Minnesota Vikings organized team activities kicked off yesterday over at Winter Park but today was the first time that the media was invited to take in the sights and sounds of real football for the first time since the season ended last January.

With that it’s once again open season for knee-jerk reactions, big assumptions and hot takes which assuredly come hand-in-hand with the team’s presentation.

1. Latavius Murray is freaking huge!

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This isn’t surprising news given the fact that his football card has him listed at 6’3” and 230lbs but yesterday I saw it for the first time with my own eyes. Sure he was on the sideline in a walking boot, but as he walked over for a quick chat with beast of a defensive end Everson Griffen yesterday, I noticed something…THEY WERE THE SAME SIZE! I’m not dumb, I fully understand that Everson has an additional 40 pounds hidden away on his frame but they were looking eye-to-eye and Murray (albeit slightly swole and in a sweatshirt) didn’t look to play a position typically handled by men with a slighter frame. I will also say this, based off of my next knee jerk reaction, Murray better do whatever he can to get that walking boot off of his foot as soon as possible…

2. I’m more convinced now than ever that Dalvin Cook will start in 2017…

The rest of the year you’ll never hear this term uttered but because it’s OTA season at Winter Park, but there were a few players who were “turning heads” yesterday. No more than rookie running back Dalvin Cook in the opinion of yours truly and everybody else on hand. First off, you’ve heard the term before but when you see it in person with your own eyes it’s something else, Dalvin Cook has another gear and when he kicks it in it’s crazy to see. Secondly, he’s playing with the second team right now behind Jerick McKinnon but he’s doing all the right things. Working hard, catching EVERY pass thrown his way (which is a sight for sore eyes) and wowing teammates. The loudest hoots and hollers of the day came from a Dalvin Cook running play making a defender look silly and lighting up the teammates watching behind the play! Giving Latavius an opportunity is a must, but I think you’ll quickly start seeing Cook make plays and before you know it fans will begin be clamoring for more carries the way of the young rookie.

3. Kyle Rudolph might be the nicest guy on the entire team

We’ve all chatted with him  or heard him chatting on the radio before, it’s clear that he’s a nice guy. But man did he take that to a whole new level yesterday, and it has NOTHING to do with anything taking place on the football field. Yesterday was the first time that we had a chance to chat with new Vikings wide receiver Michael Floyd. Floyd has obviously had some troubles with the law the past few years so outside of playing for a good football team, coming home to friends and family. The other week, it was reported that Floyd’s mother said that he would be “rooming” with a friend when he gets back to town, well now we know that friend is Kyle Rudolph. It’s assumed that Rudy has a pretty nice house sure, but what we’ve learned through this situation is that his wife is a FREAKING SAINT! Rudy and Michael spent three years together at Notre Dame before, as Michael put it, “he left me”, but man Kyle has infant twins right now and inviting anybody into your home for an extended period of time is interesting let alone a live in guest. The influence will be a good one, the semi-independence is a good starting point for Michael, but he’s already drawn a clear line in the sand that he won’t be changing any messy diapers.

4. I think Riley Rieff will be just fine on the old left side there…

Maybe one of the hardest positions to assess in an unpadded, limited contact practice is the offensive line. You can’t get fully physical, you can’t go full speed and nobody is really going to hit anybody if you let them beat you. So for Riley Rieff, Tuesdat went pretty well. First, he’s going up against Everson Griffen which is no easy task and with that he didn’t stand out as a problem. First time with my eyeballs on Rieff yesterday as well and he’s a big man also. He and Boone seem to be bonding pretty well early and on the field holding your own was a good sign.

5. Special teams might be an adventure this year…

It will likely be overlooked but it might be one of the team’s biggest losses from free agency, the Vikings might miss Jeff Locke and surrounding crew more than they expected to. New guy Ryan Quigley isn’t terrible, but was available for a reason. One step further than that, losing special teams impact guys in free agency and the emergence of Thielen in 2016 will leave the special teams crew a bit greener than they’ve been the past few years. Pay attention, it might be “interesting”.

So there you have it, mark it down. The first knee-jerk reactions from the 2017 Minnesota Vikings offseason programming are in the book, which do you think are most likely to come to fruition?

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