. He has worked on his route-running and explosiveness in anticipation of having more pass-catching opportunities under Turner than Antonio Gates and Jordan Cameron did. Rudolph is healthy after suffering a broken foot last season that cut his season short.
The Vikings have said over and over that Bridgewater will be given every opportunity to earn the starting quarterback job. He has been impressive so far, especially with his quick-learning ability, but he will need to show in camp and in the preseason that he deserves to start over Matt Cassel.
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