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Purple Reign: A Vikings Dynasty (Madden 15)

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   In 2014, Mike Zimmer took over as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. He inherited a team full of promising-but-undeveloped youth, in a tough division. A rookie quarterback was ready to shine, alongside a troubled runninback, underperformin receivers, an overpaid tight end, and a patchwork offensive line. A defense that had once been so dominant with stars known round the nation would have to rely on unknown and inexperienced youngsters.


   2014 was not a good year for the Vikings. They started off with three losses, before finally defeating a team (their then-undefeated rival, the Green Bay Packers). The rest of the season was plagued with injury. Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater finished with 15 starts, going 5-10, passing for 2649 yards, 15TD, and 12INT. All-Pro back Adrian Peterson missed the first month of the season with injury, and sat out a few more weeks, finishing with 170 carries for 922 yards (5.4 avg), and only 4 TDs, the first time in his career that he failed to reach 10 or more touchdowns. WR Wes Welker, an off-season pick-up, finished with 73 grabs for 800 yards and 5 scores. Tight end Kyle Rudolph finished with 50 grabs for 379 yards and 4TDs. Mike Wallace added 65 for 837 and 3TDs, Cordarrelle Patterson 18-119-1, Charles Johnson 66-592-2, and Stefon Diggs 1-11-0. The line struggled. Matt Kalil allowed 13 sacks, playing in 14 games. His reserve, TJ Clemmings, a rookie, allowed 4 sacks in 4 games. Rookie guards La'El Collins and David Yankey duked it out for the left guard spot; Yankey allowed 6 sacks in 16 games, while Yankey managed just 5 total downs. Center John Sullivan allowed just one sack, as did right guard Brandon Fusco. Right Tackle Phil Loadholt allowed 9 sacks. Defensively, acquired end Vinny Curry had 10 sacks. The rest of the defense missed too much time for any notable stats.


   The 2015 off-season brought change to the Vikings. They hammered free agency, grabbing 1st year running backs David Cobb (Titans) and Zach Zenner (Lions), retrieved fullback Jerome Felton from the Bills, and made a splash at receiver, signing Larry Fitzgerald and Vincent Jackson as starters. Two tight ends from free agency made the final roster, Jermaine Gresham and Virgil Green. Chris Myers was brought in to replace Joe Berger. At defensive end, Ryan Davis, who made 10 sacks in 2014, was signed, as was 1st year lineman Leonard Williams. The Vikings made a 1-year "wishful" offer to free agent defensive tackle Nick Fairley, and Fairley surprisingly accepted it. Free safeties Charles Woodson and Gerod Holliman were brought in as depth for All-Pro Harrison Smith, who enterred the last year of his rookie deal. Antrel Rolle was signed as insurace at strong safety, and punter Jon Ryan was brought in to replace Jeff Locke.


   The draft was also exciting. Adrian Peterson, troubled and wanting out, was traded in a risky move to the Indianapolis Colts for WR Philip Dorsett and a 4th round pick. TE Kyle Rudolph was dumped to the Falcons for picks. Everson Griffen was sent away for picks, as was Lance Briggs. Then, with 9 possible draft selections, the Vikings traded down from the 8th overall selection into 2016's draft.


Round  Pick          Pos           Name                           College   

2         25 (57)        G               Chad Fields                 Wisconsin

3           8 (72)        OT             Lary Guy                     Memphis

4           8 (104)      RB             Mike France                Wisconsin

7           8 (200)      FB             Corey Redmon            Wisconsin

7        32 (224)       FS             Marquiste Chapman    Delaware


   The Vikings turned their 9 selections into 5 slections, including Mr. Irrelevant (pick acquired from the Packers along with a 2016 7th for a 2015 5th) Marquiste Chapman, a project safety out of Delaware. Chad Fields, a 1st-team All-Big Ten player as a junior, was a 1st-round talent to the Vikings, and they couldn't believe it when he fell to them at 57. 15 picks later, they grabbed Lary Guy, a huge right tackle out of Memphis. Guy, a 20 year old redshirt sophomore who entered college a year early, was a 2nd-team AAC selection in '14. The Vikings plan on developing him to either take over for Loadholt at tackle, or kick inside to guard if Fields doesn't work out. Mike France is an athletic runner, with a running style very similar to Ahman Green. France put up big numbers behind Field and the rest of the Wisconsin line, but only received Honorable Mention Big Ten honors during his redshirt senior year. Completing the trifecta of Wisconsin selections was Corey Redmon, a big, receiving fullback. Redmon had to split time with a run-blocking specialist, Kasey Lucas (who spent time in Vikings camp as an undrafted free agent), at Wisconsin, so it was a schock to many that he was even drafted. The Vikings said that Redmon offered great skills as a potential developmental #2 tight end, and converted him to the position, though he's slightly undersized. 


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   Undrafted free agents are always useful in the NFL, and they usually have an interesting story. The Vikings brought in a few in 2015, but only one made the opening day roster. Grady McNeal, a 6'0" corner from South Dakota. McNeal never recorded an interception in Missouri Valley play, but his coverage skills attracted the Vikings, who recognized his 2nd-team Missouri Valley award as a major accomplishment. McNeal grayshirted his first season, after suffering a torn ACL in the state championship game. He then redshirted at North Dakota State, but ended up transferring because NDSU was stacked at McNeal's high school position, running back. At South Dakota, his redshirt freshman year consisted of special teams duties, and during his sophomore year he was rotated in at wide receiver, due to injuries. McNeal lost his elite speed from his ACL injury, so there was question to whether he would ever earn a starting role. He began his junior year as the #4 running back at South Dakota, but injuries again moved him to a new position, this time corner.  He ended up locking into the position for the rest of the year, starting 5 games, and allowing just 12 receptions. His senior season was quite dominant as well, as he allowed just 22 receptions and just one touchdown, but his lack of interceptions kept him low profile. At the Minnesota pro day, McNeal posted an impressive 4.43 40 time, though his unofficial high school times once had him at 4.28. 

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Early 2015 Recap

   The Vikings have played three games of 2015 so far.


Week 1, Minnesota Vikings at Arizona Cardinals

Starting QBs: MN Teddy Bridgewater (1st yr), AZ Karsten Pope (Rookie)


Storylines: Minnesota enterred with a very young roster, and both SS Antrel Rolle and WR Larry Fitzgerald had homecomings to Arizona. Karsten Pope, a rookie out of Ohio State, would be put to the test in his debut. 


Important Stats

MN QB Bridgewater, 20-33, 291, 3TD, 2INT

AZ QB Pope, 31-40, 396, 3TD, 0INT

MN RB Cobb, 22-162 (7.36), 1TD

AZ RB Jackson, 13-32 (2.46), 0TD

AZ WR Brown, 7-162-2TD

MN TE Gresham, 5-80-2TD

AZ LB Washington 10 tackles

MN FS Smith 6 tackles

MN DE Williams 2.0 sacks

AZ LB Washington 1.0 sacks


Story of the Game:

   Minnesota starting RB Zach Zenner struggled to get going before suffering a game-ending injury. In stepped David Cobb, who ended up becoming the NFL's Ground'N'Pound Player of the Week. Rookie back Mike France added 6 carries for 40 yards (6.66) and 2 TDs, scoring on both of his first career attempts. QB Teddy Bridgewater played a decent game before being injured late in the 3rd. His backup, Tajh Boyd, finished 9-9 for 82 and 2TDs, driving some to question if Bridgewater should really be the outright starter. Larry Fitzgerald finished with 3 grabs for 38 yards, breaking his ribs on the 3rd catch, effectively ending his season. There is no word on if the former Cardinals star will return to football after this season. 

