Vikings Training Camp: Candidates For Mr. Mankato 2020

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Troy Dye
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Troy Dye /
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SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: Troy Dye #35 of the Oregon Ducks, right, celebrates after intercepting Tyler Huntley late in the fourth quarter during the Pac-12 Championship football game against the Utah Utes at Levi's Stadium on December 6, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. The Oregon Ducks won 37-15. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Troy Dye #35 of the Oregon Ducks(Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

LB Troy Dye

The Minnesota Vikings lucked into this kid in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and he has a promising future with the club. He’s probably a year away from starting, but the highly energetic player should be a spark plug in practice and should shine when he’s on the field with the second or third-team defenses.

With Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, and Eric Wilson locking up the starting linebacker spots, Dye will be relegated to a backup role. That’s fine, as he can take extra time learning the defense and getting acclimated to the speed of the NFL. The most the Vikings will see him this season should be on special teams.

Dye has the speed to fly down the field and be the first making the tackle on punts and kickoffs. This is an area he should get plenty of reps in at practice and could really stick out. If he consistently makes great plays on special teams with the occasional flash play on defense, it’ll be enough to put him in the thick of the Mr. Mankato competition.