Saturday, April 18, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "Anthony Barr"

Anthony Barr

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Week 5 Green Bay 2014 by Matt Engstrom
Week 5 Green Bay 2014 by Matt Engstrom

The fifth season of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones premiered last night, but even Tyrion Lannister can’t replace the Minnesota Vikings on Sundays. For fans of the show, “Winter is coming” has become a rallying cry and popular meme that embodies the success of the George R.R. Martin adaptation.

For those not engrossed by “A Song of Fire and Ice”, the tales of Westeros pale in comparison to the drama that surrounds NFL Draft season. I’ll stop talking “geek” and get straight to the point, though — “Draft Day is coming”, and soon, Rick Spielman will have to make a decision with the 11th-overall pick. Brace yourselves, Vikings fans.

isnns

Here’s what’s happening around the rest of the NFC North:

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Image courtesy of Youtube.com

Chad Greenway is back, but that doesn’t guarantee the Vikings’ veteran linebacker a starting spot once the regular season begins. For 9 years, he’s made a living as Minnesota’s weak side linebacker, leading the team both on the field and in the locker room.

But, recent injuries and the emergence of players like Gerald Hodges sapped Greenway’s time in the starting lineup — he played just 12 games in 2014, recording a career-low 93 tackles. When the 2015 NFL Draft kicks off on April 30th, expect Rick Spielman to add a player late in the draft, one who could eventually compete to replace Greenway.

As Ryan Boser wrote in his guest post for Vikings Territory, Spielman used all five of his 2014 Round 6 and Round 7 picks on defensive players. This year, he holds two picks in the final round — surely, Spielman will stick to his preferences and add depth to Mike Zimmer’s unit.

If Spielman holds true to his draft tendencies, he’ll use of one those picks on a player like Bowling Green’s Gabe Martin.

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(photo used with permission)
If you are a Minnesota sports fan and a memorabilia collector, chances are you’ve seen a piece of Ryan Fors’ artwork along the way.Fors is an avid Minnesota sports fan himself, and he has loved to draw and paint for as long as he can remember. It only makes sense that his two interests would combine, but he never imagined it would grow the way it has.

“I got into the stencils and sports paintings about 7-8 years ago as an inexpensive gift I could give family members,” Fors explained, “and things kind of took off from there.”Randy MossOver the past several years, Fors has created over 400 pieces, many of those being likenesses of Minnesota athletes.

Of course, several of the paintings feature Vikings players. Fors has been supporting the purple and gold since Day 1.

“My earliest memory is when I was given an autographed Carl Lee napkin from a family friend,” he said. “As a kid, I thought that was the coolest thing.”

Although Fors didn’t play football himself–rather, he was a basketball player–he loved watching the Vikings and had many player favorites throughout the years. The fan has no doubt in his mind when it comes to his all-time favorite player, though: Randy Moss, hands down.  Moss played with an intensity and natural talent that Fors (and many other Vikings fans!) thrived on, and Fors’ prints featuring Moss are incredibly popular.

Like most die-hard fans, Fors feels plenty of excitement surrounding Minnesota’s current roster and upcoming 2015 season. Despite the unforeseen road bumps in 2014, Fors reflected on the positives of the situation and also high expectations for next year:

“With what we had to deal with throughout the season and with a new coach, I think we did well. Teddy [Bridgewater] got some experience, hopefully AD comes back, and hopefully the new guys and Draft help us out. I think anything less than the playoffs next season would be a disappointment.”

Fors hopes to see Minnesota draft well at the end of the month, and he would love to see cornerback Trae Waynes playing at TCF Bank Stadium next year.The Vikings have made some decent free agency moves as well this offseason, including adding wide receiver Mike Wallace to the roster.

“I’m excited to see Wallace in purple,” Fors said. “I’m hoping he can help Teddy out downfield and also open things up for Adrian [Peterson].”

Who is he most excited to watch next season? Fors said it has to be his favorite player on the current roster: linebacker Anthony Barr, who will be entering his sophomore season with Minnesota.”The combo of speed and power is just fun to watch,” Fors explained. “[Barr has the] ability to make a game-changing play at any moment. Plus, he’s a fellow sneaker lover!”

Play-by-Play with Ryan

Cris CarterTop-Selling Paintings: Cris Carter, Kirby Pucket and, surprisingly, Buster Posey

Vikings Jerseys in Your Closet: Jared Allen, Adrian Peterson, Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr

Athlete You’d Like to Paint That You Haven’t Yet: I’ve been trying to clear up some free time to get a Purple People Eaters piece done.

Favorite Movie: So many to choose from! But I think I have to go with Pulp Fiction … with Kingpin being a close second.

Ryan on the Web:
Twitter: @ryan_fors
Contact: info@ryanfors.com
See more of Ryan’s work and his online store at ryanfors.com!

 

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Spielman meeting Teddy
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[NOTE FROM ADAM: We are thrilled to welcome back the knowledge and insight we’ve grown to expect out of Ryan Boser. Ryan contributes a number of places, with very valuable draft and fantasy takes, and we encourage you to follow him on Twitter to keep track of everything he is doing.]

BY RYAN BOSER

From Adrian Peterson to Jabari Price, Rick Spielman has had varying degrees of involvement in 65 rookie selections during his eight-draft Minnesota Vikings tenure. While “need” is an ever-changing variable, we have a large enough sample size to begin to glean some of his general philosophical tendencies.

1. Spielman is fearlessly aggressive with offensive skill position players in the first two rounds.

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With his first pick as VP of Player Personnel, Spielman eschewed infinitely more pressing defensive needs to select a supremely talented RB with durability concerns. Meanwhile, Chester Taylor had just eclipsed 1,500 YFS in the first year of his 4-year contract.

Two drafts later, Spielman & Co. snatched Percy Harvin in R1 despite a failed Combine drug test.

Spielman reached wildly for Christian Ponder, and traded up for backup Toby Gerhart, an ultra-raw Cordarrelle Patterson and Pro Day flop Teddy Bridgewater.

What it Means: Kevin White almost certainly ran himself out of the Vikings’ range, but if Amari Cooper slips, he’d be the odds-on favorite at 11. If both White and Cooper are gone, DeVante Parker would surely get a long look, and I wouldn’t count out stud RB Todd Gurley (pending Peterson) despite last season’s ACL tear — the precedent is there for such a pick. Monstrous WR Dorial Green-Beckham is a textbook Spielman pick in R2 (or late R1 via trade-up). He comes with drug and violence-against-women baggage, which will make him an especially tough sell at this juncture, but the team is officially kicking the tires.

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Division I linebackers like UCLA’s Eric Kendricks and TCU’s Paul Dawson will dominate the early draft-day conversations, but teams shouldn’t sleep on the later rounds’ small-school prospects. One in particular, Newberry’s Edmond Robinson, could be a potential steal for the Minnesota Vikings near the end of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Newberry, a Division II school in South Carolina, hasn’t seen a player drafted since 1974, when the Cardinals selected linebacker Greg Hartle in the 10th round. Currently, three former Wolves are on an NFL roster, including the Vikings’ Brandon Bostick. Robinson played with Bostick at Newberry, and spoke about the advice he’s received from his former teammates:

“They’ve been great about giving me advice and telling me how to approach certain situations. They all said that if they can make it, I can too.”

Robinson was just one of two Division II players to participate in last month’s NFL Scouting Combine, and used the week in Indianapolis to boost his draft stock.

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