Thursday, May 28, 2015
Blog Page 132

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The Minnesota Vikings made an anticipated offensive guard selection by drafting Stanford’s David Yankey in the fifth round.

Yankey was widely regarded as the standout performer on the supremely talented Stanford offensive line from each of the last two seasons. He started at left guard in 2011, was moved out to left tackle and did a fine job in 2012, then moved back inside to left guard in 2013.

A dud of a showing at the Scouting Combine has been pointed to as the reason for Yankey’s slide to the third day of the draft. He did forego a year of collegiate eligibility after all. The reasons must go beyond just below average athleticism.

Without further ado, let’s dig into why Yankey received all kinds of plaudits as a collegiate player and even as a prospect but also why he may have ended up so far down the draft board.

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When the Vikings drafted running back Jerick McKinnon in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, they knew he held a lot of potential. And he’s living up to their expectations.

McKinnon is already gaining a lot of recognition, including most recently from star RB Adrian Peterson. When Mr. All Day himself calls you out as a solid player, that has to feel good.

According to the Star Tribune‘s Master Tesfatsion, Peterson named Georgia Southern alum as one of the guys impressing him the most this offseason.

“[McKinnon]’s pretty impressive and there’s not too many guys who impress me like that, especially rookies coming in,” Peterson said. “He’s been able to do some real good things in the offense, picking it up well and just his running style.”

You can bet McKinnon does not take this caliber of praise lightly. “When you’re learning from the best in the game, you really just got to take on everything and everything he says you got to listen to,” McKinnon said. “I just got to feed off him and all it to my game.”

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According to Mike Freeman at Bleacher Report (formerly of CBS Sports), he’s getting wind of a possible release of the report on the allegations Chris Kluwe raised against special teams coordinator Mike Priefer:

This is honestly better sooner rather than later. Were it released a week before training camp, it would put a pall over the camp and give a little less time for the coaches to react to any changes they’ll be forced to make.

In all likelihood, the Vikings coaching staff has contingency plans in place for whatever the outcome, but giving them lead time before camp would be optimal from a football perspective.

For a perspective on the potential legal ramifications of this incident, take a look here.

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The announcement of Training Camp dates and a rough schedule by the Vikings is about as much news as any NFL organization hopes to release at this time of year, fingers crossed that there isn’t much more to report on the team. For fans, this can be kind of boring, as a dead space in football coverage, even in the offseason, is rare and annoying to deal with. Fortunately, that dead space is coming to a close soon with the arrival of training camp less than a month away.

Along with that news comes some great site news: Vikings Territory has been given media credentials for the duration of camp! That means daily coverage of the camp battles, player interviews and coach pressers, with different types of coverage provided by the different writers who will be able to attend.

Those who are familiar with my work from the past know that I keep extensive 5,000-word notebooks, published daily (or near-daily) at the Daily Norseman. That won’t change, but all player features and updates from coaches will be kept here at Vikings Territory. Any insight on the quarterback battle, the linebacker depth chart or other grossly inaccurate speculation can be found at VT from me and others.

I’ll keep you updated with who can go when, but expect an appearance from Lindsey partway through camp. We may be able to grab some insight from Brett and Adam, too!

The one thing I ask from you all is help getting there. Since becoming a full-time blogger, I’ve been able to cover all my personal expenses but will have difficult extending them to cover additional expenses. I’ve set up a GoFundMe page where you can donate to help pay for the costs of attending and covering training camp.

As detailed on the page, we’re looking to hit $3200 to cover my time at camp—mostly lodging at the hotel nearest camp. Other moneys will be used to help cover some of the costs of others giving up work to go and a charity that Adam will tell you about very soon but one that is close to him. If you want to earmark your donation so that it is split up a different way than is outlined on the GoFundMe page, feel free to mark your donation as private and leave a comment splitting up your donation how you see fit.

Everyone who donates $25.00 or more will receive (if they want) a printed training camp guide written by me with extensive scouting reports on every single player, “what to watch for” at camp and the organizational philosophy surrounding different approaches to training camps. You should receive those a week before camp.

For the past two years, I’ve provided what I believe to be the consistently best coverage at an NFL training camp in the country. I want to continue to do the same thing, but I need your help to do it. Last year, I was able to extend my stay at training camp after many insisted I run a fundraising drive and I was able to do it through a mix of small and large donations—all of which helped me out. Hopefully, I can do the same.

This is very exciting news for VT and I thank you for your help in getting there.

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