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Vikings Sign Rhett Ellison, Now Have 7 Picks Under Contract

Posted by Mike Wobschall on May 23, 2012 – 8:21 am

On Tuesday the Vikings announced the signing of six of their draft picks, and on Wednesday morning the club made official another draft pick signing.

Rhett Ellison, the team’s 4th-round (#128 overall) selection in last month’s draft, is now under contract.

The Vikings now have only three unsigned draft picks – LT Matt Kalil, S Harrison Smith and CB Josh Robinson.


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Vikings Get 6 Draft Picks Under Contract

Posted by Mike Wobschall on May 22, 2012 – 1:31 pm

NFL teams have begun the process of signing their draft picks over the past few weeks and the Vikings have jumped into the mix as well. On Tuesday the team made official the signing of 6 selections from last month’s NFL Draft.

The players who’ve signed contracts are: 4th-round WRs Greg Childs and Jarius Wright, 5th-round DB Robert Blanton, 6th-round K Blair Walsh, 7th-round LB Audie Cole and 7th-round DT Trevor Guyton.

Signing this year’s draft class is a tall task because, for the second consecutive year, the Vikings have 10 selections. Tuesday’s news that six are now under contract leaves four players who’ve yet to sign their deals. They are: 1st-round LT Matt Kalil, 1st-round S Harrison Smith, 3rd-round CB Josh Robinson and 4th-round TE Rhett Ellison.

Click here to read more about the Vikings 2012 draft class.


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Taking A Look At A Top 100 NFL Players List

Posted by Mike Wobschall on May 22, 2012 – 6:42 am

Compiling research and developing opinions to create a Top 100 NFL Players list is difficult. That’s what CBSSports.com Senior NFL Columnist Pete Prisco did. Reading and then critiquing that list is not difficult. That’s what I’m going to do.

Prisco, who describes his Top 100 NFL Players List as being “based on eyes (mine), ears (listening to scouts) and hours of watching tape,” isn’t afraid to take a stand on issues (he says S Troy Polamalu is overrated) and he refuses to fall into conventional thinking (QB Tim Tebow isn’t on his list), so his list is an interesting read. He also factors in injuries, which means Ravens LB Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and Eagles LT Jason Peters (Achilles) are both off the list (he says they’d both be sure-fire Top 20 players without the injuries).

For Vikings fans, there are three notes I’d make on Prisco’s list:

– DE Jared Allen is ranked 11th following his 22.0-sack season in 2011. Could he be higher? Sure. I’d rank Allen ahead of DeMarcus Ware (#3), Julius Peppers (#8) and TE Rob Gronkowski (#10). But you can see why players such as Tom Brady (#2), Drew Brees (#6), Aaron Rodgers (#1) and Calvin Johnson (#4) are ahead of him.

– RB Adrian Peterson is ranked 28th. Obviously Peterson’s ACL injury drops him on the list, so it’s hard to critique Prisco’s ranking too much. I predict that if Prisco compiles another list one year from now, Peterson will be much higher than 28th, though.

– Neither LB Chad Greenway nor WR Percy Harvin made Prisco’s Top 100 list or the “10 who just missed” list. Granted, I may have a bias toward these Vikings players. But still, are there 18 LBs better than Greenway? That’s how many LBs there are on the list, a group that includes James Laurinaitis, Daryl Smith and Sean Weatherspoon. And are there 15 WRs better than Harvin? Prisco has that many among his top 110 players, a group that includes Marques Colston, AJ Green and Jordy Nelson. All three are talented players worthy of being among the top 100, but isn’t Harvin just as worthy?

A few other notes about Prisco’s list…

– LB Patrick Willis is ranked 13th. I would’ve put him in the Top 10, ahead of players such as Gronkowski, Peppers, DE Jason Pierre-Paul and Ware. And LB Derrick Johnson is ranked 54th, too high for me.

– TE Jimmy Graham is ranked 21st, which is a bit too high for me. He’s a good player with sky-high potential, but I think we could come up with 21 players better than him at this point.

– RB Arian Foster (36th) is slighted, and RBs Matt Forte (#63) and Chris Johnson (#88) probably feel like they’re being slighted.

– WR Wes Welker is ranked 42nd. If Welker is 42nd, Harvin should be in the Top 100.

– DE Trent Cole is 45th, nice job Mr. Prisco. I like Cole a lot and think he’s well worth this ranking.