   The Cardinals were obliterated, allowing 10 sacks. Pope showed why he was worthy of his selection, and the reason to let Carson Palmer go, as he finished with a 132.9 rating and was named the NFL's Air-It-Out Player of the Week. Pope and John Brown established a hot connection, which could be a duo for the ages.


Final score: Vikings 59, Cardinals 27


Week 2: San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings

Starting QBs: SD Philip Rivers (11th year), MN Teddy Bridgewater (1st year)


Storylines: With no real offense to speak of, the Chargers already seem to be cashing in on the season, amid talks of Philip Rivers' unsatisfaction with the team. The Vikings started RB David Cobb after his impressive Week 1 performance in the Desert. Cordarrelle Patterson assumes the role of Larry Fitzgerald in the offense, as undrafted rookie receiver Javonti Turner takes his roster spot. 


Important stats:

SD QB Rivers 25-41, 265, 1TD, 0INT

MN QB Boyd 24-40, 312, 6TD, 2INT

SD RB Oliver 17-64 (3.76), 0TD

MN RB Cobb 12-60 (5.00), 0TD

SD RB oliver 6-35, 0TD

SD TE Green 4-62, 1TD

MN WR Patterson 7-115, 1TD

MN WR Jackson 5-81, 3TD

SD LB Butler 11 tackles

MN LB Kendricks 10 tackles

SD SS Davis 1.0 sacks

MN 4-way tie 2.0 sacks


Story of the game:

   Minnesota hit the injury bug, losing Teddy early on a late-hit during his lone touchdown pass, an impressive 63 yard highlight to Vincent Jackson early in the 1st. Tajh Boyd then lit it up, continuing to stir the pot up over the starting position debate. Minnesota then lost David Cobb to a broken collarbone, an injury that would land him on IR, a sad ending to his explosion of a campaign. Mike France shouldered the load going 11-55 (5.00) and no TDs, and Zach Zenner excelled in a reserve role, toting 7 carries for 46 yards (6.57).Stefon Diggs broke out, hauling in 4-43 and 2 TDs. 7 different Vikings helped total 9 sacks. 

   Minnesota held the Chargers to 72 rushing yards on 24 carries (3.00). They again did not allow a rushing TD. Philip Rivers appeared disappointed on the sidelines, though he did what he could to try to kick the Bolts in gear.

   Tajh Boyd's impressive performance earned him the NFL Air-It-Out Player of the Week award.


Final Score: Vikings 52, Chargers 13


Week 3: St. Louis Rams at Minnesota Vikings

Starting QBs: ST Adrain Quick (Rookie), MN Teddy Bridgewater (1st year)


Storyline: The Rams continue to start dual-threat rookie from Georgetown Quick over Nick Foles and Sean Mannion, while the Vikings will start their 3rd running back (Mike France) in as many games.


Important Stats:

STL QB Quick 28-46, 266, 0TD, 5INT

MN QB Bridgewater 16-33, 357, 3TD, 4INT

STL RB Greco 3-54 (18.00), 0TD

STL RB Mason 18-45 (2.50), 2TD

MN RB France 20-108 (5.40), 0TD

MN RB Zenner 18-96 (5.33), 0TD

MN RB McClendon 7-26 (3.71), 3TD

STL TE Cook 7-63, 0TD

MN WR Diggs 6-119, 1TD

STL LB Laurinitis 10 tackle

MN CB Rhodes 8 tackle

MN DE Curry 8.0 sacks

MN CB McNeal 2 INTs


Story of the game:

10 total interceptions between 3 different QBs in perfect (72*, sunny) fall weather in Minnesota? Chalk it up to youthful mistakes. Teddy played his worst game yet, with only a few highlight plays, and he kept trying to force it deep to Vincent Jackson. Fortunately for the Vikings, the ground game was wide open, as the team finished with 320 rushing yards over 53 carries (6.03), with 4 rushing TDs. Zach Zenner looked great as a change-of-pace back to France, who looked solid as the starter. Treo McClendon, who was a 4th round selection out of LSU who was cut by a team in camp, replaced David Cobb on the roster. McClendon is the current closest thing the NFL has to former great Jerome Bettis. Bettis was 5'11", 255. McClendon is listed at 6'0", 246. His average was limited because he was used within a few yards of the goal line a few times. Jerrick McKinnon relieved Zenner due to a small injury, and finished 5-72 and a TD, with a 49 yard carry. Stefon Diggs continued his breakout season, while Cordarrelle Patterson was shut out. 

   Vinny Curry set an NFL record with 8 sacks in a single game, breaking a 25 year old record set in 1990 by Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas, who had 7.0 against the Seattle Seahawks. Curry had this to say: "It was just a special moment, and it's just special to be mentioned with him. When there were about 8 minutes left, and I made my 7th sack, I thought about letting up, to show respect to the great. Then I thought 'he wouldn't want me to do that, he wouldn't take a play off', so I did what I could, I made the 8th sack, and I just started crying." The Vikings recorded 11 sacks on the day. They also recorded their 1st-5th interceptions of the season; Grady McNeal made his first two interceptions ever, Xavier Rhodes made one pick and had another taken away from a Nick Fairley late-hit, Thomas Davis stole one and returned it for a touchdown, and Marquiste Chapman picked the final play of the game off. Davis ended up recovering a fumble later in the game, and returned it for a touchdown as well. Davis and Curry were named co-NFL Mean Machine Defensive Player of the Week.


Final: Vikings 62, Rams 27

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Week 4: Vikings at 49ers

   The Vikings wrapped September with a trip to San Francisco, taking on the 49ers. Teddy Bridgewater finished with just a 59.25 completion percentage, but he was mistake free, adding 3 TDs and 253 yards. Colin Kaepernick struggled, finishing 18/26 for just 164 and 2 TDs. Tajh Boyd relieved Teddy to the tune of a 7/13, 67, 2TD-0INT statline. 

   The Vikings ground game continued its dominance; Mike France carried 16 times for 115 yards (7.18) and a touchdown, being relieved by Zach Zenner early in the 3rd. Zenner finished 9 for 66 before suffering a torn shoulder. Jerrick McKinnon added 7 for 63. The Vikings run defense continued to dominate, holding Carlos Hyde to 43 yards on 22 carries, and allowing just 72 total rush yards on 30 carries. 

   Hyde led the 49ers with 5 grabs for 21 yards, and both Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin added TDs. Mike Wallace caught 4 for 99 and a score, while Stefon Diggs, Zenner, Vincent Jackson, and former Steelers tight end Heath Miller each had a TD catch. Vinny Curry added 3 more sacks, and Leonard Miller added 2.


