Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Blog Page 7

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Click around the different sports websites and blogs, and you’ll find the Vikings listed near the top of numerous “Draft Grades” and “Best of the Draft” lists. Their haul of players, which includes Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes and UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks, is expected to contribute early and often. Below, a quick look at the newest members of the Minnesota Vikings:

Vikings Draft Picks 2015

Of the 10 players selected by general manager Rick Spielman, it’s not difficult to imagine six or seven playing a starting or rotational role this season. All ten will attend the Vikings’ rookie minicamp later this week (May 8-11), where they’ll get to meet their positional coaches, run through basic walkthroughs, and begin the process of absorbing an NFL playbook. There, head coach Mike Zimmer and his staff will get their first look at players they’ve only seen through film or from stadium seats.

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According to the NFL.com’s Conor Orr, former Minnesota Vikings tight end John Carlson announced his retirement from the NFL. Carlson is 30 years old.

Orr posted the following statement by Carlson:

After much thought and consideration, my wife Danielle and I know that this is best decision for us. I was blessed to play seven seasons in the NFL for three tremendous organizations — the CardinalsVikings and Seahawks. I will always treasure the experiences and relationships made during that time but I’m also very excited about the next phase of my life and what’s ahead.

The Minnesota native and Litchfield High star excelled in Seattle during his first three years in the NFL, and he subsequently earned a five-year, $25 million contract with the Vikings. Carlson played two seasons with the Minnesota before being cut from the team and signing a deal with Arizona.

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After going undrafted this past weekend, LSU offensive tackle La’el Collins is free (once officially cleared) to sign a three-year contract as an undrafted free agent with any NFL team.

On Monday, Collins met with Baton Rouge police as part of the investigation into the murder of Brittany Mills. Collins is not a suspect in the case. Mills, 29, was pregnant at the time of her death and had a past relationship with Collins. While Collins continues to work on clearing his name in the Louisiana investigation, he has now started visiting NFL teams still interested in him.

The Advocate first reported the news, that Collins had an impromptu dinner meeting with Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills on Monday night. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that the Cowboys and Dolphins are also among teams showing early interest.

The Minnesota Vikings could also be one of several teams in the mix for Collins. The Vikings, Panthers, Ravens, Eagles, Colts, Bucs, Cardinals, Rams, and Lions have all been rumored as potential landing spots for the talented offensive tackle.

Collins’ salary will be capped, so his descision will largely be based on scheme, role and fit.

Update: Collins’s agent Deryk Gilmore told the Associated Press that he’s not taking any meetings with teams “at this time.”

Collins has withdrawn from LSU. NFL rules prohibit teams from visiting a player (who has withdrawn) on his campus or at his residence until after final exams are complete.

 

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Waynes, like the Vikings' new stadium, represents a bright future in Minnesota

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Wow, what a crazy weekend. Things got rolling on Thursday night and didn’t slow down until Saturday evening, but here we are, sore fingers and all. If you missed any of our draft coverage, head over to the landing page and check it out — Adam, Brett, Arif, Lindsey, Andy, Carl, Brent, and myself put out some work we know Vikings fans will love

Now that the draft has come and gone, it’s time to assess Rick Spielman’s new “toys”. In a three-day span that saw the Vikings draft 10 new players and sign nine undrafted free agents, a few of Spielman’s organizational goals became clear:

  • Protect Teddy Bridgewater
  • Give Mike Zimmer flexibility and creative freedom on defense
  • Add versatile weapons to Norv Turner’s offense

Nothing is more important than ensuring the long-term health and development of Teddy Bridgewater, who staked his claim as the face of the franchise last season. After watching his quarterback suffer behind an offensive line that gave up 30 sacks in 2014, Spielman entered the draft with a concrete plan: add depth to a depleted group of tackles.

He did just that, finding tremendous value in the fourth round by drafting Pittsburgh’s T.J. Clemmings, a first round talent who fell because of a lingering foot injury. Spielman proceeded to solidify the group later in the draft, selecting two more offensive tackles — Tyrus Thompson (sixth round) and Austin Shepherd (seventh round).

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