Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Ben Gedeon
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Vikings have been checking off needs through the early part of the draft, and continued to do so in the fourth round with the selection of Michigan linebacker Ben Gedeon.

While many hoping for a linebacker somewhere in the middle rounds, the Gedeon pick is a bit of a head-scratcher; there were a number of linebackers still available that rated higher than Gedeon on most draft boards. Ben Gedeon was the 238th-ranked prospect on the Vikings Territory big board. After considerable jubilation about the Vikings’ first three draft picks, the tone shifted in discussing the Michigan linebacker.

Here’s what folks around the web are saying about the Vikings’ (second) fourth round pick:

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With their second pick in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected Michigan linebacker Ben Gedeon. The former Wolverine was a tackling machine last season, finishing the year with 106 tackles (15.5 for loss).

Like Kentrell Brothers before him, Gedeon projects as a middle linebacker with run-stuffing tendencies. Darren Wolfson reports Gedeon will “surely make an immediate impact on special teams,” which is something the Vikings seem to value in mid-round picks.

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Jaleel Johnson
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

After a considerable amount of wheeling and dealing Friday night, the Vikings stayed put to start the fourth round Saturday. With the 109th pick, acquired in a trade with San Francisco, the Vikings selected Iowa defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson. It’s the first of three fourth round picks the team (currently) has.

With Sharrif Floyd’s status in question, the Vikings were looking for a 3-technique tackle in the draft, so this pick fills a need.

Here’s what folks around the web are saying about the Vikings’ (first) fourth round pick:

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The Minnesota Vikings added much-needed depth at defensive tackle this morning, selecting Iowa’s Jaleel Johnson in the fourth round (109) of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Johnson was a full-time starter in 2016, earning first-team All-Conference honors in the Big 10 after a spectacular season inside. He finished the season as the team leader in both tackles for loss (10) and sacks (7.5), a rare feat for any interior defensive lineman.

Continuing with the team’s affinity for versatile athletes, Johnson is a former high school wrestler. Like Minnesota’s second-round selection, Pat Elflein, Johnson brings the explosion, flexibility, and burst of a player with wrestling experience; something Zimmer clearly values in the trenches.

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