NFL news roundup: Geno Smith finds a mentor, Vikings rookies impress in minicamp

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Rounding up the latest bits of news around the NFL as rookie minicamps begin, including Manti Te'o getting the support of a fellow Chargers linebacker and Geno Smith finding a mentor.

The start of the regular season is still months away, but there's never any shortage of news when it comes to the NFL. With the NFL Draft finishing up and a handful of undrafted free agents still searching for their future teams, we have plenty to dig into on Saturday.

The Minnesota Vikings were one of the big winners of the 2013 NFL Draft, according to most experts. They landed a steal with Sharrif Floyd at No. 23, then added two first-round talents in the way of Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson with their next two picks. All three players could be starters to begin the season, and if the first few days of minicamp are any indication of what's to come, the Vikings could be in for a big year. Here is the Daily Norseman with more:

Speaking of Cordarrelle Patterson, he apparently looked very good today running around and catching passes from the UDFA and tryout QBs. He was paired up once against fellow first rounder Xavier Rhodes, but the pass sailed wide. For what it's worth right now, it's looking like the Vikings grabbed the ‘steal' they hoped was worth the trade.

Rhodes however did net an INT on his first one-on-one.

As the New York Jets prepare for what could be a very long and tumultuous season, one veteran leader is beginning to stand out. As this post from Gang Green Nation details, quarterback David Garrard is not focusing on himself this spring. Instead, Garrard is looking to become a mentor for the many young players on the roster, including Geno Smith.

With so much media hype set to swarm Smith during his rookie season, the veteran influence of a guy like Garrard could do wonders for the young quarterback and his progression moving forward. And if for some reason Mark Sanchez continues to struggle and Smith isn't ready, Garrard is still capable of stepping in for a week or two on the field, too.

Another player who will get a ton of media hype this season (and beyond) will be new Chargers linebacker Manti Te'o. After finishing his senior year at Notre Dame as a Heisman Trophy finalist, a scandal about a girlfriend that never existed rocked the sports world. Now, as Te'o heads to San Diego to begin preparing for his rookie year, his teammates are already showing support.

"I think a lot of people are jumping to conclusions," Donald Butler told U-T San Diego on Friday. "He has to come in and prove himself as a starter. Obviously, it would be nice -- that's why you draft someone in the second round. We don't know how he's going to be in the NFL. I hope he comes in and he's a superstar. Hopefully we can create something that will carry us for the next four, five, six years."

The Cleveland Browns are a mess right now. As minicamp begins, second-year quarterback Brandon Weeden is receiving the full support of the coaching staff and front office. Some may view this as a leap of faith, although it's not like the Browns have other legitimate options. They did not select any high-profile quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL Draft, and Jason Campbell was their lone free agent signee at the position.

Finally, Terrell Owens is in the news again for ... bowling! As this report from Chris Wesseling of details, Owens made his debut as a professional bowler this past week. He rolled a 185 in his first game, but then a 129 and 161 in the next two. Don't quit your day job, T.O.

More from SB Nation:

The system quarterback problem

Browns not committed to Weeden

Justin Blackmon's career at a crossroad

2014 NFL mock draft: Who gets Clowney?

The Trufants: A football family

The 10 most insane features of Atlanta's proposed stadium

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