David Yankey is finally a free man. The 5th round draft pick was stuck in Stanford finishing up his school work while his new Vikings teammates were working hard at OTAs, but now Yankey is finished with school and has reported to Winter Park to get down to business.
Because Stanford employs a quarter system, Yankey was barred by NFL rules from joining the team that will be paying him to play football for the next four years. Anthony Barr and Scott Crichton are in the same boat, and like Yankey have been receiving long-distance tutoring from Vikings coaches.
The coaching trips out west should keep the rookies from falling too far behind in picking up their respective schemes, but even so, there’s no substitute for getting out on the practice field with your teammates, even if the drills are of the non-contact variety.
Yankey can now strap on the helmet and get to work (sans contact, cough cough). Barr and Crichton should be joining him and the rest of their teammates shortly.
Practice time is especially important for Yankey, who has a chance to compete for the starting job at left guard. Charlie Johnson will go into camp as the starter but don’t be surprised if Yankey, once he gets fully caught up, starts giving Johnson a run for his money.