Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Stacy Coley

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Three More Vikings Rookies Sign Contracts

The Minnesota Vikings signed three of their 2017 draftees this morning: Tight end Bucky Hodges, center Pat Elflein, and linebacker Elijah Lee. With the additions, the Vikings have now signed all but three of their remaining selections.

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Vikings Done To Fix Their Offense
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

This post was guest-written by Luke Braun, who is a writer for Purple PTSD and co-host of the Purple Journal Podcast. Since before he can remember, he was immersed in the ups and crippling downs of Vikings fandom. In adulthood, he’s taken an analytical approach to evaluation, but the compelling stories of each NFL player are not lost on him. Outside of football, Luke works in digital media and the film industry, giving him a unique perspective on the characters and story of the NFL.

It’s fairly clear that the 2016 Minnesota Vikings were held back by their offense more than their defense or special teams. By DVOA, the Vikings ranked 26th on offense, while turning in the ninth-best defense. They experienced a post-bye streak of seven games where they only topped 21 points once, losing all six of the other games.

In response to the general failure of the offense, Mike Zimmer set the bar at 21 points per game for 2017, establishing a clear goal to improve. The first step to fixing a problem, however, is diagnosing it. Where did we go wrong?

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings OTAs: 7 Positions Up For Grabs

The Minnesota Vikings’ organized team activities, or OTAs, began Tuesday. OTAs are offseason training sessions run with the purpose of developing players; or, simply put, practices without tackling. There are no 1-on-1 drills, only team drills.

OTAs can be a good barometer of how the team’s roster is going to shape up come the regular season. Generally, the players who practice together play together. Certainly, there are exceptions.

Lets take a look at several key position battles that will unfold during the Vikings preseason.

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Vikings 2017 Rookies
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Three days and seven trades later, Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman netted his franchise 11 new players. Without a first round pick—and his preferred 10 selections—Spielman was, as expected, one of the league’s more active draft participants.

Over the course of three days, he executed trades with seven teams, swapping 20 total draft picks in a convoluted string of transactions. When he was finally happy with his draft board and the team’s position each round, Spielman settled, garnering a class you’ve come to know well thanks to the Welcome to the Big Show series.

After the jump, I’ll compile each of the breakdowns with links and helpful graphics. This landing page should become an instant bookmark for you; an easy-to-reference guide on the 2017 Vikings rookies.

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