Saturday, August 1, 2015

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IMG_3646A number of you have been following me since my very first posts at Vikings Gab over five years ago.  If you have been, then the nature of this post will not surprise you in the slightest.

Many of you are new to Vikings Territory due to our recently expanded roster of writers, however, and may not be familiar with me or much of our history. In short, every year at about this time we try and use our little corner of the internet to make a little bit of a difference out there in the real world in the form of a fundraising effort for a meaningful cause.

In the past we have supported numerous educational and athletics programs across the country, via the great website We tried to help a pair of our readers head to Haiti not long after the country was devastated. In general, we will gladly promote great causes throughout the year, as it becomes apparent that a certain fight is something our readers care about as a whole.

As summertime got underway, with VT’s popularity and traffic taking an obvious and substantial leap, I started to wonder what heights our next charity drive might be able to reach. I wondered how our new readers would react to our annual efforts.  I wondered how it might coincide with Arif’s efforts to raise funds so that he can cover the 2014 training camp for us.

One thing I didn’t wonder about, though, is what we were going to be fundraising for.  My mind has been made up on that for quite some time. This year’s fundraising efforts are a lot closer to home for me than I’ve ever attempted in the past, but if you all knew Dakota Schonlau I have no doubt you would understand why I have chosen her and her family.

So, allow me to introduce you.

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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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