Minnesota Vikings: 5 young players whose stock is rising

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Sep 13, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers offensive linesman T.J. Clemmings (68) takes a drink on the sidelines in the fourth quarter in a game against the FIU Golden Panthers at FIU Stadium. Pitt won 42-25. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

3. T.J. Clemmings

It wasn’t supposed to go like this for T.J. Clemmings. After drafting the former Pitt right tackle in the fourth round, the Vikings were supposed to have the luxury of letting the young man develop behind veteran Phil Loadholt.

And then Loadholt went and tore his Achilles tendon and now, barring a move to sign a free agent, Clemmings is the man at RT.

Does T.J. Clemmings have the talent to be a starter in the NFL? Absolutely. But there are still concerns. He did have injury issues in college, which is why he dropped in the draft. And there’s no question he has a lot of learning to do.

Clemmings was going to get a chance to do his learning in a relatively stress-free setting, but that’s out the window now. Clemmings has to strap it on and be the man at right tackle. His pass blocking so far in preseason has been okay but his run blocking hasn’t been as stout.

It’s going to be fascinating watching Clemmings develop. Hopefully, he can grow quickly into the starter role that has been prematurely thrust upon him.

Next: Antone Exum