The NFL combine is over and after watching every day and many hours I like what I saw out of a few future hopeful Vikings draft choices.

I do feel the draft does not always guarantee but since it is part of the game it is truly fun to speculate. The NFL draft consisting of 7 rounds and over 230 players is exciting but sometimes what is more exciting is seeing how the kids that are not drafted and come by way of undrafted rookie free agents.

I look at Tom Brady who was drafted in the 6th round and the 199th pick and now a shoe in for Hall of Fame when he is done. Do you ever wonder how many times teams look back and wonder what if we wound have taken him? I look at the undrafted players and give you 2 examples both former Viking players, John Randle and Mick Tingelhoff who were not drafted and now funny, Randle are in the Hall of Fame and Tingelhoff being enshrined this August. The list could go on for each team with draft busts or prizes as well as each team could list their undrafted free agents who made it big. Does anybody really know?

The Minnesota Vikings are coming off a 7 win season making progress however there is much room to improve. I did read Coach Mike Zimmer state there would not be much money spent in free agency rather the team would rather build through the draft. I would like to see the team go after one player in free agency and that is former 49ers guard, Mike Iupati. Yes, he would come at a huge price but I believe it would be worth it.

The team has had very good drafts in the last 3 seasons. There are 2 first round picks that are concerning but I do have hope they will figure it out. I speak of Matt Kalil and Cordarelle Patterson. Matt had a Pro Bowl rookie year and now is struggling and Patterson is blessed with athleticism but now must figure out how to use especially in getting open and running good routes. I have all the faith in the world this coaching staff will do what it takes to get it done.

The Vikings come in with the 11th pick and with Coach Mike Zimmer’s defensive background I would bet my next paycheck a defensive player will be taken. I will give you in order the positions and players I would like to see in purple.


Trae Waynes (Michigan State) He ran a 4.31 40 yard dash along with a 38 inch vertical jump and a 10’1” broad jump. He is 6’ tall and weighs 196 pounds. He is a bump and run specialists. The only concern is read is he grabs which may not translate as well into the NFL but again who better to have as a coach than Zimmer that can help this potential problem.

Jalen Collins (LSU) ran a 4.43 40 yard dash and has a 36” vertical jump. He has the rare triple with size, speed and strength. NFL Network has him compared to Terrence Williams from the NFL.


Vic Beasley (Clemson) He most likely will be gone by 11 but if not this kid is an animal. He is 6’3” and playing at 235 in college came into the combine at 246.  He ran a 4.53, 40 yard dash with a 41 inch vertical and a 10’10” broad jump. He has been given the compliment as the best edge rusher in the draft.

Dante Fowler Jr (Florida) He ran a 4.6. 40 has a vertical jump at 32.5 and broad jump of 9.3. He is 6’3” and weighs 261. Fowler can play out of 2 or 3 point stance. He is blessed with long arms and is so athletic covering sideline to sideline. He is compared to last season rookie, Khlail Mack. I wanted Mack last year for the Vikings but after seeing what Anthony Barr did last season I was glad we took who we took but still wish Mack a good season and he did not disappoint the Oakland Raiders.


Landon Collins (Alabama)  I was not overly impressed by anyone else. Collins comes from a school that knows how to win. He ran a 4.53, 40 yard dash and has a 35” vertical jump. He is a tremendous run stopper. He also plays better when attacking rather than laying back in coverage. He did have a tendency to drop a few balls. I repeat myself by saying if Collins is the pick who better to have as a coach than Mike Zimmer.


Kevin Smith (West Virginia) This man was my favorite player to watch in the combine in all positions. I was so amazed by him. I am doubtful he will still be there at 11 but if he is please turn the card in quickly before time elapses. Smith is the prototypical NFL receiver with his size. He is 6’3” and weighs 215. He ran a 4.35, 40 yard dash with a 36.5 vertical jump and 10.25 broad jump. He would be a true pleasure watching him haul in passes from Bridgewater.


Brandon Scherff (Iowa) He measures at 6”5” and weighs 319. Ho loves the weight room and I read where he could life your house. He has the measurable to play tackle but in the Vikings case would love to this weight lifting beast play at left guard.


This obviously is the biggest area because of the uncertainty of Adrian Peterson’s future. I have read the same as I am sure you have about everything. I have no certainty just a feeling and that is I just don’t think Peterson will be in purple.

Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) He ran a 4.35, 40 yard dash, had 35” vertical and 10.5 broad jump. I am a Gopher fan and dislike the Badgers but as a football fan it was hard not be impressed with his gist of running. I read on that Gordon is compared to ex Vikings back, Robert Smith. Oh would that be fun again. Gordon is 6’1” and weighs 215.

These are my thoughts on the combine. I know you all have your favorites and I encourage you to share your thoughts on who the Vikings should take. I say If Peterson does leave the Vikes should draft Gordon and if Peterson stays I would be happy with Waynes, Beasley or Kevin Smith.

I know the end of April can’t come soon enough. We have seen mock drafts and will see them until the day of the draft. I enjoy them for a while but then I need to be done and just watch the draft on TV. Who are the winners and who are the losers of the 2015 draft?

Thanks for reading

Todd Walkingstick



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