In today’s Monday Morning Mailbag I said it might take until June for us to see draft picks signing contracts. As it turns out, one Vikings draft pick signed his contract today.
Converted FB Ryan D’Imperio (he played LB in college) has signed with the Vikings. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
D’Imperio played LB at Rutgers but the Vikings worked him out as a FB before the draft and liked what they saw. So they selected him with the 30th pick of the 7th round – #237 overall – and will see what he can do on the offensive side of the ball.
Tags: Ryan D'Imperio
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One of the Vikings strong points during the 2009 season was that many of their star offensive players could fill more than just one specific role. WR Percy Harvin posed a threat as a runner, receiver and return specialist, RB Chester Taylor was a complete RB with his blocking, running and pass catching abilities, WR Sidney Rice could run deep routes and catch quick crossing patterns and TE Visanthe Shiancoe emerged as one of the league’s premier TEs with 11 TD receptions.
This versatility doesn’t look to be fading for the 2010 season and it may become even stronger with the addition of a few draft picks.
It is evident that the Purple lost a versatile RB in Taylor, but with his loss comes the addition of former Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby Gerhart.
Gerhart, drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft, will look to fill the void left by Taylor’s departure by adding more of a bruising style of running game that the Vikings haven’t seen since the days Leroy Hoard ran through and over defenders during the 1998 and 1999 campaigns. Versatility will be key to Gerhart’s production as the Vikings will likely ask him to pass block, run the rock and catch the ball out of the backfield.
Another player that just may as well define versatility may turn out to be the steal of the draft’s later rounds.
QB/WR Joe Webb, selected in the 6th round (199th overall), was drafted by the Vikings with the intention of converting to WR. Webb showcased his receiving abilities during the Vikings 3-day rookie minicamp a couple of weeks ago, but according to this Star Tribune report, Webb was also given the chance to throw the ball around.
With the addition of Gerhart and Webb to the Purple’s offense, it is clear that there will be no shortage of versatility, but this strength runs deep on the defensive side of the ball as well.
The 4th round selection in April’s draft of DE Everson Griffen will be sure to add depth and a great resource to the Vikings defensive front. Griffen will have the opportunity to showcase his versatility with his great hand use and impressive speed. Although it’s been over 4 years, Griffen has already proven his versatility by toting the ball as a high school RB, which has given him a greater understanding of what’s happening on both sides of the football. Griffen knows that his versatility will be helpful to the Vikings defense but he also understands the way in which he can contribute.
“I’m going to bring enthusiasm, excitement and try to make big plays and just play my role,” Griffen told reporters on Day 1 of the Vikings 3-day rookie minicamp. “That’s the biggest thing, coming in on your rookie year you just got to play your role. That’s what I’m going to do. Play my role.”
Tags: Everson Griffen, Joe Webb, Toby Gerhart
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 9 Comments »
The last 2 weeks have been a bit slow in terms of Vikings news, but that’s about to change beginning tomorrow because Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are set to begin. The Vikings have 14 days of OTAs scheduled over the coming weeks and will wrap it all up with a mandatory 4-day minicamp in June before taking a break until the commencement of training camp later this summer.
The first set of OTAs will begin tomorrow and will run through Friday and I suspect they will involve primarily rookies and selected veterans (this is how it’s been done in the past under Head Coach Brad Childress). Wednesday’s OTA is open to the media and Childress will have a press conference at some point that day. Every other day of these OTAs will be closed to the media, but vikings.com will have coverage of those days so be sure to stick here to keep up with all the action.
OTAs 5-14 will happen between May 24 and June 10, with media availability and press conference schedules to be determined.
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 4 Comments »
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