Final Score: Vikings 48, 49ers 20

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2015 NFL All-September Team

QB Matt Ryan, Falcons, 1137 yards, 10TD, 3INT

RB Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks, 403 yards, 5.1 average, 5TD

RB C.J. Spiller, Saints, 351 yards, 4.6 average, 6TD

WR Eric Decker, Jets, 456 yards, 2TD

WR Odell Beckham, Jr., Giants, 344 yards, 1TD

WR Julio Jones, Falcons, 274 yards, 4TD

TE Jason Witten, Cowboys, 238 yards, 2TD

OL Sebastian Vollmer, Patriots, 0 sacks (305 plays) (0.000%)

OL Greg Robinson, Rams, 1 sack (309 plays) (0.003%)

OL Jason Kelce, Eagles, 0 sacks (328 plays) (0.000%)

OL Jeff Allen, Chiefs, 0 sacks (326 plays) (0.000%)

OL Ronald Leary, Saints, 0 sacks (326 plays) (0.000%)


DE Vinny Curry, Vikings, 13.0 sacks

DE Ziggy Ansah, Lions, 9.0 sacks

DT Aaron Donald, Rams, 2.0 sacks

DT Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers, 1.0 sack

OLB Aldon Smith, 49ers, 5.0 sacks

OLB Hau'oli Kikaha, Saints, 3.0 sacks

ILB Demario Davis, Jets, 48 tackles, 2.0 sacks

ILB Daryl Washington, Cardinals, 40 tackles, 3.0 sacks

CB Richard Sherman, 3 interceptions, 3 deflections

CB E.J. Gaines, Rams, 2 interceptions, 6 deflections

FS Eric Weddle, Chargers, 2 interceptions, 30 tackles

SS T.J. Ward, Broncos, 3 interceptions, 30 tackles

K Dan Carpenter, Bills, 12/12FG, 49Long

P Ryan Quigley, Chargers, 44.1 average

RET DeSean Jackson, Redskins, 40.5 KOAVG, 2TD, 12.6 PRAVG, 1TD


AFC Offensive Rookie of the Month: Elliot Wynn, QB, Jets, 1019Yds, 6TD, 8INT

NFC OROTM: Karsten Pope, QB, Cardinals, 1283 Yds, 8TD, 4INT

AFC Defensive ROTM: Harlos Glenn, CB, Chiefs, 2INT

NFC DROTM:  Deshun Lattimore, DE, Buccaneers, 1.0 sacks

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Vikings 2015 September Leaders

Teddy Bridgewater 56/98, 993 yards, 10TD, 6INT

Mike France, 53Att-318 yards (6.00AVG), 3TD

Stefon Diggs, 17Rec-228 yards, 5TD

Eric Kendricks, 23 tackles

Vinny Curry, 13.0 sacks

Grady McNeal, 2 interceptions

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October 2015 NFL Mock Draft

1.1 Titans QB Marek Gordon, Texas

1.2 Buccaneers C Horace Clarke, Ohio State

1.3 Vikings (from Bengals) WR Marian Diaz, Georgia

1.4 Cardinals OT Garret Belton, Michigan State

1.5 49ers DT Stan King, Penn State

1.6 Lions OLB Levi Cox, Nebraska

1.7 Dolphins (from Raiders) TE Jermyrin Cobb, Wisconsin

1.8 Texans OT Karsten Todd, Alabama

1.9 Jets DE Kierre Garner, USC

1.10 Redskins OLB Keeshawn Talbott, Wisconsin

1.11 Redskins (from Bears) SS Dontavis Bowers, Georgia

1.12 Colts OT Ilyaas Peters, Alabama

1.13 Jaguars WR DaDa Hicks, Florida State

1.14 Steelers QB Kolton Thompson, Ohio State

1.15 Seahawks DE Jon Hanna, Penn State

1.16 Chargers DE Brent Patton, Florida State

1.17 Giants CB Derron Robertson, USC

1.18 Vikings (from Browns) DT Marlon Boyce, Penn State

1.19 Rams QB Brody Toomer, Alabama

1.20 Ravens (from Panthers) QB Jeremy Wynn, Ohio State

1.21 Falcons (from Saints) HB Dontre Schofield, Penn State

1.22 Dolphins OLB Wynton Farris, Texas A&M

1.23 Vikings (from Cowboys) OLB Vlad Boyett, Wisconsin

1.24 Bills CB Lekambrick Stevenson, Ohio State

1.25 Patriots FS Jaelin Narcisse, Florida State

1.26 Ravens WR Jaquante Drummond, Nebraska

1.27 Vikings (from Falcons) OLB Franck Lauderdale, Wisconsin

1.28 Chiefs QB Trey Conley, Tennessee

1.29 Packers DT Arie Alli, Texas

1.30 Vikings OLB Bronson Jacobs, Miami

1.31 Broncos HB Jabri Corbett, Ohio State

1.32 Eagles QB Carey Reed, Wisconsin


Reaction: It's still way too early to mock proper picks, as most teams have only scouted a few positions. The Big Ten is up for grabs, as Wisconsin is setting records and sits at 5-0, while Ohio State is ranked 5th in the nation at 5-0, at Penn State 5-0 at 7th. Currently the Vikings have 5 1st rounders, but expect them to trade down. Rumor is that this is a deep class at offensive line, which the Vikings will probably focus on. Vinny Curry is on a record setting pace in a contract year, and he may end up outside of the Vikings price range. Anthony Barr has worked in at edge rusher, and could make the switch to end, which would leave the Vikings with just Thomas Davis (currently in a contract year, and aging) and Ashlee Palmer as the only outside linebackers on the team. 


Marian Diaz projects to replace Larry Fitzgerald next season, though he would be facing stiff competition from Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson. Diaz is the top receiver in the class, with his only current downside being his age (24). 


Marlon Boyce, a true junior, might not be as highly rated as his Penn State teammate Stan King, but he's much bigger (6'4 330 compared to 6'3 288). Boyce is a dominant run stopper, and would be a great nose if the Vikings moved to a 3-4, which could happen. Sharrif Floyd is locked in for another year, but Nick Fairley could leave after this season, and Leonard Williams will probably make a permanent transition to end, regardless of scheme. Boyce could step in as a projected starter immediately.


Vlad Boyett is a near-perfect clone of teammate Keeshawn Talbott at Wisconsin. Both are around 6'3, 255, and have demonstrated edge-rushing skills. Boyett, a true junior, was injured during his sophomore season, allowing Talbott to take the starting role. Talbott has posted 6.5 sacks thus far, and Boyett has added 5.5 this year, backing up Talbott and coming in on obvious passing downs for other Badger linebacker Franck Lauderdale, who is a great run stopper. Lauderdale projects as Thomas Davis' replacement.


Bronson Jacobs, the 6th rated outside backer in this class, is the best cover guy, dominating ACC competition the last few years. While it might be crazy to grab three outside backers in the 1st, all three would have immediate roles with the team.


