A few more storylines from Vikings mandatory minicamp, now that Justin Jefferson has been taken care of

There was a burning question consuming much of Minnesota as the Vikings were set to host a mandatory mini-camp this week

Would star receiver Justin Jefferson be in attendance?

That’s no longer a cause for concern after Jefferson agreed to a historic contract extension with the Vikings. A source confirmed to the Pioneer Press on Monday morning that it is a four-year, $140 million contract extension for Jefferson, which will make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL.

While there will be a festive feeling when the Vikings descend on the TCO Performance Center in Eagan, there is still work to be done this week at the mandatory mini-camp

Here are some storylines to keep an eye on:

What does Sam Darnold look like?

If organized team activities over the past few weeks are any indication, veteran quarterback San Darnold is undoubtedly the starter for the Vikings. He has consistently worked with the other starters on offense while also expanding his relationship with head coach Kevin O’Connell. The arm strength has always been there for Darnold. He can zip it around with relative ease no matter where he throws on the field. The biggest problem for Darnold has always been his lack of consistency under center. It should help that Darnold can now throw passes to Jefferson as he tries to revive his career.

Where does JJ McCarthy come in?

Unless he proves himself in a big way in the coming months, rookie quarterback JJ McCarthy will most likely start watching from the sidelines this season. He has spent time working behind both Darnold and veteran Nick Mullens during organized team activities. That’s actually not too surprising considering Darnold was signed as the starter and Mullens has institutional knowledge of the offense. That said, McCarthy will seemingly get a chance to overtake Mullens at some point.

How do the new pieces fit into the defense?

The overhaul of the defense was palpable this season. Whether it was the addition of edge rusher Jonathan Greenard, linebacker Blake Cashman and cornerback Shaq Griffin, among others, in free agency, or the selection of rookie edge rusher Dallas Turner in the draft, the Vikings will certainly have a new look on that side. of the ball this season. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores is still installing some of the basics of his scheme, so it will be interesting to see how everything starts to come together.

Who will be WR3?

The departure of veteran receiver KJ Osborn this offseason has created an opening next to Jefferson and young receiver Jordan Addison. The leader in the clubhouse right now appears to be crafty receiver Brandon Powell, who earned the coaching staff’s trust last season and consistently made plays when called upon. There’s also speedy receiver Jalen Nailor, who has drawn consistent praise in practice and likely would have carved out a role for himself last season had he stayed healthy. There are usually a number of receivers who become fan base darlings during organized team activities, mandatory minicamps and training camps, so perhaps a relatively unknown receiver will insert themselves into the conversation.

Is there a real kicking match?

The fact that the Vikings drafted rookie kicker Will Reichard came as a surprise to some. That shows how much they wanted him, because they wanted to strengthen the position that often plays a major role in wins and losses. The signing of veteran kicker John Parker Romo this offseason was the only reason this is worth paying attention to. In any case, it will be worth monitoring how Reichard and Romo look in comparison. That said, the Vikings used a draft pick on Reichard, and so he will likely get the inside track on making the team.