Many football followers woke up Wednesday morning still anticipating the Vikings would select a CB in the 1st round of the 2o10 NFL Draft on Thursday evening. But by Wednesday evening, the Vikings had already added a 1st round CB – former Philadelphia Eagle and New York Jet Lito Sheppard.
Drafted by the Eagles in the 1st round of the 2002 NFL Draft, Sheppard has had a solid 9-year NFL career that has included Pro Bowl selections in 2005 and 2006 and then an All-Pro selection in 2004. In 104 career games and 70 starts with the Eagles and Jets, Sheppard has 19 career INTs and 3 TDs and he is also the 1st player in NFL history to post 2 INTs with returns of 100-plus yards.
Credentials such as those make Sheppard a great fit for the Vikings because both starting CBs – Cedric Griffin and Antoine Winfield – are recovering from significant injuries sustained in 2009. While Asher Allen and Benny Sapp filled in well last season, there’s no doubt the addition of Sheppard adds stability to the position as well as a player with vast starting experience in the NFL. Sheppard started every game for the Eagles from 2004 to 2007 and was a starter on teams that won 4 NFC East Division titles and appeared in Super Bowl XXXIX.
“He’s a hard worker and he wants to be the best at his position and his craft,” said Vikings WR Greg Lewis, who played with Sheppard in Philadelphia from 2003 to 2008. “He likes competition, so any time you put all of those traits together you have a good player.”
Lewis, who said Sheppard is a good teammate who will fit in well with the Vikings, recalled practicing against and playing with the CB often in Philadelphia.
“He’s willing to do whatever it takes to win games,” Lewis continued. “He was on a Super Bowl team and he wants to get that ring just like everybody else here.
“Hopefully Antoine and Ced come back as soon as possible, but having Sapp and Lito and Ash there is always good. They are guys with experience. I think it’s a great signing.”
Tags: Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin, Greg Lewis, Lito Sheppard
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