Some Names Surface
Just like at the Senior Bowl, the Vikings are going to use the NFL Scouting Combine as an opportunity to meet and interview as many of the prospects as possible. While we will probably never know the entire list of whom they have met with, a few have been uncovered and I’ll discuss them here.
Chris Rainey, RB, Florida
The Vikings reportedly interviewed the speedy pass catching back this weekend at some point. It really shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as his skill set matches up exactly with the type of third down scat back the Vikings offense has been missing for years now. I singled out Rainey in my Offseason Preview of running backs as a potential target for the Vikings in the later rounds of the Draft.
Rainey did not have a great showing in Indianapolis as his 4.37 second dash was less impressive than anticipated and he dropped a number of passes during the drills portion. He has an injury history combined with some off the field issues that could keep him from being drafted at all. Still, outside of Percy Harvin, this Vikings offense lacks breakaway speed and Rainey could bring a homerun potential from the backfield, out of the slot position, or even in the return game. He might be worth a late round flier if the Vikings liked what they saw in his interview.
Junior Hemmingway, WR, Michigan
On Sunday, the wide receivers put on a show in Indy, displaying talent and depth across the board. One of the players the Vikings interviewed was Michigan’s lead receiver Junior Hemmingway. He is a late round prospect at best, especially considering his durability concerns, but he had a decent outing at the combine posting numbers that were often competitive with much superior prospects. With this one, however, I suspect Rick Spielman is simply doing his due diligence and compiling a list of players to contact after they go undrafted and invite them to training camp.
Amini Silatolu, OT/G, Midwestern State
I can’t actually confirm for you that the Vikings interviewed Silatolu. However, he interviewed with 29 NFL teams and Rick Spielman talked him up in this article, so I am assuming the Vikings were not one of the teams to pass on the opportunity to chat him.
Silatolu is a small school left tackle that will likely be a developmental prospect to play guard at the next level. He is 6’ 4” and 311 pounds and had a somewhat decent showing as he participated in every Combine drill.
“This will be a big process, because he wasn’t able to play in any of the all-star games,” Spielman said. “For him to match up with these other offensive linemen at the combine will be huge. He has all the athletic skill set and the tools to eventually become a complete player in the NFL.”
I’m hoping the Vikings don’t draft him… only because then I’d have to learn how to spell his name.
Trenton Robinson, S, Michigan State
After being seemingly impressed with what they saw at the Senior Bowl, the Vikings again checked out free safety Trenton Robinson. Robinson is a solid tackler that thrives in zone coverage, and I can see why Rick Spielman might think of him as a solid fit in Leslie Frazier’s defense. At 5’ 10” and 195 pounds, Robinson is a tad smaller than the NFL prototype for safeties. There are also some questions about his speed, so his forty time is worth keeping an eye on come Tuesday. He is expected to be drafted in the third to fifth round range.
It is also worth noting that the Packers, Bears, and Lions each have reportedly shown interest in Robinson, as well.