TOP 5 at each position


Marek Gordon, Texas

Kolton Thompson, Ohio State

Brody Toomer, Alabama

Jeremy Wynn, Ohio State

Trey Conley, Tennessee



Dontre Schofield, Penn State

Jabri Corbett, Ohio State

Dalvin Ward, Ohio

Vaughn Means, Indiana

Leroy Kitchens, Arizona



Marian Diaz, Georgia

DaDa Hicks, Florida State

Jaquante Drummond, Nebraska

Lekambrick Grimes, Wisconsin

Deantre Alexander, Nebraska



Jermyrin Cobb, Wisconsin

Daron Dixon, Penn State

Karrington Jackson, Michigan State

Blake Lopez, Texas

Ethni Adeniji, UL Lafayette



C Horace Clarke, Ohio State

OT Garret Belton, Michigan State

OT Karsten Todd, Alabama

OT Ilyaas Peters, Alabama

OT Jermane Albert, Pittsburgh



Stan King, Penn State

Jon Hanna, Penn State

Brent Patton, Florida State

Marlon Boyce, Penn State

Arie Alli, Texas



Kierre Garner, USC

Keeshawn Talbott, Wisconsin

Vlad Boyett, Wisconsin

Tucker Cross, Wisconsin

Corvin Maxwell, Nebraska



Vintize Simpson, Alabama

Layne Newton, Miami

Khari Hudson, Wisconsin

Shredrick Mallett, LSU

Octavious Dunn, Northern Iowa



Levi Cox, Nebraska

Wynton Farris, Texas A&M

Franck Lauderdale, Wisconsin

Bronson Jacobs, Miami

Matt Lopez, USC



Deron Robertson, USC

Lekambrick Stevenson, Ohio State

Quinston McRoy, Tennessee

Patric Franklin, Florida State

Hussam Asante, Colorado State



Jaelin Narcisse, Florida State

Kentrell Briggs, USC

Mohammad Dobbins, USC

Juan Joseph, UCLA

Tremaine Peterson, Tulane



Dontavis Bowers, Georgia

Stephan Stumph, South Florida

Tramon Hall, Nebraska

LaMichael Dean, Yale

Dexter Fulton, SMU



K Trey Gomez, Alabama

K Grant Alli, UCLA

K Eldon Swain, Auburn

P Glenn Ives, Rice

P Brice Henry, North Carolina


National Top 15

  1. Wisconsin
  2. USC
  3. Texas
  4. Alabama
  5. Penn State
  6. Florida State
  7. Nebraska
  8. Texas A&M
  9. Florida
  10. Oklahoma
  11. Georgia
  12. Arizona
  13. LSU
  14. Miami
  15. Tennessee

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OCTOBER 2015: The Fallout

Over the 4 weeks of October, the Vikings struggled, losing all four of their games. Teddy Bridgewater had been the 10th best QB in passing yards in September, but for the first two months of the season, he'd now fallen to 17th. Major injuries hit the Vikings across the board. Vinny Curry tore his pec, ending his breakout season at 13 sacks. John Sullivan fractured his upper arm, with the earliest possible return being in December. Phil Loadholt fractured his elbow, placing him out until the Divisional Round. Leonard Williams also fractured his elbow, with a timetable of return set at Wild Card weekend. Thomas Davis broke his thumb, placing him out until early November. Loadholt, Curry, and Williams were placed on IR. Robert Ayers, Zach Strief, and Lance Briggs replaced them.


NOVEMBER 2015: Frost

The Vikings fell to 4-6 before a Thanksgiving miracle; Larry Fitzgerald, recovered from injury, was able to return to the active roster. The Vikings beat the Panthers, and still had a shot at the playoffs. All month, the defense continued its decline, though injuries to three of the original starting linemen could be to blame. Chris Myers and Ben Heeney were lost for the season, and Nick Fairley was injured. Anthony Barr got hurt, but the Vikings had hopes he could return for Week 16. 


WINTER 2016: Hope

Finishing 2-3 in December, and 7-9 overall, the Vikings have hope for the future. Nine players ended up on IR over the course of the season. The Vikings finished 5th in total offense, and 10th in total defense. Plus, some young players like Stefon Diggs and David Cobb broke out during the season, as well as key players developin, including linemen Lary Guy and Chad Fields. Fields is believed to be the third or 4th best guard in the league, coming off of his rookie season, and was a steal at 57 overall. 


2015 Yearly Awards

MVP: QB Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (Runner-up QB Matthew Stafford, Lions)

Coach of the Year: Pete Carroll, Seahawks (Jason Garrett, Cowboys)

OPOTY: RB Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks (QB Tony Romo, Cowboys)

DPOTY: LB Clay Matthews, Packers (LB Brandon Spikes, Dolphins)

AFC OPOTY: QB Blake Bortles, Jaguars (QB Tom Brady, Patriots)

AFC DPOTY: LB Brandon Spikes, Dolphins (LB Karlos Dansby, Browns)

AFC OROTY: QB Elliot Wynn, Jets (WR Lakarius Reynolds, Chiefs)

NFC OROTY: QB Karsten Pope, Cardinals (QB Nikolas Crisp, Bears)

AFC DROTY: Jamel Roland, Raiders (Jawara Daniel, Texans)

NFC DROTY: Asher Jones, Panthers


1st-Team All Pro

QB Tony Romo, Cowboys

RB Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks

RB LeSean McCoy, Bills

WR Calvin Johnson, Lions

WR Dez Bryant, Cowboys


OT Tyron Smith, Cowboys

OT Joe Thomas, Browns

OG Marshal Yanda, Ravens

OG Josh Sitton, Packers

C Travis Frederick, Cowboys


DE J.J. Watt, Texans

DE Ziggy Ansah, Lions

DT Geno Atkins, Bengals

DT Ndamukong Suh, Dolphins

OLB Clay Matthews, Packers

OLB  Justin Houston, Chiefs

ILB Brandon Spikes, Dolphins

ILB Stephon Tulloch, Lions

CB Richard Sherman, Seahawks

CB Keenan Lewis, Saints

FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Packers

SS T.J. Ward, Broncos

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2015 NFL Playoffs

6. Broncos at 3. Patriots

6. Falcons at 3. Packers

5. Ravens at 4. Colts

5. Eagles at 4. Saints


5. Ravens at 1. Chiefs

5. Eagles at 1. Seahawks

3. Packers at 2. Cowboys

3. Patriots at 2. Browns


5. Eagles at 2. Cowboys

3. Patriots at 1. Chiefs


SUPER BOWL 50: Cowboys vs. Patriots

Patriots 35, Cowboys 21

Tom Brady 32-40, 242, 2TD, 1INT

Tony Romo 22-32, 258, 2TD, 3INT

Lance Dunbar 16-52 (3.3) 0TD

Ahmad Bradshaw 6-10 (1.7) 3TD

Aaron Dobson 11-98, 1TD

Danny Amendola 10-97, 1TD

Greg Little 6-123, 2TD

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2016: A New Reign

The Vikings kicked the 2016 league year off with fireworks, trading 30-year-old right tackle Phil Loadholt to the Ravens for 34-year-old inside linebacker Daryl Smith and a 5th round pick. The move officially signaled the Vikings switch from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4. They also traded 27 year old left tackle Matt Kalil to the Buccaneers for a 2017 3rd rounder.


