Wednesday, February 10, 2016

chad greenway

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[This Kyler Fackrell 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.]

Kyler Fackrell | OLB, Utah St.

Measurements

Height – 6’5″
Weight – 245 lbs.
Age – 24

At First Glance

All-Mountain West 1st Team

Current Draft Projection

2nd – 3rd Round

Ranking the Vikings first round selections

[Note: This reflection on the Vikings’ success in the first round of the most recent decade’s worth of drafts is provided courtesy of Matt Falk from Draft Season. We highly recommend checking out their site for scouting reports of this year’s top prospects with a Vikings slant.]

Over the past 10 years, the Vikings have done a decent job finding talent in the first round of the NFL Draft. While they’ve have had their share of big misses, they’ve also hit on some stars along the way.

Let’s take a quick look back and attempt to rank them from worst to best.

#12 – 2011 – Christian Ponder QB, Florida St. (12th overall)

It’s hard to not feel bad for Ponder. He really never should of have been the 12th overall pick. Due to where he was selected, fans had some unrealistic expectations. Unsurprisingly, Ponder never panned out and struggled through a rocky four years in Minnesota. You’ve, gotta give the guy credit though; he acted like a true professional during his time in Minnesota.

#11 – 2013 – Cordarrelle Patterson WR, Tennessee (29th overall)

Patterson toyed with our emotions during his big rookie season, but has been in a nose dive ever since. While he’s still one of the most dangerous return men in the league, he adds absolutely nothing to the team as a wide receiver. Unless he has a huge turnaround, we won’t be seeing him on the field with the offense, except in August. For now, we’ll just have to get excited when he gets the chance to return a kick.

#10 – 2015 – Trae Waynes (11th overall)

The only reason Waynes is so low on the list is because it’s much too soon to know what we really have in the Michigan State cornerback. He barely saw the field as a rookie, but did show some flashes (along with some growing pains). I would feel confident saying that in a few years, we could see him bumping up at least a few spots on this same list.

defensive unrestricted free agents
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

If anyone knows about winning, it’s legendary Alabama Crimson Tide coach Bear Bryant. In 25 seasons at the head of the football program, Bryant won 232 games and hoisted six national championship trophies. It’s no surprise, then, that Bryant is credited with the famous quote: “Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships.”

And in Minnesota, Mike Zimmer’s following that same formula. The Vikings may not have won the Super Bowl this year, but they rode a top-five defense to an 11-5 record and the NFC North division title. They’re set up for long-term success, especially on defense, where a number of key players are in their first or second year with the team. A few of those contributors, though, are set to become unrestricted free agents in March.

Playing the role of general manager Rick Spielman, the Vikings Territory team analyzed the players and picked one as their highest priority to re-sign this offseason.

Which defensive unrestricted free agent should be the highest priority for the Vikings to re-sign?

  • Chad Greenway
  • Terence Newman
  • Josh Robinson
  • Robert Blanton
  • Marcus Sherels
  • Andrew Sendejo

  • Audie Cole
  • Casey Matthews
  • Kenrick Ellis
  • Jason Trusnik
  • Justin Trattou

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Kendricks tongue
rookie linebacker Eric Kendricks

Vikings Territory asked, and the readers spoke; in this series of articles, the team will announce the winners of our fan-voted awards, from the Minnesota Vikings’ MVP of 2015 to the Special Teams Player of the Year. Today, a look at the Rookie of the Year, as voted by you, the fans.

Eric Kendricks, LB — Minnesota Vikings

For players in the NFL, success requires exceptional talent, smart coaching, and a little bit of luck. In linebacker Eric Kendricks, the Minnesota Vikings got all three.

The talent was evident this season, as Kendricks started 11 of 14 games for the Vikings and was the first rookie to lead the team in tackles (105) since 1961. The fact that he was coached by Mike Zimmer is an added bonus; the 37-year coaching veteran is renowned as one of the league’s best defensive minds. And the Vikings were lucky to land Kendricks in the second round (45th-overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft.

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Top Vikings Plays of 2015
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The beauty of football is that it’s a subjective sport. Two people may watch the same exact play and find two completely different things they enjoyed about it. On a long punt return, one person may notice the devastating block that sprung the returner free. Another may cheer for the returner’s quick feet and dizzying jukes.

Think of everything that happens from the snap to the whistle; a period of time that lasts just four seconds. Linemen crash into each other, creating a violent collision of helmets and facemasks. Wide receivers sprint, cut, plant, and fly through their breaks down the field. Shoulder pads pop, footballs whistle out of quarterbacks’ hands, and fans cheer wildly from the stands. It’s an explosion for the senses and a spectacle to behold each Sunday.

Now think back on the Vikings’ 2015 campaign. They ran 973 offensive plays, defended another 1,076, and used their special teams units on 439 more. That’s 2,488 total plays, per Sporting Charts. It’d be nearly impossible to narrow down the best play of the season, but that’s exactly what the poll of the week is for. Many of you will share your own choices in the comments, but I’ve tried to narrow down five of the most memorable, noteworthy plays from a wild 2015. After the jump, we’ll run through my choices.

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