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NFL Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings Preseason 2014: 10 Players To Watch

Minnesota Vikings Preseason 2014: 10 Players To Watch

Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings training camp is almost two weeks in and the positional battles are just getting started. While we already know what to expect from veteran players like Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway and Brian Robison, this is only the first or second training camp for a number of young players.

Here is a list of 10 Vikings to keep an eye on during training camp and the preseason.

10. DE Scott Crichton

Scott Crichton Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

10. DE Scott Crichton

Scott Crichton Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Crichton is in his first training camp with the Vikings, as he spent his last season at Oregon State. As expected, the rookie defensive end has spent most of training camp with the second team. Crichton should see a lot of action during preseason games and could find himself in a rotational role with Corey Wootton when the regular season begins.

9. LB Brandon Watts

Brandon Watts Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

9. LB Brandon Watts

Brandon Watts Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

A seventh round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Watts entered his first training camp with the Vikings with very low expectations. Despite this, Watts has played very well, catching the eyes of his coaches. He has been apart of the shortlist of standout players listed by head coach Mike Zimmer. With the linebacker competition still wide open, Watts could find himself on the field this season more than anybody may have expected.

8. WR Jarius Wright

Jarius Wright Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

8. WR Jarius Wright

Jarius Wright Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Wright is in his third and possibly most critical training camp with the Vikings. Wright has been solid over the past few seasons but is yet to truly breakout. He should see a lot of on-field action during preseason games, as he is the midst of a competition for the No. 3 wide receiver spot. Wright has talent and this could be the season he makes his name in the NFL.

7. DE Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

7. DE Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The oldest player on this list, Griffen is in store for a breakout season with the Vikings. He entered training camp as a starter for the first time in his relatively young career and is yet to disappoint. While Griffen likely will not be on the field much during preseason games, keeping tabs on him is a must, as he is an exceptional talent ready to earn his big offseason contract extension.

6. RB Jerick McKinnon

Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings Rookie Minicamp
Getty Images

6. RB Jerick McKinnon

Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings Rookie Minicamp
Getty Images

McKinnon could very well be this year’s Cordarrelle Patterson. He is an electric talent with an extremely versatile skill set. McKinnon should see a ton of snaps during preseason games, given that he is fighting for the No. 2 running back spot on the depth chart and because Adrian Peterson is not expected to play much. McKinnon may be a raw talent with a number of areas of his game to work on, but this should not stop him from making jaws drop.

5. DT Sharrif Floyd

Sharrif Floyd Minnesota Vikings Rookie Camp
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5. DT Sharrif Floyd

Sharrif Floyd Minnesota Vikings Rookie Camp
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With so many young and electric players on the roster, Floyd seems to go completely unnoticed. Following the departure of Kevin Williams, Floyd enters this year’s training camp as the favorite to start alongside Linval Joseph. He reportedly has slimmed down and looked very good through the first two weeks of training camp. The development of Floyd is critical to the success of the Vikings defense, making him a much-watch player.

4. CB Xavier Rhodes

Xavier Rhodes Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

4. CB Xavier Rhodes

Xavier Rhodes Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest candidates to have a breakout season this year, Rhodes will need to step up if the Vikings secondary is to improve this season. He has shown improvement through training camp this season, intercepting passes and covering the speedy Vikings receivers efficiently. Rhodes likely will not play much during preseason games, but keeping tabs on his practice reviews should be a must.

3. WR Cordarrelle Patterson

Cordarrelle Patterson Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

3. WR Cordarrelle Patterson

Cordarrelle Patterson Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

There are not many players that have been discussed more this offseason around the league than Patterson. Patterson was one of most exciting players in the NFL last season and is carving a path towards a major breakout season. Like Rhodes, he probably will not see much game action, but Patterson is always fun to watch, even in his street clothes.

2. LB Anthony Barr

Anthony Barr Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

2. LB Anthony Barr

Anthony Barr Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

It really is unfair that Barr has to compete with Teddy Bridgewater for media attention in his rookie season with the Vikings. Barr has excelled during training camp, proving why the Vikings were willing to spend a top-ten selection on him. His unrivaled combination of size and athleticism will be on full display throughout the preseason, but in what definitive roles remains to be seen.

1. QB Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

1. QB Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Bridgewater is probably second only to Johnny Manziel amongst players to watch during the preseason this year. Not only is Bridgewater in the midst of a quarterback competition, but he also has played very well throughout training camp. He should be at the helm for the Vikings at least 50-percent of the time during preseason games. The Vikings’ quarterback competition and Bridgewater’s development is must-see preseason football.

Robert Reidell is a Minnesota Vikings Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+