Peyton Manning officially retired after 18 seasons. Meanwhile, the NFC South got crazy. After 2014, the Panthers let Cam Newton go. He signed with the Buccaneers. The Bucs now have traded backup Jameis Winston to the Panthers, who signed him to a 5-year, $65.6M deal.



RB David Cobb

DL Leonard Williams

DL Christian Covington

DL Nick Fairley (franchise)

CB Grady McNeal


Vikings Free Agents:

QB Tajh Boyd

QB Matt Scott

RB Treo McClendon

RB James White

WR Jaquante Turner

TE Heath Miller

TE Mycole Pruitt

C Kraig Urbik

DL Vinny Curry

DL Robert Ayers

OLB Thomas Davis

OLB Lance Briggs

OLB Nico Vazquez

CB Josh Robinson

K Blair Walsh

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2016 Free Agency

The Vikings opened free agency with a trade, sending WR Cordarrelle Patterson to the Ravens for tackle Ricky Wagner. They also officially moved Christian Covington and Leonard Williams to right end, and right end Danielle Hunter to right outside linebacker. 


Charles Tillman officially announced his retirement. 


The Vikings opened Free Agency with some shocking signings.


RB  Matt Forte

RB Vick Ballard

RB Treo McClendon     

WR Marlon Brown

WR Wes Welker 

TE Tim Wright       

OT Justin Pugh

G Reid Fragel

ILB A.J. Hawk

CB Josh Norman

FS Reggie Nelson

SS Charles Woodson  

P   Andy Lee        


The second round of free agency wasn't quite as exciting, but still brought in quite a few impact players.


HB Branden Oliver

FB Anthony Sherman

DE Justin Smith

DE Red Bryant

OLB Thomas Davis

K Randy Bullock

K Sebastian Janikowski


The third round of free agency was just perhaps a bit more exciting. 


QB Tajh Boyd

WR Javonti Turner

OT D'Brickshaw Ferguson

DL Haloti Ngata

DL Vinny Curry

OLB Bruce Irvin


The Vikings head into the 2016 draft with no glaring holes at any starting position.


Notable League Signings

QB Sam Bradford     Chiefs

QB Tim Tebow         Bengals

QB Nick Foles          Giants

QB Chase Daniel      Broncos

QB Brett Hundley     Chargers

QB Eli Manning        Texans

QB T.J. Yates           Eagles

RB Adrian Peterson  Cardinals

RB Alfred Morris        Buccaneers

RB Frank Gore          Redskins

WR T.Y. Hilton           Jets

WR Kendall Wright     Giants

WR DeSean Jackson  Eagles

WR Sammie Coates    Buccaneers

WR Victor Cruz            Steelers

WR Anquan Boldin      Falcons

WR Tavon Austin        Jets

WR Roddy White         Bengals

WR Greg Jennings      Giants

WR Breshad Perriman Bears

TE Scott Chandler        Chiefs

TE Joseph Fauria        Cowboys

OT Trent Williams       Steelers

OT Michael Oher        Bears

G   Tim Lelito              Colts

G    Ben Grubbs          Titans

C    Ryan Kalil             Lions

C    Max Unger           Giants

C    Nick Mangold       Panthers


DE Chris Long            Falcons

DE Chandler Jones    Jaguars

DE Ray McDonald      Panthers

DT Dontari Poe          Buccaneers

DT Kyle Williams        Steelers

DT Vince Wilfork        Bills

DT Randy Starks       49ers

OLB Junior Galette    Redskins

OLB Trent Cole          Chargers

OLB Dont'a Hightower Chiefs

OLB Melvin Ingram      Colts

ILB Mychal Kendricks    Eagles

ILB DeMario Davis        Chargers

ILB D'Qwell Jackson     49ers

ILB David Harris           Saints

ILB DeMeco Ryans      Broncos

CB Sean Smith            Cowboys

CB Stephon Gillmore  Redskins

CB Janoris Jenkins     Titans

CB Orlando Scandrick Raiders

CB Cary Williams         Saints

CB Terence Newman   Saints

FS Louis Delmas          Dolphins

FS Dwight Lowery        Chargers

SS George Iloka           Eagles

SS Barry Church          Chargers

K Greg Zuerlein           Bengals

K Josh Scobee             Titans

K Blair Walsh                Raiders

K Ryan Succop             Texans

P Chris Jones               Patriots

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2016 NFL Draft

1st Round

  1. Titans Horace Clarke, C, Ohio State
  2. Vikings Karsten Todd, OT, Alabama
  3. Rams Kierre Garner, DE, USC
  4. Giants Garret Belton, OT, Michigan State
  5. Texans Marek Gordon, QB, Texas
  6. Seahawks Keeshawn Talbott, OLB, Wisconsin
  7. Raiders Marlon Boyce, DT, Penn State
  8. Chargers Brent Patton, DE, Florida State
  9. Cardinals Dontavis Bowers, SS, Georgia
  10. Falcons Axel Asante, OT, Nebraska
  11. 49ers DaDa Hicks, WR, Florida State
  12. Jaguars Ilyaas Peters, OT, Alabama
  13. Ravens Vlad Boyett, OLB, Wisconsin
  14. Falcons Karrington Jackson, TE, Michigan State
  15. Buccaneers Jaelin Narcisse, FS, Florida State
  16. Seahawks Jaquante Drummond, WR, Nebraska
  17. Jets Levi Cox, OLB, Nebraska
  18. Bengals Carey Reed, QB, Wisconsin
  19. Lions Khari Hudson, ILB, Wisconsin
  20. Steelers Bronson Jacobs, OLB, Miami
  21. Broncos Trey Conley, QB, Tennessee
  22. Saints Wynton Farris, OLB, Texas A&M
  23. Colts Lekambrick Grimes, WR, Wisconsin
  24. Colts Stan King, DT, Penn State
  25. Ravens Marian Diaz, WR, Georgia
  26. Vikings Taqwuan Baker, DL, Tennessee 
  27. Packers Arie Alli, DL, Texas
  28. Redskins Lyndon Price, G, LSU
  29. Eagles Matt Lopez, OLB, USC
  30. Chiefs Patric Franklin, CB, Florida State
  31. Vikings Robby Murphey, C, Texas A&M
  32. Patriots Vondray Peterson, OLB, USC

Vikings Day 2 selections

3.16 Owamagbe Okafor, G, Ohio State


Vikings Day 3 selections

4.23 Tamarcus Hennings, NT, Georgia

4.31 Geoffrey Dansby, EDGE, Northern Illinois

5.5 J.W. Mosley, DL, Minnesota

6.28 Edward Russ, G, Michigan

7.23 Edmund Drummond, FS, Minnesota

7.32 "Mr. Irrelevant" Matt Stokes, EDGE, Michigan


Immediately following the draft, the Vikings trading DL Nick Fairley to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a 2017 2nd round selection.

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Rookie guard Edward Russ was released, after failing a physical with the team prior to training camp. WR Michael Floyd was signed in his place. 


The Vikings also took part in two trades, both netting picks. DE Vinny Curry was traded to Denver, and WR Mike Wallace to the Jets. The Vikings also released receiver Javonti Turner, a 2015 UDFA from Kansas State, who saw minimal time on the field during his rookie year.


