January 20-25 - Senior Bowl
January 26 - Pro Bowl
February 17 - First day of franchise / transition player designation
February 19-25 - Scouting Combine
March 11 - Free Agency begins
March 23 - Owner's Meeting
April 7 - Off-season workouts begin for teams with new HC
April 17 - 2014 Schedule Released
April 21 - Off-season workouts begin for teams with returning HC
May 2 - Deadline for RFAs to sign offers
May 8-10 - NFL Draft
Welcome to part two of our ten part series called “Welcome to the Big Show” where we give you an in-depth look into each of the Vikings ten Draft selections of 2012. Brett did a fine job handling Part One, a look at Matt Kalil, and now we move onto our other first round pick, Harrison Smith.
Born on Groundhog’s Day in 1989, Harrison Smith grew up as an extremely gifted athlete.
From a young age, adults took notice of Smith’s leadership abilities and willingness to include everyone. His mother received calls from summer camp counselors telling stories of Smith comforting kids through the night as they cried from being homesick, and often including other kids in activities even when other children considered them outcasts.
Smith went to high school at Knoxville Catholic where he was a do-it-all player. Heck, he was even a solid basketball player. He ran wild as a running back, was a gifted receiver, and showed prowess on defense, and even averaged 14 yards per punt return as a senior. In 2006, he was selected as Tennessee’s Gatorade Football Player of the Year.
Having grown up at a Catholic school with a strict dress code, Smith got to Notre Dame and let his hair grow out. While drawing comparisons by some to Justin Bieber, he preferred the Scooby Doo comparisons and embraced the “Shaggy” role when Halloween rolled around.
He was a four star athlete coming out high school, with some schools envisioning him on offense and some wanting him to play defense. With offers on the table from a number of schools that included Tennessee, Auburn, and Alabama, Smith ended up choosing Notre Dame. His decision not to play for Tennessee ended up seeing his family be semi-spurned in their hometown.
At Notre Dame, he graduated from Mendoza College of Business with a management-entrepreneurship degree and enrolled in a graduate studies program.
Apparently everyone here at Vikings Territory loves it when Adam and I disagree on something. Our post a week ago where we went back and forth about whether or not the Vikings should trade down in the draft started quite the discussion between readers. Luckily for you all, Adam and I have different opinions quite frequently. And as such, we’ve decided to make this a recurring column where we duke it out over various topics.
As most of you probably know, Adam and I have been participating in a series of online, community mock drafts where groups of people act as the war room for NFL teams. Obviously, we’ve represented our beloved Vikings. Throughout the process, Adam and I have differed over the primary need of this franchise. A week ago, Adam ranked the Vikings needs from most desperate to not an issue. According to him, the position of safety is the #1 need of this team. In my opinion, left tackle is our most pressing demand, which is at #3 on Adam’s list. With the most important Vikings draft in recent memory literally right around the corner, what ever will Vikings management do if Adam and I can not agree on what should be the team’s priority?! Luckily for the franchise, I am blessed with the ability to persuade and argue. So, getting Adam to see the light should take no time at all.
Continue reading to see this epic battle go down.
[NOTE FROM ADAM: This is the second-to-last installation of my position-by-position breakdown of the Vikings offseason. The specialists will be the final segment, coming up soon. You can click the links to view previous installments: The Passers, The Runners, The Wide Outs, The Tight Ends, The Offensive Line, The Defensive Tackles, The Defensive Ends, The Linebackers, and The Cornerbacks.]
Members of the Vikings coaching staff and front office have made a habit of defending their safeties as fans and the media often pick on them for a lack of production.
This offseason, however, the team faces a crossroads at the position and we will find out just how much they really think of their current group of safeties.
Let’s take a closer look.