Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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We love getting guest contributions on the front page here at Vikings Territory and today is no exception. Richard Comben (Aussie61 to those of you who know who is who in the comments section around here) is the latest reader to submit a mock draft for all of us to enjoy.

Richard said something when he emailed this to me that I thought was particularly of interest. “One thing that I have learned is that these mock drafts are more difficult than can be imagined when you start putting things on paper!” he wrote to me.

I thought that was a really good point to bring up, because mock drafts are one of the easiest things on the internet to criticize or dismiss, but the truth is that they aren’t easy to produce. Those guys that do this on a weekly basis (or daily basis, as is the case with some writers) deserve credit for what they do.

Anyways, leave Richard some love in the comments section, he did a nice job.

2015 NFL MOCK DRAFT – Submitted by Richard Comben

1. Tampa Bay //  Dante Fowler, EDGE – Florida

Jameis Winston is the popular pick, but he’s not mine. I worry about his interception rate and off-field issues. Lovie Smith won’t miss the chance to boost his ailing defense, and Fowler can help right away.

2. Tennesee //  Leonard Williams, DL – USC

The Titans are struggling on both sides of the ball, but offensive help is available later in the draft. Williams will add a piece that the Titans can build around up front.

3. Jacksonville //  Brandon Scherff, OL – Iowa

The Jags had the worst ranked offence last year. After investing a first round pick in Blake Bortles they need to give him a chance to make plays. Some talent was added during free agency and fixing the OL has to be high on the agenda.

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Just about everyone sounds convinced that the Vikings will seek out cornerback help in the 2015 NFL Draft, with top tier prospects like Trae Waynes and Marcus Peters getting a lot of attention as potential first round selections, but it is entirely possible that the Vikings will also be looking for depth at the position later on in the weekend.

It is important to note, when talking about the Vikings draft “needs,” that the depth chart in the secondary has not gotten worse this offseason. In fact, by adding veteran Terence Newman, the Vikings have arguably gotten better via that one addition and the assumption that continuity leads to improvement. Adding more talent to a group that features Xavier Rhodes, Josh Robinson, Captain Munnerlyn and now Newman certainly can’t hurt the team’s competition situation in Mankato.

Snagging a small school prospect like Towson’s Tye Smith might turn into a late-round (or undrafted free agent) steal that pays dividends for the Vikings down the road. Smith (6′ 0″ and 184 pounds) has a nice frame for an NFL cornerback and seems like a player with the upside to develop into more than just training camp fodder.

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Zach Zenner was a three-time All-American academically and athletically for the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Zenner has already been admitted to the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota. When his football playing days are over, Zenner’s goal is to become a surgeon. For the time being, Zenner hopes for the opportunity to cut apart defenses in the NFL as he did at the FCS level where he became the first player in Division 1 history to rush for over 2,000 yards in three different seasons and finished just 12 yards shy of setting the FCS all-time rushing record.

Zenner is a small-school, big-dreams player from Eagan Minnesota where he grew up with his eyes on the Vikings. After meeting with the Vikings at the East West Shrine Game, Zenner acknowledged he would love to play in Minnesota.

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He’s back, but what’s he worth to the Minnesota Vikings?

After Adrian Peterson’s reinstatement on Friday, April 17th, fans were again left to wonder — will he stay or will he go?

We’ve debated the topic for months, nitpicking, analyzing, and breaking down every statement or piece of news surrounding Adrian Peterson. While exhausting, it’s necessary when the situation involves the league’s best running back and longtime key to the Vikings’ success.

On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Caplan reported that the Vikings are seeking “at least” a first-round pick and “more compensation” for Peterson. That compensation would likely include a starting cornerback, which the Vikings consider to be their greatest position of need.

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Lindsey Young and her father.

I have heard countless sports journalists say that you simply cannot be a fan of a team that you cover. Vikings Territory‘s own Lindsey Young is well on her way to being an exception to that rule.

Lindsey is also incredibly humble, vocally refusing to use VT to promote her other works, so I decided to hijack this week’s “Fan Spotlight” (which she normally authors) and make it all about her.

Literally since before she can remember, Lindsey has been a fan of Minnesota sports of all varieties, and the evidence is on tape.

“There is a home video my parents have where I’m in the living room playing, and you can hear my dad watching TV in the other room,” she tells me of those early days of watching the Twins with her dad.

“Kirby Puckett is on!” he could be heard yelling from the other room. Little Lindsey hops right up, in this video, and books it for the room with the television in it to watch Puckett at bat. Even at that young age, she was interested in sports and knew which players were a cut above the rest.

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