The first day of joint practices between the Minnesota Vikings and the Jacksonville Jaguars pitted two of the top defenses in the league against each other in Eagan. As expected, the Vikings offensive line struggled against a stout Jaguars defensive front. On the other side of the ball, the Vikings secondary flustered Blake Bortles throughout the afternoon. Players stood out in both positive and negative ways for the Vikings, but the Vikings should expect a stronger performance overall tomorrow afternoon following their additional reps against their AFC South foil.
Winners and Losers from Day One of Vikings/Jaguars Joint Practices
Chad Beebe, Wide Receiver
When Beebe was signed following a tryout in rookie mini camp, most focused on the superficial elements of his joining the team; namely that he is the son of former Bill Don Beebe and the audacity of the team to give an unknown wide receiver the jersey number 84.
Over the first few weeks of camp, by all accounts Beebe did nothing to separate himself from the crowded back end of the wide receiver room. Then, in the first preseason game in Denver, the 5’9 receiver caught a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter and forced himself onto fans radar. Since that game, Beebe has stood out in practice.
Today in one-on-ones, despite his 165 pound frame, Beebe one consistently on underneath and intermediate routes in one-on-ones and other drills. Beebe even took some reps with the second team, and was able to come away with a contested catch in 7-on-7’s. His quickness in and out of his breaks, his route running, and his toughness stood out among the backup receivers. Beebe has made the most of his opportunities with Stacy Coley and Brandon Zylstra battling injuries. If Beebe continues to stack days like today, he should be a strong candidate for a practice squad spot.
Brian O’Neil, Offensive Tackle
Despite discussions that rookie right tackle would need a red shirt season, O’Neil has been thrust into the starting right tackle spot with Rashod Hill battling illness and injury. On a day when many of the Vikings offensive linemen struggled, the Pitt product stuck out in a positive way.
O’Neil was inconsistent, but won the majority of his one-on-one reps, and also had success in both pass and run blocking against a talented first unit for Jacksonville. His performance against the likes of Yannick Ngakoue certainly reinforces the idea that he could be ready to start sooner than later.
Vikings Defensive Backfield
Although they struggled with dropped interceptions throughout the day, the Vikings DBs made their presence felt against Blake Bortles and the Jaguar’s wide receivers. Harrison Smith nearly came up with two interceptions, Anthony Barr and Xavier Rhodes dropped one a piece. Veteran Terence Newman was able to pull in an interception during 11’s.
Additionally, rookies Mike Hughes and Holton Hill stood out. Hill broke up a pass intended for DeAndre Smelter. Mike Hughes continues to live up to the hype throughout the day, blanketing receivers in coverage and coming up with a PBU in one-on-ones.
Daniel Carlson, Kicker
Carlson was not abysmal today, but his performance next to that of Kai Forbath was certainly disappointing. While Forbath went three for three on field goals, Carlson went 2/3, just missing from 44. Carlson, whose strength is supposed to be kickoffs, also had a kickoff go out of bounds.
While his performance in Denver last weekend, along with his status as a fifth round rookie, should give Carlson a strong edge in the competition, missing field goals and giving the other team the ball at their own forty at the start of drives are both great ways to help Forbath keep his job.
Trevor Siemian, Quarterback
Siemian, in person, was simply not impressive. Beyond basic issues like a lack of arm strength, which affects his mechanics and leads to some wobbly passes, Siemian had issues with overthrows and egregious inaccuracy.
Among the worst mistakes were a overthrow of almost twenty yards to an open Cayleb Jones. On another play, after a fantastic blitz pickup by CJ Ham, Siemian under through Tavares King, who had bested the defender on a go. Siemian was also overly cautious, wasting a free play by checking the ball down to Tyler Conklin after drawing a defender offside.
The other challenge for Siemian is that Kyle Sloter impressed today, following a strong showing in the first preseason game. If both continue playing as they did today, Sloter could end up the second string quarterback.
Vikings Offensive Line
Both individually and in team work, the Vikings offensive lineman had some strong moments, but they were overshadowed by very poor play against a talented Jaguars front four. On a day when the Jaguars’ own offensive line held up the the Vikings’ defense despite some injuries, the Vikings offensive line could not match.
From the first snap, the Jaguars set the tone with a run stop by Calais Campbell that was frankly embarrassing to watch. Throughout the afternoon, Vikings quarterbacks did not have clean pockets and running backs were met around the line of scrimmage. For the most part, the backs still did impress, but this was more a results of remarkable agility and athleticism than blocking.
Check back tomorrow for a recap of day two of joint practices between the Vikings and Jaguars.
1 comment on “Winners and Losers from Day One of Vikings/Jaguars Joint Practices”
Thank you for the camp update vs the Jags ~
I’m excited to hear the good deeds of Beebe ~ I love me some underdogs ~ I hope he is the second coming of his father and matches what he did in the NFL ~
I’m not shocked by the play of O’Neil to date ~ Before his passing, you could see Tony’s eye light up when talking about some of his younger players and O’Neil had that very effect ~ The videos interviews can still be found on vikings.com
Do the Vikings have it good or what when it comes to the DB’s ~ Not only do the Vikings have one of the best ((( if not the best ))) defensive coaching staff in the NFL ~ They also have Zimmer who is known in some parts of the world as the DB Whisperer ~ And if that isn’t enough they also have Newman who is known as a fine CB whos knowledge of Zimmer’s defense is second to only Zimmer himself ~ And he is almost as old to boot LOL ~ Need more ~ The other veteran DB follow in Newman’s acts of kindness ~ They also seem to be happy to help the younger DB’s to get a better handle on a very complicated scheme just as Newman did for them ~
I’m not too worried about much along the OL until game one of the regular season ~ They are being forced to mix and match based off what I have been able to hear and see from the internet and we all know what they say about the internet ~ LOL ~ Missing 3 starters will do that to any unit ~ With Easton the only one set to miss any time at all as of today ~I like the fact that the coaching staff has no chose but to give these young guys much more time with the first unit ~ Its good for the players as they need all the work they can get and it forces the coaches to coach a little better and a little harder ~
While Siemian really worries me I’m thankful the Vikings have Kyle Sloter and have had him for almost a year now ~ Going off all I have and that would be Sloter’s highlight reel from last years preseason with the Broncos and what I have seen and read about Sloter from OTA’s~Mid camp and now training camp he is the better QB and would seem to have the brightest future of the two ~ Now that being said ~ I remember this time last year hearing how Case would be lucky to make the 53 man roster and how Taylor Heinicke might beat him out for the #2 job behind Bradford ~ So if the Vikings do carry 3 QB’s again this year hopefully Siemian and Sloter keep improving ~ Hopefully there is no need for the backup this year no matter who he is ~
I never put too much thought into the Vikings drafting Carlson ~ However, he still has enough time to turn things around and win the kicking job ~ The question then becomes do the Vikings and their fans want him too ~ By that, I mean Forbath ((( outside of 6 missed extra point ))) has only missed something like 6 FG in the last year and a half of football with the Vikings ~ Has any team ever carried an FG kicker on the PS ~ ??? Maybe this is the year for the Vikings to do just that just in case Forbath started to miss more than he should and so Mike Priefer could have a full season to keep working with Carlson ~