Friday, May 20, 2022

5 Breakout Candidates to Watch in Training Camp

 The Minnesota Vikings have started their voluntary team activities, as the summer program approaches. Here are five potential breakout players:

1. G Ed Ingram

Ingram was one of two second-round picks for the Vikings this year going at pick no. 59. He was a four-year starter for the Tigers and helped pave the way for 3 separate seasons of 1,000 yard rushers. While Ingram was efficient in his run-blocking ability, his greatest attribute is his pass-blocking. He is an absolute mauler and has the ability to be an instant starter at the open right guard position. In Kevin O'Connell's pass-heavy offense, look to see Ingram moving up the depth chart in August. 

2. RB Kene Nwangwu 

Nwangwu has already broken out as a kick returner, scoring two touchdowns in one season, which is tied for the most in a single season. However, he still has yet to show his ability as an impactful running back. Nwangwu has legit game-breaking speed, and if used correctly could be one of the best rotational/gadget players in the entire NFL. This season I bet we see a lot more of Nwangwu getting touches in this potentially high-octane offense.

3. Edge Janarius Robinson

Robinson came into the 2021 season as a rookie with sky-high potential, with his 4.69 forty and 7'1" wingspan, but needed plenty of development before seeing any action on the field. His season did get cut short with a season-ending surgery he opted for in early September. With a full off-season to get healthy and even some training with star edge rusher Danielle Hunter, Robinson has a chance to be a big rotational piece for the Vikings in a position where health is questionable.

4. LB Brian Asamoah II

Asamoah is probably the best linebacker the Vikings have drafted in the last few years between himself, Troy Dye and Chazz Surratt. Asamoah has tremendous quickness and explosion, testing out with a phenomenal broad and vertical jump and a 1.55 10-yard split, which Kwesi and O'Connell see high value in. Asamoah certainly is a project, but has the ability to be an impact player this year, filling in as a third linebacker and rotational piece.

5. TE Irv Smith Jr. 

To Vikings fans, it seems that Irv Smith Jr. has already broken out, despite not playing a season as TE1. Smith was one of the best players at training camp last year, before suffering a meniscus injury that would require surgery and end his breakout campaign for the 2021 season. All signs point to Irv being completely healthy by the time training camp starts, and we finally get the chance to see Irv be the true number 1 tight end we have wanted ever since getting drafted. He is a dynamic pass-catcher who has shown flashes of brilliance, without having put it all together. Expect big things from Irv this camp and looking into this 2022 season as the only viable option at tight end.

The off-season program continues throughout the summer, culminating in training camp starting in the end of July.

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