The Vikings coach admitted it's difficult to get a firm grasp on what he has with 55 rookies on the field at once, but receiver was a position of interest.
The Vikings held a three-day minicamp at their Winter Park facility, opening with a Friday afternoon workout.
Among the 55 players in attendance were all eight of the team's draft picks, 15 rookie free agents and 28 players who were trying out for spots.
Running back Wendell Mathis
, receiver Martin Nance
and defensive end Khreem Smith
were the only first-year players in attendance.
The team was scheduled to hold two workouts Saturday and one more Sunday.
Obviously, with the number of players on the field it was difficult for coach Brad Childress to keep an eye on everyone during the sessions.
"That's why we tape this whole thing," Childress said. "I can't see all 11 guys at all times, but they've all got position coaches to take them through drills and look for different things; how they bend, how they move, how they change directions. You can see that without pads on."
Among the positions Childress was paying the closest attention to was receiver. The Vikings used three draft picks on that spot, including Sidney Rice
(second round), Aundrae Allison
(fifth round) and Chandler Williams
Rice and Allison both have a very realistic chance of seeing playing time in 2007, considering the Vikings are far from set at the position.
"I thought all of those kids flashed from time to time," Childress said of the receivers before turning his attention to Rice. "(Coach) George Stewart puts them through some pretty tough drills which are meant to challenge some of their off-balance catches, but I saw him do a couple of good things out here just in terms of catching the football and then getting it up the field."
The NFL has set the Vikings' rookie salary pool at about $4,840,300 for the team to sign its eight draft choices. The Vikings currently have about $27.5 million in salary-cap room.
The Vikings' draft picks all have been issued uniform numbers, some of which could be subject to change. The assignments: Running back Adrian Peterson, No. 28; receiver Sidney Rice, No. 18; cornerback Marcus McCauley, No. 31; defensive end Brian Robison, No. 96; receiver Aundrae Allison, No. 14; linebacker Rufus Alexander, No. 57; quarterback Tyler Thigpen, No. 4; receiver Chandler Williams, No. 89.
The Vikings announced they have agreed to terms with 15 rookie free agents. The list includes defensive tackles Joe Anoai (Georgia Tech), Conrad Bolston (Maryland) and Joe Bradley (Louisiana-Lafayette); safety Jeremy Burnett (South Florida); offensive linemen Kyle Cook (center/guard, Michigan State), Brian Daniels (guard, Colorado), Josh Day (tackle, Colorado State), Chase Johnson (tackle, Wyoming) and Dan Mozes (center/guard, West Virginia); cornerback Sergio Gilliam (Clemson); linebackers George Hall (Purdue) and David Herron (Michigan State); tight end Braden Jones (Sothern Illinois); punter Alex Reyes (Texas Tech); and running back Arkee Whitlock (Southern Illinois).
Running back Wendell Mathis, receiver Martin Nance and defensive end Khreem Smith were the only first-year players present at the Vikings' rookie minicamp. They were eligible to attend because they have zero pension credit seasons. Receiver Todd Lowber, whose draft class was last year, was considered a "street" free agent but he could attend because he never had an NFL contract and thus counts as a rookie.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You just tell them you're not going to impress me, the coaches, anybody by coming up and walloping somebody. It's not the way we do it in professional football. We want to see people that play fast, but part of playing fast is being under control. Again, if you're wiping out eight guys as you get to the football, you're more of a liability than anything." -- Vikings coach Brad Childress on what he tells his young players about not hitting in minicamps.