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NFL Minnesota Vikings

5 Takeaways From Minnesota Vikings’ First Preseason Game

5 Takeaways From Minnesota Vikings’ First Preseason Game

Mike Zimmer Minnesota Vikings Sideline
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings won their first preseason game last Friday at home against the Oakland Raiders. As expected, the Vikings looked much different this season than the team did at the end of 2013. While it is unwise to read too much into the team's first preseason game, there were still some things worth taking note of.

Here are five takeaways from the Vikings’ first preseason game against the Raiders.

5. Late-Round 2014 Draft Picks Can Contribute Immediately

Shamar Stephen Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

5. Late-Round 2014 Draft Picks Can Contribute Immediately

Shamar Stephen Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

With the majority of the Vikings' expected starters done after just a few series, the door was wide open for a number of young players to make a lasting impression. Late-round draft selections Brandon Watts, Shamar Stephen, Kendall James and Jabari Price all had strong opening performances. It also is worth noting that Watts, Stephen and Price were all put on the field before a number of veteran players.

4. Jerick McKinnon Has Promise as a Rusher

Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

4. Jerick McKinnon Has Promise as a Rusher

Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

While many expect McKinnon to be used almost exclusively as a receiver out of the backfield during his rookie season with the Vikings, he actually showed some promise as a between-the-tackles rusher. He recorded 45 yards on 12 attempts in his first NFL action, breaking multiple tackles along the way as a north-south runner.

3. Kurt Coleman Appears to Be Best Option at Strong Safety

Kurt Coleman Minnesota Vikings
Getty Images

3. Kurt Coleman Appears to Be Best Option at Strong Safety

Kurt Coleman Minnesota Vikings
Getty Images

Highlighted by a diving interception, Coleman excelled in his debut with the Vikings. With Mistral Raymond forced off the field with a head injury, Coleman was forced to play more minutes at strong safety than his coaches may have liked. He recorded three tackles and a pass defense against the Raiders, making a strong case to be the Vikings' starting safety opposite of Harrison Smith.

2. Adam Thielen Will Make 53-Man Roster

Adam Thielen Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

2. Adam Thielen Will Make 53-Man Roster

Adam Thielen Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Thielen had success in nearly every area of the game in his 2014 preseason debut. He averaged 17.3 yards per punt return and added a 15-yard reception on offense. Thielen also recorded a tackle on special teams, making him one of the top all-around performers for the Vikings last Friday. After showcasing an ability to impact the game in a number of areas, Thielen may now be a lock to make the Vikings' 53-man roster.

1. Teddy Bridgewater Not Ready to Start Just Yet

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

1. Teddy Bridgewater Not Ready to Start Just Yet

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Bridgewater played just as one may expect in his first NFL game – like a rookie. He held the ball too long at times, which led to two unnecessary sacks. He did make a number of excellent throws, especially on the run, but will need a bit more time before he is ready to start. Bridgewater was certainly not bad in his debut, but his competition, Matt Cassel, led a touchdown drive in his one series of game action.

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+