Day two of practice in pads for the Vikings, and in my opinion Tuesday was much more lively than Monday. Maybe it's because there was a decent breeze to cool down the heat, maybe it's because they have tomorrow off. No matter the case, I increasingly am becoming more excited for the Denver preseason game to start settling some roster-related bets.
Making the practice squad doesn't do much for Rube Nation but for me I like getting a handle on those who exit college and roll into a $100k-a-year job doing what they love. Plus, players like Adam Thielen and Marcus Sherels started on the practice squad, and you never know where that hard work, maturity and improvement may take you.
Here are some guys I do not believe will make the final 53 but will fight via preseason games for PS spots:
CB Craig James, USC. He's scrappy and his DB experience helps him play "gunner" on punt coverage. He's strong, too, and has done well the last two days covering receivers. Gut feeling is if/when given a chance James can be very good on special teams.
RB Roc Thomas, Jacksonville State. Thomas had a terrific day today and is a sneaky longshot to win the third-back job on the final 53. He started out in 2014 at Auburn and was super highly touted out of high school in Alabama. Due to injuries he fell out of favor with the SEC school, transferred to JSU and absolutely obliterated the competition. This looks like a quality college free agent find by the GM and staff.
DE Ade Aruna, sixth-round pick from Tulane. The Vikings are good at drafting traits with players like Aruna and molding them into players with whom they can win. Aruna absolutely is that guy if he catches up to the speed of the game. He'll stick out when watching preseason games because he's huge, but he, too, is very fast for a defensive end taken that deeply in the draft. I can't see him cracking the final 53 but looks like a cinch for one of the coveted practice squad spots.