Thursday, August 25, 2016

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Second only to the NFL Draft, the first week of the league’s free agency period is one of the most exciting parts of the NFL offseason each and every year. Sometimes it works out and other times it does not for a team and their expensive new player or players.

It is always fun for fans to hope that their team goes out and signs the top available free agents, but that is not always the best strategy for their favorite team. Some fans need to be more realistic when it comes to who they think their team could sign.

When the free agency period for this upcoming NFL year begins on March 9th, there will be a few players that could land with the Vikings. Who are some of the more realistic options in free agency that could fit with the team in Minnesota?

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A transfer from Hutchinson Community College to Minnesota in 2013, De’Vondre Campbell has progressed nicely over the past two seasons and now has his sights set on a future in the NFL. He finished on a high note posting 13 tackles against the Wisconsin Badgers to close out his redshirt senior season with 89 tackles, two sacks, one interception, and one forced fumble. Some of his best games came against tougher competition, including 13 tackles against Michigan, seven tackles against TCU, and nine tackles and a sack against Ohio State.

De’Vondre Campbell | OLB, Minnesota

Measurements

Height: 6’4”
Weight: 236
Age: 22

At A Glance

Honorable Mention All-Big Ten by the coaches and media. Academic All-Big Ten. Preseason Butkus Award watch list.

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Too much Peterson, not enough Bridgewater early

Vikings offense is predictable
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Starting fast in the NFL isn’t a new concept. Listen to players and coaches after games, and they’re likely to talk about “starting fast” and “finishing strong.” The idea is tried-and-true, and so are the results. According to Football Insiders, 83 percent of NFL teams that began the season 4-0 have gone on to make the playoffs since 1983.

On a macro level, it’s important to win multiple games early in the year. Not only does it cushion against later slumps, but helps teams gain an advantage on divisional opponents at the end of the season. The Minnesota Vikings enjoyed such success, winning seven of their first nine games in 2015. Although they lost three of their next four, Mike Zimmer’s team sat comfortably in the NFC playoff race because of the favorable win-loss differential.

But on a smaller scale, how did the Vikings start each of their 16 regular season games? Did they run the football with Adrian Peterson? Or, did offensive coordinator Norv Turner allow second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to get into a rhythm early? The first play of every game doesn’t necessarily reflect that contest’s outcome, but on a team with one of the league’s most predictable, run-heavy offenses, it’s intriguing to analyze the trends.

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[This Darian Thompson Scouting Report, with a Vikings slant, has been provided to Vikings Territory by Draft Season. Be sure to check back for more and also be sure to visit Draft Season to quench your NFL Draft thirst. All previously published scouting reports can be found by clicking here.]

Darian Thompson | Safety, Boise St.

Measurements

Height – 6’2″
Weight – 210 lbs.
Age – 22

At First Glance

All-Mountain West First Team

Projected Round

2nd Round

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hell's trainer
Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

Cordarrelle Patterson is, at the very least, committed to his offseason conditioning. For the second year in a row, the Vikings kick returner (and wide receiver, technically) is working out in California with trainer Frank Matrisciano, the man “Men’s Health” magazine once called “Hell’s Trainer.”

The Star Tribune’s Matt Vensel wrote about Patterson’s offseason workouts with Mastrisciano last year. Mastrisciano is an interesting figure. For his considerable fame in the fitness world, he doesn’t own a gym, preferring instead to conduct his workouts in the great outdoors—namely, the San Francisco sand. He doesn’t have a website, and often wears a hood and mask to conceal his identity. But he has trained everyone from boxers to SWAT teams to NBA stars Blake Griffin and Zach Randolph, and his students swear by the results.

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