In league news, the Dolphins traded NT Jordan Phillips to the Titans for a pick. 




Vikings 2016 Preseason Roster

#             Name            Pos.      College      Yrs Pro

2 Tajh Boyd QB Clemson 2 4 Andy Lee P Pittsburgh 12 5 Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville 2 6 Sebastian Janikowski K Florida State 16 8 Randy Bullock K Texas A&M 4 11 Larry Fitzgerald WR Pittsburgh 12 12 Charles Johnson WR Grand Valley State 3 14 Stefon Diggs WR Maryland 2 15 Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame 4 20 Reggie Nelson FS Florida   9 22 Harrison Smith FS Notre Dame 4 23 Matt Forte RB Tulane 8 24 Captain Munnerlyn CB South Carolina 7 25 Gerod Holliman FS Louisville 2 26 Trae Waynes CB Michigan State 2 28 Edmund Drummond FS Minnesota Rookie 29 Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State 3 31 Jerrick McKinnon RB Georgia Southern 2 32 Josh Norman CB Coastal Carolina 4 33 Vick Ballard RB Mississippi St. 4 34 David Cobb RB Minnesota 2 36 Robert Blanton SS Notre Dame 4 37 Grady McNeal CB South Dakota 1 39 Charles Woodson SS Michigan   18 40 Mike France RB Wisconsin 1 41 Zach Zenner RB South Dakota State 2 43 Branden Oliver RB Buffalo 2 44 Treo McClendon RB LSU 1 45 Anthony Sherman FB Connecticut 5 46 Corey Redmon TE Wisconsin 1 47 Marquiste Chapman SS Deleware 1 50 A.J. Hawk ILB Ohio State 10 51 Daryl Smith ILB Georgia Tech 12 52 Bruce Irvin OLB West Virginia 4 53 Zaviar Gooden ILB Missouri 3 54 Eric Kendricks ILB UCLA 2 55 Anthony Barr OLB UCLA 2 56 Ben Heeney ILB Kansas 2 57 Ashlee Palmer OLB Ole Miss 7 58 Thomas Davis OLB Georgia 11 59 Geoffrey Dansby OLB Northen Illinois Rookie 60 D'Brickashaw Ferguson OT Virginia 10 62 Owamagbe Okafor G Ohio State Rookie 64 Reid Fragel G Ohio State 3 65 John Sullivan C Notre Dame 8 66 Karsten Todd OT Alabama Rookie 67 Lary Guy OT Memphis 1 68 T.J. Clemmings OT Pittsburgh 2 69 La'El Collins G LSU 2 71 Rick Wagner G Wisconsin 3 73 Sharrif Floyd DE Florida 3 74 Taqwuan Baker DE Tennessee Rookie 75 Robby Murphey C Texas A&M Rookie 76 Tamarcus Hennings NT Georgia Rookie 77 J.W. Mosley DE Minnesota Rookie 78 Chad Fields G Wisconsin 1 79 Justin Pugh OT Syracuse 3 80 Marlon Brown WR Georgia   3 81 Tim Wright TE Rutgers 3 83 Vincent Jackson WR Northern Colorado 11 89 Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma 6 90 B.J. Dubose DE Louisville 2 91 Matt Stokes OLB Michigan Rookie 92 Haloti Ngata NT Oregon 10 93 Red Bryant DE Texas A&M 8 94 Justin Smith DE Missouri 15 95 Christian Covington DE Rice 2 96 Zach Moore DE Concordia 2 98 Leonard Williams DE USC 2 99 Danielle Hunter OLB LSU 2


2016 Vikings Pre-season schedule

1               Saints

2               at Colts

3               at Chargers

4               Bengals


Position Battles

POS      Front-Runner                Other candidates

RB1      David Cobb                     Matt Forte, Mike France, Vick Ballard

RB2      Branden Oliver                Zach Zenner, Vick Ballard, Treo McClendon

WR1     Michael Floyd                  Larry Fitzgerald, Marlon Brown

WR2     Vincent Jackson              Larry Fitzgerald, Marlon Brown

SLOT    Charles Johnson             Stefon Diggs

TE2       Tim Wright                      Corey Redmon

LT         D'Brickashaw Ferguson   Karsten Todd

LG        La'El Collins                     Owamagbe Okafor

ROLB   Thomas Davis                  Bruce Irvin

CB2      Captain Munnerlyn           Josh Norman, Trae Waynes

K          Randy Bullock                   Sebastian Janikowski


Roster Bubble

The roster bubble list includes, but is not limited to, the players who will likely be cut if they don't show their value to the team this week. "1" is most likely to be released, and "10" is least likely of the 10 mentioned players.

  1. B.J. Dubose, DE
  2. Christian Covington, DE
  3. Rick Wagner, G
  4. T.J. Clemmings, OT
  5. Ben Heeney, ILB
  6. Matt Stokes, OLB
  7. Zach Zenner, RB
  8. Reid Fragel, G
  9. Red Bryant, DE
  10. Gerod Holliman, FS

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2016 Week 1 League PreSeason Report

The Vikings lost Justin Pugh to injury for at least the next two weeks, potentially saving the job of T.J. Clemmings for at least half a month. Buccaneers' RB Alfred Morris will be out 19 weeks with a broken ankle, and is currently designated to return for Week 17. Patriots center Bryan Stork is out with a fibula injury until at least Week 9. No other significant-time-lost injuries occured this week.


Former Chargers QB Philip Rivers signed a 1-year deal with the Chiefs, while former Vikings QB Christian Ponder signed with the Panthers.


The Vikings released 5 players to get down to the league maximum of 65. Guard Rick Wagner, DE BJ Dubose, DE Christian Covington, OLB Ashlee Palmer, and FS Gerod Holliman. Ragner's release doesn't come as a surprise, as he was the 5th guard on the roster. Dubose has shown no improvement over the past two seasons, and Covington is a much better 4-3 DT than 3-4 end, though he hasn't shown much except flashes of potential. Palmer is an interesting release, as he's played decently over the last two seasons, but the signing of Bruce Irvin pushed Palmer out of a significant role with the team, and releasing him now gives him a chance to catch on with another team. Holliman was buried by two late-round free agent selections over the last two seasons. 


Vikings PS Week 2 Roster Bubble (Next Week Cut to 59)

  1. S Marquiste Chapman (2015 Mr. Irrelevant)
  2. ILB Ben Heeney
  3. OLB Matt Stokes
  4. RB Zach Zenner
  5. DE J.W. Mosley
  6. DE Red Bryant
  7. RB Vick Ballard
  8. RB Treo McClendon
  9. K Sebastian Janikowski
  10. WR Marlon Brown

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2016 Week 2 PreSeason League Report

The Vikings have trade guard La'El Collins to the Tennessee Titans for a 2018 3rd round pick. The Dolphins lost left tackle Brandon Albert to a broken tibia, ending his season. 