– Who’d a thought that DT Ndamukong Suh (74th) would be rated this low after his rookie season?

– I wonder if QBs Tony Romo (78) and Cam Newton (83) are ranked too low.


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Vikings Offseason Program Continues At Winter Park

Posted by Mike Wobschall on May 21, 2012 – 5:58 am

The Vikings offseason program continues to move forward at Winter Park, with the final week of Phase 2 commencing on Monday. Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, offseason programs are divided into three phases, with each phase governed by separate restrictions and rules. From my estimation, the Vikings have seen outstanding attendance during this year’s offseason program.

Phase 3 begins next week for the Vikings and will include the first three Organized Team Activities (OTAs). The Vikings will have seven other OTAs throughout the remainder of Phase 3 and will conclude the offseason program with a mandatory minicamp in June.


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Breaking Down The Vikings 90-Man Roster

Posted by Mike Wobschall on May 15, 2012 – 6:36 am

The Vikings made a roster move on Monday, signing G Tyler Holmes to take the vacant roster spot created when the team waived WR Kris Adams last Friday. While that roster move doesn’t necessarily move the needle from the fans’ standpoint, it’s yet another illustration that building and maintaining an NFL roster is a never-ending process.

With the draft and rookie minicamp now complete, the latest roster move also opens up an opportunity for us to breakdown the Vikings current 90-man roster. Without further ado, here it is…

Draft Picks (10)
S Robert Blanton, WR Greg Childs, LB Audie Cole, TE Rhett Ellison, DL Trevor Guyton, LT Matt Kalil, CB Josh Robinson, S Harrison Smith, K Blair Walsh, WR Jarius Wright

Free Agents (10)
CB Zack Bowman, TE John Carlson, CB Chris Carr, RB Jerome Felton, RB Lex Hilliard, DB Reggie Jones, LB Marvin Mitchell, OT Kevin Murphy, OL Geoff Schwartz, WR Jerome Simpson, WR Bryan Walters

Rookie Free Agents (13)
DE Kevin Cyrille, CB Bobby Felder, WR Kamar Jorden, DE Eric Latimore, LB Tyler Nielson, DE Ernest Owusu, LB Corey Paredes, OG Austin Pasztor, DT Tydreke Powell, DT Terrell Resonno, C Quentin Saulsberry, OT Darrion Weems, CB C.C. Whitlock

Pro/College Tryouts (4)
DT Chase Baker, RB Derrick Coleman, G Tyler Holmes, DE Anthony Jacobs, DE Nick Reed

Pre-Draft Signees (6)
FB Matt Asiata, QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, LB Solomon Elimimian, WR Kerry Taylor, CB Nick Taylor, OL Jose Valdez

Returning Veterans (47)
CB Asher Allen, DE Jared Allen, WR Manny Arceneaux, WR Devin Aromashodu, DL Christian Ballard, OL Joe Berger, LB Jasper Brinkley, OL Pat Brown, CB Brandon Burton, WR Stephen Burton, CB Chris Cook, LB Larry Dean, OG Chris DeGeare, FB Ryan D’Imperio, DT Fred Evans, S Eric Frampton, OL Brandon Fusco, RB Toby Gerhart, LB Chad Greenway, DE Everson Griffen, DT Letroy Guion, WR Percy Harvin, LB Erin Henderson, WR Michael Jenkins, OL Charlie Johnson, P Chris Kluwe, RT Phil Loadholt, LS Cullen Loeffler, OT DeMarcus Love, LB Tyrone McKenzie, RB Adrian Peterson, QB Christian Ponder, S Mistral Raymond, DE D’Aundre Reed, TE Allen Reisner, DE Brian Robison, QB Sage Rosenfels, TE Kyle Rudolph, S Jamarca Sanford, S Andrew Sendejo, CB Marcus Sherels, TE Mickey Shuler, C John Sullivan, RB Jordan Todman, QB Joe Webb, DT Kevin Williams, CB Antoine Winfield


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Hightlights From Peterson’s Knee Rehab Update

Posted by Mike Wobschall on May 14, 2012 – 6:23 am

Last week’s news cycle was dominated by Vikings stadium discussion, and rightfully so given the importance of that issue and the extremely positive result that ultimately transpired. Somewhat lost in that discussion, though, was the update Vikings RB Adrian Peterson and Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman provided late in the week.

And while Sugarman stressed that the team would be cautious in bringing Peterson back so as to not compromise his health in order to get him back on the field in fast order, the overall tone of the update was positive.

