Sunday, September 24, 2017

Jalen Reeves-Maybin

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

A linebacker for a linebacker: Antwione Williams

The Minnesota Vikings have signed former Detroit Lions linebacker Antwione Williams. He will join the Vikings practice squad. Detroit cut Williams as they trimmed their active roster to 53. He did not join the Lions’ practice squad after clearing waivers.

Williams is 6-foot-3, 240 pounds. He played college football at Georgia Southern. The 24 year-old was drafted in the fifth round by Detroit in 2016. He appeared in 14 games as a rookie last season, starting three. Between special teams and defense, the second-year linebacker amassed 27 tackles and a fumble recovery.

Minnesota acquired Williams after the San Francisco 49ers plucked linebacker Elijah Lee off the Vikings’ practice squad. The 49ers signed the Vikings’ 2017 7th-round pick to their 53-man roster after rookie Reuben Foster suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 1.

About the Labor Podcast Episode 63

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald examine CJ Ham’s transition to fullback, how the Minnesota Vikings’ 2017 draft class stacks up against the rest of the NFC North and introduce a new Top-5 ranking segment, beginning with a focus on Rick Spielman’s draft history.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • Intro (0:00-1:29)
  • CJ Ham: Analyzing the Division II product’s transition from running back to fullback (1:30-11:33
  • NFC North Draft Class Evaluation: Chicago Bears (11:34-18:43)
  • NFC North Draft Class Evaluation: Detroit Lions (18:44-24:30)
  • NFC North Draft Class Evaluation: Green Bay Packers (24:31-31:30)
  • NFC North Draft Class Evaluation: How the Minnesota Vikings stack up (31:31-33:29)
  • Top-5 Debate: Rick Spielman Draft Picks (33:30-51:00)
  • Sign Out (51:01-52:20)

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Hawkeyes Dominate Vikings BPA Rankings

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

107 picks down, 146 to go.

The final day of the 2017 NFL draft has arrived and with it comes the ultimate challenge for scouting departments — find the hidden gems amidst a massive pile of rubble. This isn’t an impossible task, but it has a special way of separating good teams from champions. Behind seemingly every extended run of success is a Hall of Fame quarterback and multiple quality starters acquired on Day 3 or during undrafted free agency:

  • Pittsburgh: Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, James Harrison, Alejandro Villanueva, Ike Taylor
  • Seattle: Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, KJ Wright, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Malcolm Smith
  • Green Bay: Mike Daniels, Corey Linsley, Donald Driver, Al Harris, Atari Bigby, Aaron Kampman
  • Denver: Chris Harris, Jared Crick, CJ Anderson, Julius Thomas, Danny Trevathan, Malik Jackson
  • New England: Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, James White, Malcolm Butler, Rob Ninkovich, Trey Flowers

This trend has a rather simple explanation: Few teams are consistently able to find impact players during Rounds 4-7, which allows organizations that accomplish this task on an annual basis to collect talent faster and easier while being able to keep championship rosters together longer by using bargain rookie contracts.

DRAFT DAY — About the Labor Podcast Episode 60 feat. Jordan Reid

BJ Reidell — Version 3.0

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald welcome Jordan Reid (The Viking Age) on to the show to give a final review of defensive prospects as it pertains to the Minnesota Vikings.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • Intro (0:00-0:46)
  • Prospect Review: Defensive Tackles (0:47-11:36)
  • Prospect Review: Linebackers (11:37-28:03)
  • Prospect Review: Edge-Rushers [43 Defensive End/34 OLB] (28:04-42:02)
  • Prospect Review: Cornerback [Outside/Nickel] (42:03-52:51)
  • Prospect Review: Safety (52:52-1:00:08)
  • Twitter Questions: “Nickel CB is the most difficult position on defense” (1:00:09-1:08:58)
  • Bold Draft Predictions: “Deshaun Watson goes No. 4 overall” (1:08:59-01:14:48)
  • Sign Out (01:14:49-01:16:07)

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Mid-Round Sleepers for the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has become notorious for finding mid-round steals since he took full reign as the franchise’s general manager in 2012.

A few of his ‘hits’ in the middle rounds the past few years include: Rhett Ellison, Jerick McKinnon, Danielle Hunter and Stefon Diggs.

Every draft class contains several “diamonds in the rough” that exceed their perceived stock. Whether it’s overcoming red flags or simply improving on a weakness, these players become “steals” of the draft.

Danielle Hunter is a prime example. He declared for the draft out of LSU as an extremely raw prospect who possessed Greek god-like physical tools. In just two years, he’s developed exponentially faster than anyone expected and is now perceived as one of the best young players in the NFL.

Which prospects are the Danielle Hunters of the 2017 draft class?

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