Blogs

Henderson “Causes An Uproar” For National Geographic

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 9, 2013 – 8:26 am

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The Vikings organization prides itself on building a roster of players that contribute off the field as much or more than they do on the field. One of the team’s most community-conscious players found a creative way to blend those two endeavors.

Prior to the 2012 season, Erin Henderson committed to making a monetary donation to National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative (BCI) for every sack he recorded. The fun-loving linebacker called his initiative “Sacks for Cats” and set a goal of raising awareness about the decline of lions, tigers,  cheetahs and other big cat species in the wild.

Last week Henderson visited National Geographic’s Washington, D.C., headquarters with his family to present a $5,000 check to National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative (BCI).

“The numbers (of big cats remaining in the wild) are frightening,” said Henderson. “When my two-year-old son is older, I don’t want to talk to him about lions the way we now talk about dinosaurs.  It is important for all of us to do something now, before it is too late.”

Enjoy a photo gallery from the Henderson family’s visit to National Geographic Headquarters, and go here for more information on the BCI.

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Draft Preview: Rounding Up The Receivers

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 9, 2013 – 5:59 am

Other Draft Previews
Sorting out the inside LBs

Of the 8 mock drafts highlighted in last week’s Mock Madness, 7 of the analysts projected the Vikings to use one of their two 1st-round selections on a wide receiver. Of the 8 analysts with mock drafts at NFL.com’s Mock Draft Central, 6 have the Vikings taking a receiver in the 1st round and one of the analysts predicts the Vikings will choose a receiver with both of their 1st-round selections.

With all this talk of the Vikings taking a receiver early in the draft and with how deep the WR group is in this year’s class, it’s time for us to examine this talented crew of playmakers. We’ll break the entire group of draft-eligible receivers into our own preferred tiers (alphabetical within each tier), and I’ll provide a comment from time-to-time on several of the individuals.

We want you to get in on the action, too. Let us know what you think by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below this entry or emailing them to me for possible inclusion in an upcoming Pick 6 or Monday Morning Mailbag.

Blue-Chippers

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Tavon Austin (West Virginia) – If you can get over the “undersized” tag (5-8, 174-pounds), Austin may be this drafts most versatile playmaker. He scored 40 total TDs in college as a receiver, runner and returner.

Keenan Allen (California) – Didn’t have elite college production, doesn’t have elite measureables and dealt with injuries at Cal, but has the frame, raw ability and potential to be a reliable, versatile and productive NFL receiver. Good fit in the Vikings offense.

DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson)

Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee)

Immediate Impacters
Stedman Bailey (West Virginia) – Overshadowed in this draft by his college teammate (Tavon Austin), Bailey was every bit as much a playmaker for West Virginia. In 2012, there were only two games in which he didn’t score a TD, and he recorded a 5-TD and 4-TD game during the season. Bailey had 114 receptions and 25 TDs last year – those are not typos.

Aaron Dobson (Marshall)

Chris Harper (Kansas State) – Senior Bowl standout who is tough, sure-handed and deceivingly fast.

Justin Hunter (Tennessee) – Great height for the position at 6-4, but needs to bulk up on his 196-pound frame. Has great ability and needs to grow into frame – sounds a lot like what we said about Sidney Rice the year the Vikings selected him in the 2nd round. Hmm…

Quinton Patton (Louisiana Tech) – Fast and quick with good size, Patton is a natural at the position and was ultra-productive in college. Plays bigger than he looks, has good wiggle after the catch and looks the part. Intriguing.

Markus Wheaton (Oregon State)
Terrance Williams (Baylor)

Robert Woods (USC) – Wrote about him in a recent Monday Morning Mailbag. In a typical year, he’d be a sure-fire 1st-rounder. But this class is so deep that he blends in, which means some team will take him and realize great value in doing so.

Potential Playmakers
Josh Boyce (TCU)
Corey Fuller – Virginia Tech)
Cobi Hamilton (Arkansas) – Improved as the week went on at the Senior Bowl; another Arkansas WR in Minnesota?
Marquise Goodwin (Texas) – Ran a 4.27 40-yard dash at the Combine; may be the best returner in this class.
Aaron Mellette (Elon)
Da’Rick Rogers  (Tennessee Tech)
Rodney Smith (Florida State) – Great size (6-6, 219); played with Christian Ponder; mid-to-late-round value?
Kenny Stills (Oklahoma) – One of my favorite sleepers in this position group; tough and makes the difficult catches; productive at OU.
Ryan Swope (Texas A&M)

Developmental
Alan Bonner – Jacksonville State
Marlon Brown – Georgia
Chad Bumphis – Mississippi State
Dan Buckner – Arizona
DeVonte Christopher – Utah
Keenan Davis – Iowa
Marcus Davis – Virginia Tech
Blake Emory – Auburn
Tyrone Goard – Eastern Kentucky
Mark Harrison – Rutgers
Erik Highsmith – North Carolina
Josh Jarboe – Arkansas State
Darius Johnson – SMU
Brandon Kaufman – Eastern Washington
La’Rod King – Kentucky
Tavarres King – Georgia
Javone Lawson – Louisiana-Lafayette
Alec Lemon – Syracuse
Mamal Miles – Arizona State
TJ Moe – Missouri
Uzoma Nwachukwu – Texas A&M
Denard Robinson – Michigan
Zach Rogers – Tennessee
Ray Roundtree – Michigan
Marcus Sales – Syracuse
Lanear Sampson – Baylor
Russell Sheppard – LSU
Ryan Spadola – Lehigh
Kenbrell Thompkins – Cincinnati
Marquess Wilson – Washington State
Ace Sanders – South Carolina
Conner Vernon – Duke


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