Delano, MN native Nathan Triplett didn’t have to go far to find a place to play college football. He attended the University of Minnesota and was a standout special teams player and LB for the Gophers from 2007-2009.
During the 2010 NFL Draft, the Vikings didn’t have to go far to find a solid 5th round draft choice. They tabbed Triplett as their choice with their second of two 5th round picks and have designs for him to contribute on special teams and perhaps in any or all of the 3 LB spots.
Continuing with the “not having to go far” theme of this blog entry, Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman won’t have to go far to see Triplett suit up in purple for the 1st time. Triplett will be among a large contingent of young players participating in this weekend’s rookie minicamp at Winter Park.
Spielman, Head Coach Brad Childress and the rest of the Vikings defensive and special teams coaching staff will begin to see where and how Triplett could fit into the team’s plans. He has good size – 6-3, 250 pounds – for a LB and produced in college both as a defensive player and as a special teams player. As a senior and starting LB, Triplett had 104 tackles. The 2 seasons prior to that, he was a standout special teams player. His ability to perform in both roles was likely a big reason why he stood out to the Vikings, who clearly target players with position flexibility and a penchant for performing on special teams.
“The one thing about him is he does have some position flexibility at linebacker,” Spielman said last weekend after drafting Triplett. “Maybe can play some Mike, Sam, or Will. The special teams stuck out; he didn’t play as much this year as he did in 2008 where he was a very good special teams player.”
Spielman didn’t have to go very far (that theme is really working in this entry) to see Triplett standout for the Gophers. Playing against the Wisconsin Badgers last October, Triplett collected 9 tackles and also had an INT. Fortunately for the LB, Spielman happened to be in attendance for that game.
“Yeah, I saw him play live against Wisconsin,” Spielman said. “He always got his hands on the ball; every game that I saw live or on tape he had a tendency to come up with a turnover. That is a knack or an instinct that a lot of guys don’t have.”
All joking aside, getting drafted by and potentially playing for your home town team is a fun situation and one that’s not all too common. Triplett is looking forward to the opportunity.
“Staying in Minnesota here has been a dream of mine since I was a little guy,” Triplett said. “You live in Minnesota your whole life, and I wanted to be a Gopher since I could walk and I’ve wanted to be a Viking ever since I knew what football was. It’s been a long trip through there, and I’m sure it means a lot to my family as well.”
Tags: Nathan Triplett, Rick Spielman
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 3 Comments »
The Vikings have now finalized their selections in the 2010 NFL Draft and here is the list of the 8 draft picks made by the Purple:
Round 2, Pick 2 (34) (Trade from Lions) – Chris Cook, CB, Virginia
Round 2, Pick 19 (51) (Trade from Texans) – Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
Round 4, Pick 2 (100) (Trade from Lions) – Everson Griffen, DE, USC
Round 5, Pick 30 (161) – Chris DeGeare, OL, Wake Forest
Round 5, Pick 36 (167) (Compensatory selection) – Nathan Triplett, LB, Minnesota
Round 6, Pick 30 (199) – Joe Webb, QB, UAB
Round 7, Pick 7 (214) (Trade from Lions) – Mickey Shuler, TE, Penn State
Round 7, Pick 30 (237) – Ryan D’Imperio, LB, Rutgers
As always, stick with us here on vikings.com as we will be sure to bring you further analysis on the Vikings 2010 NFL Draft selections as well as comments from VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman and Head Coach Brad Childress’ post-draft press conferences.
Tags: Chris Cook, Chris DeGeare, Everson Griffen, Joe Webb, Mickey Shuler, Nathan Triplett, Rick Spielman, Ryan D'Imperio, Toby Gerhart
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 24 Comments »
The Vikings didn’t need to search far to execute their second 5th round pick on Saturday as they drafted former Gophers inside LB Nathan Triplett with the draft’s 167th overall pick.
Triplett has good size for an NFL LB at 6-3, 250 pounds, and he was a very productive player for the Gophers in 2009. The 2009 season was his only as a starter though, so some might be concerned about his lack of experience coming out of college.
Here is the NFL.com analysis of Triplett: “Triplett is a big, strong inside linebacker who started for only one season in college. He was very productive in 2009, but his athleticism and lack of experience is a concern at the next level. He is best between the tackles attacking the line of scrimmage. He doesn’t have great quickness, speed or range inside-out to the ball. Triplett is inconsistent leveraging the ball in space, and the further away from the line of scrimmage he is, the less effective he becomes. He is an effective inside run blitzer, providing power to push the pocket, but he is a liability as a man-coverage defender. Triplett was a good college football player in 2009, but athletic limitations might relegate him to a backup roll in the NFL.”
Tags: Nathan Triplett
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 79 Comments »