The Buccaneers released WR Kenny Bell, OL Gabe Carimi, and K Shayne Graham, among others. The Chargers released WR Chris Harper, WR Malcolm Floyd, DL Mike Martin; Cowboys RB Trent Richardson; Falcons TE Levine Toilolo; Giants RB Matt Asiata; Jaguars RBs T.J. Yeldon and David Wilson; Jets WR Jeremy Kerley; Lions RB Marcus Lattimore; Panthers RB Ronnie Hillman and WR Jericho Cotchery; Patriots DT Tony McDaniel; Saints CB Terence Newman; and Bears RB Andre Williams and OT Jordan Mills.


The Vikings, following the La'El Collins trade, had to cut 5 players; RB Zach Zenner, FB Anthony Sherman, OT T.J. Clemmings, SS Marquiste Chapman, and K Sebastian Janikowski.


The Vikings also held a few try-outs, though none turned into immediate signings; UDFA QB Kaelin Boyd, of Richmond; QB Matt Scott; QB Tyrod Taylor; QB Jay Cutler; RB T.J. Yeldon; UDFA RB Titarius Banks, of Arizona; UDFA RB Sharif Hixon, of Purdue; UDFA RB Johnny Alexander, of Northwestern; UDFA RB Thurman Joseph, of Wisconsin; UDFA RB Maka Golden, of Nebraska; UDFA FB Christian Jose, of Alabama; UDFA Michaelee Bailey, of Miami; WR Malcom Floyd; WR Taukei Gilbert; UDFA WR Richey Miller of Indiana; WR Devin Hester; and ILB Josh Woodyard.


Roster Bubble for Week 3 (cut to 53 in Week 4)

  1. OT Justin Pugh
  2. ILB Ben Heeney
  3. OLB Matt Stokes
  4. DE Red Bryant
  5. RB Vick Ballard
  6. ILB Zaviar Gooden
  7. WR Marlon Brown 
  8. CB Grady McNeal
  9. FS Edmund Drummond
  10. TE Tim Wright

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Week 4 PreSeason Report

The Bills released a few surprises, including DE Larry English, RB James White, ILB Jasper Brinkley; the Broncos LB DeMeco Ryans, RB Karlos Williams; Browns RB Rex Burkhead; Buccaneers CB Trumaine McBride, G Jahri Evans; Cardinals WR Armanti Edwards, OT Barry Richardson, RB Steven Jackson; Chargers RB Dalvin Ward; Chiefs LB Ramik Wilson, FS Derron Smith, HB De'Anthony Thomas; Colts DE CJ Wilson; Cowboys CB Bradley Fletcher; Dolphins OT Ja'waun James; Eagles SS Stephan Stumph, RB Benny Cunningham, LB Johnathan Benjamin; Falcons DE Jarius Wynn, WR Justin Hardy; 49ers WR Quinton Patton, DT Glenn Dorsey, RB LeRoy Kitchens; Giants LB Omar Gaither, RB Mikel Leshoure; Jaguars RB Denard Robinson; Lions RB Daniel Herron, DE Jarvis Jenkins; Packers WR Jared Abbredaris; Panthers SS Ryan Mundy, RB Evan Royster; Patriots WR Wes Welker, DT Pat Sims; Raiders RB Latavius Murray, WR Brad Smith; Rams RB Benjarvus Green-Ellis; Ravens DE Chris Canty, WR Michael Campanaro, FB Erik Lorig; Redskins RB LeRod Stephens-Howling, CB Javier Arenas; Saints WR Juron Criner, OLB Franck Lauderdale; Steelers WR Markus Wheaton, DE Stephon Tuitt, SS Duke Ihenacho, TE Kellen Davis; Titans RB Roy Helu, DL Ziggy Hood; Bengals QB Blaine Gabbert, RB Ben Tate; Texans WR Riccardo Lockette, G Ali Marpet; Bears DE Tyson Alualu, RB Jaquizz Rodgers, WR Marquess Wilson.


Franck Lauderdale was a 2nd round selection.


The Dolphins signed OT T.J. Clemmings, Giants G Rick Wagner, Chiefs K Sabastian Janikowski, and Redskins FB Anthony Sherman. 


The Vikings released RB Vick Ballard, RB Jerick McKinnon, RB Matt Forte, LB Zaviar Gooden, DE Red Bryant, and FS Reggie Nelson.


They also traded WR Marlon Brown to the Bills, OLB Danielle Hunter tot he Chargers, and tackle Justin Pugh to the Patriots


The Vikings then signed RB Denard Robinson, RB T.J. Yeldon, and WR Jared Abbrederis.

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NFL Schedule Release - Vikings 2016

Week       Vikings        

  1.    at Packers       
  2.     Panthers           
  3.     at Colts
  4.     Redskins
  5.     Packers    MONDAY NIGHT                                                                             
  6.     at Cardinals
  7.     at Giants
  8.     BYE
  9.     at Lions
  10.     Bears
  11.     Lions
  12.     Jaguars   MONDAY NIGHT                                                                                
  13.     at Bears
  14.     at Texans  THURSDAY NIGHT
  15.     at Eagles   THURSDAY NIGHT
  16.     Cowboys
  17.     Titans

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2016-17 Draft Class - Initial Report - Offense



Dillion Cooper, Michigan State, JR(RS) (5th ov.)

Corey Woodley, Ohio State, JR(RS), (6)

Justen Mallett, Miami, SR(RS), (10)

Donald Kelly, Montana State, SR (69)

Ethan Mincy, Vanderbilt, SO(RS) (111)



Myles Milliner, Texas A&M, SR (1)

DeVonte Anthony, Penn State, SO(RS) (32)

Jourdon Finch, USC, JR (34)

Churphy Patton, Ohio State, SR(RS) (41)

Tyrus Finch, Temple, SR(RS) (97)



Tank Alexander, LSU, JR(RS) (11)

Robert Sanford, Florida State, SR(RS) (12)

Doron Dobbins, LSU, JR (42)

Fabian McKenzie, West Virginia, SR(RS) (58)

Trae Banks, Kansas State, SR(RS) (59)



Branch Pugh, Auburn, SR(RS) (16)

Teryan Curtis, Texas, SR(RS) (22)

Audre Sullivan, Georgia, SR(RS) (31)

Gideon Azur, Michigan State, JR(RS) (44)

Tyri Simon, Tennessee, SR(RS) (45)



J.D. Burleson, Penn State, SR(RS) (4)

Allen Chandler, Florida State, SR(RS) (8)

Taylor Diaz, Auburn, SR(RS) (23)

Arthur Benjamin, Michigan, SR (51)

Stephan Walden, Idaho State, SR(RS) (64)



Jordon Drummond, Lafayette, JR (53)

Chip Rock, Penn State, SR(RS) (60)

Karl Hunter, Pittsburgh SR(RS) (67)

Shanard Marshall, LSU, SR(RS) (77)

Ali Johns, Maryland, SR(RS) (96)



Tanner Boyce, Florida State, JR (37)

Stanley Bynes, Oklahoma, JR (63)

Alan Terry, California, SR(RS) (80)

Stuart Haden, Nebraska, SR(RS) (91)

W.T. Peterson, Houston, JR (98)

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2016-17 Draft Class - Initial Report - Defense


Joe Espinosa, Michigan State (2)

Dennis Franklin, USC (14)

Holmes Omodu, Oklahoma (27)

