Minnesota Vikings: Five rookies to watch in Hall of Fame game

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May 27, 2015; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer speaks with cornerback Trae Waynes (26) at practice at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are one of the NFL’s really intriguing up-and-coming teams. They have had a ton of really high draft picks in recent years, and perhaps none more important than quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Now that Bridgewater has established himself as the starter in Minnesota, he might not play a whole lot in the Hall of Fame game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Canton, but there are plenty of rookies worth watching this year for the Vikings. Here are my top 5 players I will be keeping an eye on in tonight’s opener.

1. Trae Waynes, 1st round pick

Waynes is going to be the subject of discussion before and likely after the game as far as Vikings rookies go. While he’s earning some first team reps at camp already, the rookie out of Michigan State has plenty to prove before he can join Xavier Rhodes in one of the most talented young CB groups in the NFL.

This year’s first round pick in Minnesota, Waynes will be counted on to play a significant role early, and with the signing of (his now mentor) Terence Newman, the seemingly ageless veteran, he could be seeing some significant time at the nickel CB spot.

At any rate, we should get a healthy dose of Waynes in the Hall of Fame game against the Steelers, and his progress bears closely monitoring. Physically and athletically, this was one of the most impressive players at the CB position in the draft and the Vikings really got a nice player here. Not to mention, he came from one of the best defenses in college football the last couple of years.

This is an aggressive defender who will be out to prove early on that he belongs in the lineup.

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