Sunday, May 28, 2017

Rick Spielman

OLB Aaron Cooper
Image courtesy of Kentucky Christian Football

Welcome back to Vikings Territory’s annual series, Sleeper SundayIn 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.

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Teddy Bridgewater likely to miss 2017 season
Image courtesy of vikings.com

According to a recent report from Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will likely miss the entire 2017 season.

Bridgewater suffered a catastrophic knee injury a week before the 2016 season opener. The injury, sustained on a non-contact play during a normal practice session, included a torn ACL and a full knee dislocation. Fortunately for Bridgewater, the injury did not result in nerve damage to the knee, which could have been worse for the quarterback’s long-term playing prospects.

In the video published by Bleacher Report, Cole reported:

“Doctors told the team that the shortest recovery time for that type of injury has been 19 months. Based on that timeline, Bridgewater won’t be recovered until March 2018 in the best case scenario.”

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VT Question of the Week

Falcons Offer Vikings a Lesson
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Imagine the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons are classmates in school (the NFL); both receive high grades, score well on tests, and excel in most subjects. Near the end of the school year, the teacher hands out a test, one the Vikings and Falcons must pass to graduate. Unfortunately, it’s the Falcons who pass and the Vikings who stumble, missing one too many questions.

I’m a fan of analogies, so grant me this imagery for a moment. The Vikings and Falcons – save for an MVP quarterback – are eerily similar, with defensive-minded coaches leading teams built primarily through the NFL Draft. Each franchise places a high value on draft picks and spends money sparingly on high-profile free agents.

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Minnesota Vikings 1500 ESPN KSTP Chris Long

The great Chris Long (@ChrisLongKSTP) swung by to join us for a spirited chat about the Vikings, the upcoming Super Bowl, and Sid Hartman apparently was part owner of the Minneapolis Lakers… We talked about if this was Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Bradford’s team going forward (from the player’s perspective), where and how much Adrian Peterson makes next year, how the evolution of college offenses have come at the expense of NFL offensive line play, why Laquon Treadwell may have struggled this season, and a whole lot more.

All that and more “Chad Greenway 2017?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

Wondering what to eat for the Super Bowl? Blue Door Pub has you covered with Super Bock IV!

Cam Robinson | OT, Alabama

Measurements

Height: 6’6″

Weight: 326 pounds

Projected Round

Late 1st Round – Early 2nd Round

Pros

Power: Robinson’s massive frame and immense strength make him a powerful presence at left tackle. This is most evident in the run game, where he consistently drives defenders backward several yards behind constantly-churning legs.

There are a few reasons Robinson is considered the strongest run mauler in this draft class. His sheer power and frame have certainly helped him earn that title.

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