Kiper Projects WR Terrance Williams As Vikings 1st-Round Pick

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 16, 2013 – 11:19 am

No, it’s not time to launch this year’s Mock Madness, where we select a handful of draft prognosticators to follow on a weekly basis. That will happen once we get into March and the 2013 NFL Draft is fast-approaching. But we are in the offseason, so it is time to pay more attention to this year’s NFL prospects and what the prognosticators are, well, prognosticating.

We  got an early jump on this front last month when we pointed out that ESPN’s Todd McShay had already released his first mock draft of the season and projected the Vikings to take DT Sylvester Williams. McShay’s colleague at ESPN, Mel Kiper, Jr., is now officially on the board with his mock draft. Per usual, Kiper disagrees with McShay’s assessment (not surprising, though, at this stage in the process and with the Vikings selecting 23rd). Kiper sees the Vikings addressing the other side of the ball – offense.

Kiper projects Baylor WR Terrance Williams as the Vikings pick at #23 overall. Here’s what Kiper wrote about Williams:

“Last year, we saw both Josh Gordon and Kendall Wright taken out of Baylor, and Williams has the skill set to join them as a player drafted with the potential to make an early impact. Williams is first a player who can use his size and speed to stretch the field and take the top off a defense, but he also can make big plays on the sidelines, where he’ll tiptoe and make the catches as well as any pass-catching target in the draft. Williams also will beat you with the ball in his hands as a nifty runner with good size. Minnesota needs a dependable pass-catcher next to Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph.”

Terrance Williams, Jeremy Reeves

The part of Kiper’s analysis that stood out to me was Williams’ ability to make plays on the sidelines. As I stated earlier this week in providing thoughts about Atlanta’s victory over Seattle, a receiver’s ability to make plays along the boundary does a lot for a QB. If a QB knows his receiver has the ability to pull down a pass along the boundary, that presents more opportunities for big plays because that QB will be more willing to throw that receiver a pass even in coverage.

Williams, who measures in at 6-2, 205 pounds, is a senior who averaged 18.9 yards per catch and had 12 TDs last season, and for his career at Baylor he hauled in 202 catches and 27 TDs while averaging 16.5 yards per reception. He is scheduled to attend the Senior Bowl next week in Mobile, Alabama, and I’m slated to arrive on Monday so he’ll be one of the many players we keep an eye on next week.

Anyway, we might be getting ahead of ourselves. But it’s fun to speculate on the draft, and we’re now officially underway for 2013 draft season.

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Maxwell Football Club Names Peterson Its Player Of The Year

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 16, 2013 – 9:22 am

Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski announced on Tuesday that Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been selected as the winner of the 54th Bert Bell Professional Player of the Year Award. Peterson, a unanimous 1st-team All-Pro selection who became just the 7th player to rush for 2,000 yards in a seson in 2012, also won this prestigious award in 2008.

Click here to view a running tally of the postseason awards collected by Peterson and his fellow teammates.

Also on Tuesday, the Maxwell Football Club announced that the tandem of Chuck Pagano and Bruce Arians of the Indianapolis Colts have been selected as the winner of the 24th Greasy Neale Professional Coach of the Year Award.

The formal presentation of the 54th Bert Bell Award and the 24th Greasy Neale Award will take place at the Maxwell Football Club National Awards Gala which will be held on Friday March 1, 2013 at the Harrah’s Atlantic City Resort. Several other awards will be presented at the event as well. Event tickets are available on the Maxwell Football Club website or by calling 215-643-3833. Tickets for the event are available on a first come first serve basis and seating is limited.

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Division Rival Bears Hire Former Vikings Assistant As New Head Coach

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 16, 2013 – 7:14 am

The NFC North will welcome a new head coach to the mix in 2013, as the Chicago Bears have concluded their extensive search by hiring for NFL assistant and Canadian Football League (CFL) head coach Marc Trestman. A coach at the major college and professional level since 1981, including a pair of stints with the Vikings, Trestman brings with him a wealth of coaching experience and offensive acumen to the Windy City and will be the 14th  head coach in Chicago Bears history.

Trestman spent the previous 5 seasons as head coach of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, where he was named CFL Coach of the Year in 2009 and won back-to-back Grey Cups in 2009 and 2010. Prior to his success in the CFL, Trestman was an NFL assistant for 17 seasons. He was the Vikings RBs coach in 1985 and 1986, and then returned to the Vikings in 1990 and 1991 as QBs coach. His best work may have come in San Francisco in 1995 and 1996, though. He was San Francisco’s Offensive Coordinator and QBs coach in 1995 when the 49ers led the NFL with 457 points and 4,779 passing yards, working closely with a pair of Hall of Famers in Steve Young, who threw for 3,200 yards and 20 TDs, and Jerry Rice, who caught 122 passes for an NFL-record 1,848 yards and 15 TDs.

As Vikings fans surely know, Trestman is not the first former CFL coach to join the NFL. Perhaps the greatest figure in Vikings history, Bud Grant, spent 10 years as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ head coach before taking the head coaching job in Minnesota in 1967. Also, former Buffalo Bills Head Coach Marv Levy came to the NFL from the CFL.

There were reports that a pair of current Vikings assistants – Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer and Special Assistant to the Head Coach/co-LBs coach Mike Singletary – both interviewed for the Bears head coaching vacancy.

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