Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "harrison smith"

harrison smith

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Free agency is sneaking up on us and the Vikings have been quiet, as usual, regarding their plans to re-sign their own free agents.  Almost certainly, there will be some of our own guys signing new contracts prior to the March 11th opening of the market, but this is as good of a time as any to participate in some good old fashioned speculation.

I tend to view the NFL Draft as a time to amass talent, with less regard for immediate need than is displayed in the opening days of free agency, so I have narrowed in on five guys that I think could help make an immediate impact on the opening day roster.  Of course, free agency is highly unpredictable and we fans seldom get what we want, but this slow time in the offseason is the perfect time for us dreamers to dream.

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The Vikings will have to take on the Philadelphia Eagles without their star running back Adrian Peterson today, who suffered a foot injury last week in Baltimore.  They also won’t have his backup Toby Gerhart available as he is inactive today with a hamstring injury.

Running back Matt Asiata will start today and Joe Banyard, recently activated from the practice squad, will get the lion’s share of the action.

Their starting duo of cornerbacks are also out today.  Chris Cook (knee) and Xavier Rhodes (ankle) will not be suiting up.  The injuries and other issues have once again blown up the Vikings depth chart at cornerback, which seems to happen on an annual basis, and Marcus Sherels and Shaun Prater are going to be your starters today, according to 1500 ESPN.  Not an ideal situation for those holding out hope for an upset win, but certainly can’t hurt Minnesota’s possible run at a top-three draft selection.

Guard Brandon Fusco is also inactive and will be replaced by Joe Berger as the starting right guard.

The good news is that Harrison Smith has been activated for today’s game.Smith suffered an injury on October 13th and hasn’t played since.  It remains to be seen just how much playing time the Vikings are willing to give to their star safety, given the game is essentially meaningless, but Smith makes any game more fun to watch.

Don’t forget to join our VT Live Chat during today’s game.

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As is getting destroyed at home by the 1-3 Carolina Panthers didn’t hurt enough, the real salt in the wound was three substantial injuries to defensive players.

Desmond Bishop suffered a knee injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Panthers. Despite being to limp off the field, the Vikings announced today that Bishop’s season has come to an end with a torn ACL in the right knee. The game against Carolina was Bishop’s first and last start of the season. Bishop, who struggled to get on the field at linebacker despite it being one of the Vikings [many] weaknesses likely means it was his last game in Minnesota. Desmond Bishop, 29, was only signed to a one-year deal and will be a free agent after 2013.

With two preseason games down, and two to go, I found myself considering a number of changes to my prediction of who would make the Vikings final 53-man roster.  The last time I wrote a prediction was just before the open of training camp and quite a bit has happened since then.  The players that made my previous cut, but no longer do, are marked with a strike.  The players that are new to my list are bolded.

Quarterback: Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, McLeod Bethel-Thompson

Analysis:  No changes here.  MBT solidified his spot above Vandenberg with a solid performance last week, while Vandenberg didn’t even see the field.  Bill Musgrave recently made some comments about Joe Webb that have me considering only two quarterbacks making the roster, leaving Webb as a last resort, but I think that approach would be too unorthodox.

Running Back: Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Bradley Randle

Analysis:  That third running back spot is still a mystery because there are a few players, including Zach Line and Joe Banyard, that are making cases for themselves.  Still, I feel like Randle provides the Vikings with the most upside and some serious special teams value.  Randle is penciled in very lightly at this point, though.

Fullback: Jerome Felton

Analysis:  Felton’s recent surgery has many assuming Zach Line will be on the opening day roster, but he is expected to ready by week one and Rhett Ellison acts as a quality backup at the position.  I just don’t see the Vikings dedicating two spots to fullbacks.

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[NOTE FROM ADAM:  I am thrilled that Branden Lemke has once again agreed to lend us his talents here at VT, this time he will be providing us with ten “bold predictions” for you all to mull over as the season fast approaches.  This is his first installment.  I know I’ve been way too absent this week, but I promise I’ll be back to normal in just a few short days.  Thanks for hanging in there.]

Hey everybody! If you’re like me, right now you’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 2013 NFL season. For the first time since 2009, Vikings fans have a lot of reason for hope this time of year (Last year at this time nobody thought we’d finish 10-6, and if you did you’re a football genius). Leading up to the start of the season, I’m going to give you 10 bold predictions of what you will hopefully see over the course of the 2013 season. Some of you may remember me doing this a couple years ago when I worked with Adam at Vikings Gab. I looked up my bold predictions from 2011 and it turns out I was right about half of them! I’m shooting for a better ratio this time around.

There’s no question the Vikings struck gold in 2012 by trading up in the first round to select safety Harrison Smith out of Notre Dame. Many were skeptical at first because the 2012 safety class was viewed as a fairly weak class, and some fans and experts thought it might have just been a desperation shot by the Vikings, trying to fill a glaring need in the secondary. It didn’t take Smith long to show everyone that despite a weak safety class, he was for real.

We saw his talent on display throughout the entire 2012 season. He delivered one hard hitting tackle after another, and finished with 3 interceptions on the year, 2 of them for touchdowns. I was honestly surprised Smith wasn’t more highly considered for Defensive Rookie Of The Year, and I felt he could have been a pro bowler this year. In 2013, I think Smith is poised for a breakout year. He’s already become one of the main leaders in our secondary, and his play will be huge for the Vikings. I think Smith will finish in the area of 80 tackles, 4-5 interceptions, and a couple forced fumbles. Hopefully we can see more defensive touchdowns from him as well.  I think the Pro Bowl is a place he’ll belong after the season is said and done, hopefully voters feel the same way when the Pro Bowl ballots are out.

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