Sunday, May 1, 2016

harrison smith

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Anthony Barr and Teddy Bridgewater to the 2016 Pro Bowl
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The first round of the 2014 NFL Draft is looking golden for Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. His two picks, Anthony Barr and Teddy Bridgewater, have been selected to play in the 2016 Pro Bowl. The news, announced on the team’s official website Monday, gives the Vikings five representatives in this year’s game.

The two will play this Sunday in Honolulu, Hawaii as injury replacements. Bridgewater will take over the spot vacated by Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and Barr will fill in for New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins. This is the first Pro Bowl selection for either player.

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Harrison Smith named to 2016 Pro Bowl
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

This is a post that should’ve been written after the 2014 regular season. And though it’s overdue, it’s no less deserved. As first reported by Darren Wolfson, Harrison Smith is expected to be named to his first Pro Bowl this week. ESPN’s Ben Goessling confirmed the report, making Smith the third Minnesota Vikings player represented in this year’s all-star contest. He’ll join Adrian Peterson and Everson Griffen in Hawaii next Sunday.

Goessling reports that two league sources confirmed Smith’s selection will be made official after tonight’s NFC Championship Game. Smith finished the season with 66 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and two interceptions in 13 total games. Though he missed nearly four games with a knee injury, Smith proved invaluable to Mike Zimmer’s defense. And even if his stats weren’t as eye-popping in 2015 as they were in 2014, Smith’s greatness didn’t go unrecognized by the NFL.

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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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[This Jeremy Cash 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.]

Jeremy Cash | Safety, Duke

Measurements

Height – 6’1
Weight – 210 Lbs.
Age – 23

At First Glance

All-American Safety and ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

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Vikings Post-Season Awards
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

If there’s one thing Minnesota Vikings fans can agree on, it’s that the 2015 season didn’t end as well as we all hoped (or thought) it would. At 11-5 and atop the NFC North, Mike Zimmer’s team surprised the NFL world, knocking off the Green Bay Packers to storm into the playoffs for the first time since 2009. But Blair Walsh’s missed last-second field goal ended what had been a promising campaign in Minnesota.

Fortunately, it was a season to remember, and a season to build upon in the coming years. With one of the league’s best coaches at the helm and a young roster built to last, the Vikings should stay competitive in 2016 and beyond. Before we jump too far into the offseason though, now presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on a memorable 2015.

We saw rookies outperform their draft positions and 30 year-old running backs lead the league in rushing. We saw a second-year quarterback shine, and often struggle behind a leaky offensive line. More importantly, we saw a team realize it’s potential and exceed expectations. To celebrate the successful season, we’re asking you to hand out awards to the most deserving Vikings. From the Most Valuable Player to the Rookie of the Year, the power to choose is in your hands. Without further ado, here are your VT post-season awards nominees:

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