We covered the update from top to bottom on vikings.com. But just in case you missed all or some of it, here’s what happened…

Video highlights of Peterson’s workout
Peterson’s press conference following the workout
NFL Network’s Michael Irvin sits down with Peterson
Quotes from Peterson and Sugarman following Peterson’s workout


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Stadium Bill Passes Both House and Senate, Awaiting Signature Of Gov. Dayton

Posted by Mike Wobschall on May 10, 2012 – 12:53 pm

After years upon years of battling and waiting, the dream that so many within the Vikings organization, its fan base and the State of Minnesota shared has come true. The Vikings stadium bill has officially passed both the House and the Senate, and now is awaiting the signature of Governor Mark Dayton.

The Senate passed the legislation early Thursday afternoon by a 36-30 margin, setting the stage for Governor Mark Dayton to sign it into law and for the Minneapolis City Council to approve.

Thursday’s outcome in the Senate marks one of the most historic days in the history of the Vikings franchise, as it paves the way for the Vikings to remain a part of the culture of fabric of Minnesota for many generations to come. Many thanks go to Vikings fans, who’ve been persistent and passionate about making their voice heard. Huge credit also goes to Governor Dayton, bill authors Representative Morrie Lanning and Senator Julie Rosen and their staffs, and everyone else at the State Capitol who supported this legislation.

More to come soon, so stay tuned to vikings.com.


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Stadium Bill Passes House, Faces Final Test On Thursday In Senate

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on May 10, 2012 – 3:41 am

Late on Wednesday night, the Vikings agreed to a revamped version of the stadium bill that came out of a Conference Committee which essentially merged both the Senate and House versions of the bill which passed earlier this week.  Of note, the team agreed to raise it’s contribution by $50 milllion.

Then, in the wee hours of Thursday morning, the House passed the vote by a 71-60 margin.  The Senate is now up next and will discuss the bill beginning around Noon on Thursday, with a full vote expected later in the afternoon or evening.  Should it pass there, all that is left is for Gov. Mark Dayton to sign the bill, which he will do.

So, the long-awaited quest for a new Vikings stadium appears to be nearing an end, but again, it still needs to pass in the Senate on Thursday.


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Jerry Jones, Mike Jenkins And The Vikings CB Situation

Posted by Mike Wobschall on May 9, 2012 – 10:15 pm

The Dallas Cowboys signed high-profile free agent Brandon Carr, one of the best CBs in this year’s free agent class, and then just weeks later they traded up in the 1st round to select Morris Claiborne, the best CB in this year’s draft. Those two major upgrades sparked speculation that Mike Jenkins, a 4-year veteran CB, might be on the outs in Big D.

With the Vikings in the market for an upgrade at CB after finishing with the 26th-ranked pass defense a year ago, it was logical to wonder if Jenkins might be a good fit in Minnesota. According to a pretty reliable source in Dallas, you can stop wondering. Cowboys Owner/GM Jerry Jones told his own website that Jenkins remains in the team’s long-term plans.

Jones called Jenkins “a vital part” of the Cowboys plan and said the former 1st-round pick out of South Florida has “a very critical role in what we want to be defensively.” Jones went on to say: “Jenkins is not only this year, but a long-term player here as far as I’m concerned.”

So there you have it. Jones made it clear that Jenkins is not on the trade block and that he is indeed a part of Dallas’ plan for 2012 and beyond. Or perhaps Jenkins really isn’t in the Cowboys long-term plan and Jones is simply trying to create leverage for a potential future trade.

Either way, I wouldn’t spend too much time trying to figure it out. Jenkins would certainly be value-added to the Vikings secondary, but the team has found alternative ways to try and add value. This is a topic in this week’s edition of Pick Six (our new video mailbag segment), so click the link to find out how I see the Vikings CB situation shaking out once we get to training camp.


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Great Debate! Stadium Legislation Advances Through Senate

Posted by Mike Wobschall on May 8, 2012 – 10:43 pm

For the second consecutive night, a huge step was taken at the State Capitol toward reaching resolution on the long-standing stadium issue.

Stadium legislation passed the Minnesota Senate by a 38-28 margin late Tuesday evening. Passage in the Senate on Tuesday followed passage in the House of Representatives on Monday evening by a 73-58 margin.

Tuesday night’s result sets the stage for the conference committee portion of the process. Several amendments were attached to both the House and Senate bills, and the conference committees will reconcile the bills.


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