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The Minnesota Vikings will begin their season on September 11 against the New Orleans Saints, which is 33 days away.

Rookie running back Dalvin Cook is wearing no. 33 this year and was the team’s first pick (41st overall). They traded their 48th and 128th picks to move up and select him.

Plenty of hype has been surrounding him and rightfully so. Besides being the team’s first draft pick, he is also someone who draft experts were pretty high on.

So far head coach Mike Zimmer and his teammates have been very impressed.

“I think he’s got a chance to be special,” Zimmer. “There was a play yesterday that, Xavier Rhodes is trying to catch him, and he’s hauling now. I just think this guy has got a chance to be pretty good. Now, he’s got some things he’s got to work on, like all young backs, but I’ve been very impressed with him this spring.” (


Cook was also brought in to help turnaround a struggling Vikings offense. Even with the signing of Latavius Murray, the Vikings could not pass up on Cook.

The offense the past three seasons has been 27th, 29th, and 28th in total offense and 20th, 16th and 23rd in points scored. They clearly needed all the help they could this offseason.

Newly signed tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers should help improve the line, which will certainly help. Sam Bradford has had a full offseason with the team after being acquired two weeks before the start of last season. Wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen will also continue to improve.

Cook has been listed as the starter, which does not come as a shock. Murray is a veteran but he had missed all of the team’s offseason activities until practicing for the first time on Monday. Cook on the other hand has continued to impress.

Given that both backs can run and catch, they should both get a good amount of playing time, but Murray missing so much time after having ankle surgery certainly did not help. He is a veteran though and could catch on quickly.

Murray can still play a huge role on third downs with ability to pick up blitzes and be the short yardage back.

Both should help the running game and the offense as a whole, which will also give the defense more rest and not give opposing offenses shorter fields to work with.

It is going to very interesting to see how Cook does not just this year, but also for years to come. He has the talent to be very good, now can he just stay healthy?

Cook rushed for 4,464 yards (Florida State record) and 46 touchdowns in his three collegiate seasons. He also had 79 receptions and runs a 4.49 40-yard dash.

Cook will be making his NFL debut against the Buffalo Bills on Thursday. It will also be his 22nd birthday that day. How nice is that for a birthday present?

You can follow Ali Siddiqui on twitter @asiddiqui15 and @SPOT_Vikings for Vikings news and updates.