Tuesday, May 3, 2016

minnesota vikings

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NFL DRAFT

The NFL Draft is less than a fortnight away and the annual culling of collegiate talent has gone international. Proven by Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) phoning in from Bangkok for his weekly Minnesota Vikings Draft spot!

We chat about the Rams-Titans trade and how it affects the rest of the draft, the fallout from the Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack medical rechecks, if the Vikings are in a position to draft a “redshirt” player, and which Day 1-2 position combos would make us the most happy as Mike Zimmer and the Vikes try to bring home a dozen Lombardis this year.

All that and other “Something Called Will Fuller” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Alabama’s old-school hard hitting inside linebacker is an elite prospect who will be a day one starter in the NFL. Reggie Ragland is a premier run-stopper with exceptional football instinct and IQ.

Reggie Ragland | Linebacker, Alabama

Measurements

Height: 6’1”
Weight: 247 pounds
Year: Senior

At First Glance

SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
Numerous All-American Honors.
BCS National Championship 2015.

Projected Round:

First Round

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CLICK HERE TO VIEW MY ENTIRE 2016 FIRST ROUND MOCK.

The Vikings made improving their offensive line a priority heading into the offseason and they put their plan into action by signing guard Alex Boone and tackle Andre Smith in free agency. The Vikings will look to add even more help in the first round.

Jack Conklin, OT Michigan State

This mock draft has Rick Spielman on the clock with a tough decision to either select offensive tackle Jack Conklin or wide receiver Josh Doctson. Conklin gets the pick because I don’t think the Vikings are finished revamping the line. He fits the same mold as Boone and Smith being more talented in the run blocking department than as a pass protector. Conklin can offer competition for Matt Kalil at left tackle or he can be plugged in at left guard as an immediate starter. Boone could play right guard and Brandon Fusco could compete at center or either guard spot.

I also believe that wide receiver is not a locked and loaded priority in the first-round for the Vikings.

“We had a receiver here that was making a lot of money that really didn’t do what we needed to do,” Zimmer said. “So I don’t know that it’s a necessity to go out and sign another wide receiver. We’ve got to get better with the guys we’ve got, and we’ve got to fix other areas that can allow these receivers to be more effective in the games.”

With untapped potential in Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson on the roster, maybe Zimmer is speaking the truth about finding ways to make them more effective. With great value at the receiver position in the second and third-rounds featuring prospects like Tyler Boyd, Micheal Thomas, Braxton Miller, Rashard Higgins, Kenny Lawler, Charone Peake, Leonte Carroo and Tajae Sharpe the Vikings shouldn’t be feeling pressure to reach for Doctson.

New tight ends coach Pat Shurmur loves to get his tight ends and backs involved in the passing game, thus reducing the need to take a first-round wide receiver. Shurmur is a Michigan State alumni, and offensive line coach Tony Sparano will love a physical blue collar guy like Conklin.

 

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minnesota vikings

The 2016 NFL Schedule has been released (like so many white doves). We now know the order of the menu of the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings as we feast towards #LombardiAtNRG. I walk through the schedule and give an HONEST assessment of wins and losses in the first of many way too soon 2016 Vikings season forecasts.

All that and other “16-0, Homeboy” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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images courtesy of vikings.com

Offensive line coach Tony Sparano and tight ends coach Pat Shurmur were hired by Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer to improve the 29th ranked offense. Both men have offensive coordinator and head coaching experience that Zimmer hopes will breathe new life, or at least add a few fresh ideas to Norv Turner’s Air Coryell scheme.

Zimmer said last month at an NFL owners meeting that Turner is very open to new ideas and has modified his traditional system over the years.

“Norv has changed a lot,” Zimmer said. “I used to go play against him a long time ago. Over the course of the years, a lot of the no-huddle, the [shot]gun stuff, the zone read, those are all new things. Norv is not hard-headed. I’m probably more hard-headed defensively than he is offensively.”

Turner’s system will likely continue to evolve as they incorporate a few wrinkles from Shurmur’s West Coast background and Sparano’s physical pound it style. While a total revamp of the offense is not on the forecast, here are five things to anticipate in 2016.

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