Chissom Odom, Miami (33)

Tommie Blake, UCLA (48)


Kashawn Banks, Pittsburgh (17)

Jarod Blue, UCLA (25)

Simuel McBride, USC (49)

Rodney Phillip, Pittsburgh (54)

Tarus Freeman, Tennessee (55)


Russell Vincent, Georgia (7)

Tobias Maclin, Ohio State (39)

Dalton Bostic, Wisconsin (110)

Khairi Carey, Auburn (113)

Coty Pickett, Oklahoma (122)


Harvey Goodwin, Alabama (15)

Sydney Bass, UCLA (43)

Keon Walters, Rutgers (108)

Aldrin Penn, Oklahoma State (134)

Jahmeek Hurd, Temple (180)


Sherrod McCown, LSU (13)

Glenn Pickett, Florida (28)

Octavious Hansen, Michigan State (30)

Forrest Walker, Ohio State (38)

Marquez Holmes, Indiana State (83)


Tuni Carter, Michigan State (18)

Alton Maggitt, USC (47)

Tres Morgan, Mount Union (113)

Jordan Boenzi, Kent State (144)

Blake Cosby, Texas A&M (178)


Rico Garrett, Pittsburgh (3)

Cedric Curry, Wisconsin (19)

Oliver Redmon, Wisconsin (20)

Brian Mosely, Nebraska (24)

Quinterrius Heard, Alabama (26)


Devyn Adams, Pittsburgh (9)

Daryl Britt, Penn State (21)

Kadaryl Hunter, Wisconsin (35)

Abdulai Alli, Virginia (81)

Malik Dunn, Ole Miss (138)


Jay Redmond, USC (36)

Bernard Howell, Nebraska (46)

Lewellyn Swope, Texas A&M (85)

Rayquez Wells, Butler (95)

Curry Ramsey, Clemson (151)


Skylar Mayes, Indiana State (200)

Ryan Vega, Butler (unranked)

Gordon Goodwin, Texas A&M (unranked)

Jason Pope, USC (unranked)

Dexter Richardson, N.C. State (unranked

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Week 1 Recap Vikings at Packers

   The Vikings, down Teddy Bridgewater for the first two weeks, came in as an underdog, with many expecting Aaron Rodgers to rip their young secondary apart. Rodgers ended the day looking miserable after what was his worst game as a pro: 26 of 40 (65%), for 312 yards, no touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. For the Vikings, Tajh Boyd was the next man up at QB, and the team opted not to release any players to make room for any reserve QBs, so they were all in on him. Boyd had a solid game, finishing 29 of 50 (58%) for 345 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. 

   Boyd was supported heavily by the ground game. Starter David Cobb carried 19 times for 109 yards (5.73 average) and a touchdown, and Denard Robinson surprised everyone with 67 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries (5.15 average). Robinson also broke 4 tackles. Mike France, returning home to Wisconsin for the second time in his pro career, had 14 yards and a TD on 2 carries. For the Packers, Eddie Lacy was held to -5 yards on 10 carries, and the Vikings switch to a 3-4 defense seemed like a success.

   1st year tight end Geoffrey Hughes had 7 grabs for 94 yards to lead the Packers, and Eddie Lacy added 6 for 62, with DaVante Adams adding 5 for 46. Vincent Jackson led the Vikings with 5 grabs for 53 yards and a score, Stefon Diggs had 4 for 46, Jermaine Gresham 4 for 43 and a score, Mike France 3 for 34 and 2 TDs out of the backfield, and Michael Floyd 2 for 50 and an impressive TD. 

   Rookie Vikings end Taqwuan Baker made two sacks, while Eric Kendricks, rookie Tamarcus Hennings, Bruce Irvin, Leonard Williams, Anthony Barr, and Sharrif Floyd each added a sack a piece. Xavier Rhodes picked Rodgers off twice, while Harrison Smith and Captain Munnerlyn also had interceptions. Josh Boyd had a sack for Green Bay, while Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Casey Hayward both had picks. Hayward returned his for a touchdown. Mason Crosby finished 4 of 5 with a 53 long on field goals, while Randy Bullock went 1 of 1 with a 37 long. Ty Montgomery returned a kick for a touchdown and had 151 kick return yards. Mike France returned 2 punts for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Final: Vikings 66, Packers 26


Other notable game around the league:


Oakland 27, Atlanta 21

Tampa Bay 36, Kansas City 19

Detroit 34, San Francisco 28

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Week 2 2016 Panthers at Vikings

   The pregame hype surrounding this game was all about Tajh Boyd. After his important role in dismantling the Packers, there was a small push amongst the Viking fanbase for him to remain the starter even after Teddy Bridgewater would be available in Week 3. If Boyd would dominate the Panthers, the Vikings would certainly have to consider him. Boyd didn't necessarily disappoint, but he was very average, making the mistakes a player with his on-field experience should. He finished 24 of 38 (63.15%) for 342 yards, 5TDs, and 5INTs. Panthers QB Jameis Winston struggled, though the stats didn't really show his story. Winston went 21 of 27 (77.77) for just 165 yards, no TDs, and a pick. After a Winston injury early in the 4th, 1st year QB Jude Boyett entered, and became the first QB to pass for a touchdown on the Vikings this season. Boyett finished 6 of 7 (85.71) for 94 yards and 2TDs, with no picks.

   LaBrece Britt finished with 21 carries for 59 yards (2.80) and Jonathan Dwyer added 11 yards on 9 carries (1.22). David Cobb had 16 carries for 72 yards (4.50) and a TD, while Denard Robinson added 66 yards on 12 carries (5.50), and T.J. Yeldon 62 on just 3 carries, nearly breaking for a touchdown. Andre Roberts led the Panthers with 7 grabs for 78 yards, rookie TE Davis Fields had 7 for 46, Pierre Garcon 4 for 49, rookie Durrel Geathers 2 for 13 and a TD, and Mike Tolbert a 12 yard TD grab. Vincent Jackson led the Vikings with 6 for 78, Stefon Diggs had 5 for 51 and 2TDs, Jermaine Gresham 4 for 81, Michael Floyd 3 for 44 and a score, Jared Abbrederis 2 for 32 and a score, and Larry Fitzgerald a 25 yard TD catch.

   Rookie linebacker Matt Stokes, originally buried on the depth chart at edge rusher for the Vikings, played just 2 downs in the Green Bay game, registering 2 QB pressures. Against the Panthers, he had 4 sacks, and looks to be a more permanent fixture in the Vikings defense. A late round-4-3 defensive end, the switch to 3-4 backer has been tough for him. Meanwhile, Leonard Williams added 3 sacks, and Sharrif Floyd 1. Stokes' emergence could spell Anthony Barr, who has been reportedly placed on the trade block, with the right outside duties locked up by Thomas Davis and Bruce Irvin. Xavier Rhodes had the lone Vikings interception, and Mike France returned a kick 89 yards for a score, adding 55 yards on 5 punt returns. 

Final: Vikings 58, Panthers 20


Other notable games around the league:


Kansas City 24, Oakland 21

Dallas 34, Green Bay 24

N.Y. Jets 31, Chargers 24

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