Welcome back to Vikings Territory’s annual series, Sleeper Sunday. In addition to the team’s regularly scheduled scouting reports, we plan to bring you quick profiles of a few lesser-known players; the prospects who could be a good fit for the Minnesota Vikings on Day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft.
While this series is meant to highlight college’s under-the-radar names, it’s also an experiment of sorts. Mike Zimmer enters his fourth year as head coach of the Vikings having established a clear-cut, defense-first identity. Above him, Rick Spielman serves as general manager, picking and choosing the players Zimmer adds to the initial 90-man roster.
Together, they’ve concocted one of the league’s deepest, most talented rosters. And in doing so, they’ve established patterns in the way they approach the NFL Draft. A friend of the site, Ryan Boser, identified these trends two years ago, giving readers a peek into Minnesota’s war room.
What he found helps to inform the players we choose as part of Sleeper Sunday. Knowing Spielman likes to end the draft with defense and has used a Round 7 selection on linebackers in five straight drafts, it’s reasonable to assume the Vikings are targeting a defender in the later rounds. Hence, my first choice for a Sleeper Sunday profile, Kentucky Christian linebacker Aaron Cooper.
Follow along these next few months, and hopefully, in April, we’ll hit the mark on one or two names.