Here’s a look at how the Minnesota Vikings rookies have fared during the first half of the season:
Dalvin Cook, RB, second round: Cook was the offense’s most explosive playmaker when healthy, helping the Vikings make a seamless transition in the post-Adrian Peterson era. Minnesota knows it got a steal in the second round because of everything he did well -- running the ball, catching passes out of the backfield and pass blocking. Before suffering a torn ACL, Cook turned around a running attack that was the league's worst a year ago and gave the Vikings a wrinkle they haven’t had with their running backs in the passing game. Grade: Near perfection.
Pat Elflein, C, third round: Elflein won the center job in the preseason and has started all eight games. His communication has been really good, and rarely has he missed a beat when the Vikings have run more up-tempo schemes. He has had a few bumps along the way (he gave up two sacks in Chicago) but hasn’t been fazed by much. He’ll want to pull back on his Ohio State experience of playing in front of 104,000 when the Vikings play five of their last eight games on the road. Grade: Above average.
Jaleel Johnson, DT, third round: Given the wealth of talent and depth on the defensive line, Johnson has only appeared in two games so far. He performed well in the preseason, leading all interior defensive linemen with eight defensive stops and showed flashes of why he was ranked one of the best run defenders among all 2017 rookies. Grade: Average.
Ben Gedeon, ILB, fourth round: The Vikings' top defensive rookie has started every game at weakside linebacker in the base defense and has played a bunch on special teams. He has shown physicality against blockers and an ability to play the run well. Grade: Above average.
Rodney Adams, WR, fifth round: Minnesota couldn’t keep seven wide receivers on the roster much longer. Adams was waived from the 53-man roster after the Cleveland game and signed to the practice squad. He was active one time this season against Baltimore (Vikings were without Stefon Diggs and Michael Floyd) and did not play. Grade: Incomplete.
Danny Isidora, OG, fifth round: Isidora handled being thrown into the fire well when he stepped in at left guard after Jeremiah Sirles went down against Baltimore. His first NFL start came against Cleveland on Oct. 29, when he received high praise from coach Mike Zimmer and his teammates for filling the void and allowing the offensive line to keep its continuity. Grade: Above average.
Stacy Coley, WR, seventh round: Coley caught some big passes in the preseason and has found a role on special teams returning kickoffs. The Vikings have been impressed by his skills, but it has been difficult to make an impact as a receiver, given where he falls on the depth chart, with the majority of the targets going to Diggs and Adam Thielen. Grade: Average.
Ifeadi Odenigbo, DE, seventh round: The practice-squad lineman won’t play this season, but the work he’s getting on scout teams is beneficial. Odenigbo often matches up with nose tackle Linval Joseph in practice, which is a good, albeit tough, way to spend your first year in the NFL. Grade: Incomplete.
Kyle Sloter, QB, undrafted: Sloter was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Denver Broncos and released after the preseason. Minnesota fought hard to sign the quarterback to its practice squad and elevated him to the active roster in Week 2, when Sam Bradford’s knee injury became an issue. The Vikings don’t really know what they have with Sloter because he hasn’t played this season, but he is the only quarterback among Bradford, Case Keenum and Teddy Bridgewater signed to the Vikings' roster in 2018. Grade: Incomplete.