Wednesday, October 18, 2017

david morgan

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Wow, what a fun day! Lots of action. With roster cuts already in progress, here’s a last-minute Vikings 53-man roster projection, which includes Friday’s trade for cornerback Tramaine Brock:

Quarterback
  • Sam Bradford
  • Case Keenum
  • Teddy Bridgewater (PUP)

The Vikings rolled with two quarterbacks last year and I don’t see that changing this year. Taylor Heinicke is practice squad eligible and I don’t see teams lining up to snag him off waivers. Plus, there’s always Mitch Leidner.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Bucky Hodges on the Rise

Historically, the Minnesota Vikings have lacked a one-two punch at tight end. The last time the Vikings had two tight ends catch more than 30 passes in a season was in 2013, when Kyle Rudolph missed eight games due to injury. That season, Rudolph had 30 catches and John Carlson had 32. Before that, the last occurrence was in 2002, when Jimmy Kleinsasser had 37 receptions and Byron Chamberlain had 34.

Fast forward to 2016. Starting tight end Rudolph enjoyed a breakout season, catching 83 passes for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. But Rhett Ellison, the team’s number two tight end, caught only nine passes.

This offseason, after Ellison signed with the New York Giants, the Vikings attempted to add another weapon to their tight end arsenal. Free agent Jared Cook, known for his downfield pass-catching skills, came to Minnesota for a visit, but he ultimately joined the Oakland Raiders.

Enter rookie Bucky Hodges. The raw-but-talented receiver that plays tight end may be just the player the Vikings have been searching for. Realistically, it’s too early to predict a 30-plus catch season for Hodges in 2017, but if he can make strides developing his technique, the sky is the limit for the 22 year-old.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings Territory staffer Drew Mahowald spoke with David Morgan about his role increasing as he approaches his second season.

For nearly 20 years now, the Minnesota Vikings have boasted a blue-chip, jack-of-all-trades tight end in their offense.

This role features a player who can line up in several different formations and fulfill many blocking roles and still be effective as a receiver.

Jim Kleinsasser first occupied this role when he was drafted in 1999. As his 13-year career concluded, Rhett Ellison gained control of the role for the next five seasons before signing with the New York Giants this offseason.

That role is now open for the taking, but second-year man David Morgan and his luxurious locks have the inside track on the role in 2017, both via his skill set and his experience. Morgan has a lot of respect for what Ellison brought to the table for the Vikings.

image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings Territory staffer Drew Mahowald was on hand for the Aug. 3 Minnesota Vikings training camp practice and delivers his takeaways.

August in Mankato. The visual image likely popping into your head is one that includes sweat, humidity and heat.

However, such image was a completely inaccurate description of what Thursday’s practice was for the Vikings. The temperature fluttered in the mid-50s and the wind was steady around 20 miles per hour. It was a wonderful retreat from the typical uncomfortableness that comes with Vikings training camp.

Below are major takeaways from Thursday’s practice.

David Morgan dominates

Second-year tight end David Morgan turned in a dominating performance on Thursday. He was an unstoppable force as a run blocker, particularly in red zone drills. During one play, he practically de-cleated linebacker Emmanuel Lamur and drove him across the field and opened a hole for Dalvin Cook.

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