NFL Draft 2015: Vikings Work With DT Marcus Hardison at Arizona State Pro Day


The Vikings’ seemingly never-ending search for more defensive linemen to plug into Mike Zimmer’s system led them to Friday’s Arizona State pro day where middle-round DT prospect Marcus Hardison was put through his paces.

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D-Line coach Andre Patterson was on-hand to not only watch Hardison but run the line drills. How did Hardison do? Tony Pauline offered this report (via Walter Football):

"Marcus Hardison, who did not participate at the Combine because of an injury, stood out and was a star at Arizona State’s pro day. Hardison measured 6-3 1/4, 305 pounds, then ran his 40s in times of 4.92 and 4.95, though some watches had him in the 4.8s. His 10 split was in the 1.70 range. Hardison’s short shuttle timed at 4.68 with a 7.29 three-cone.Hardison looked terrific in line drills, which was run by the Minnesota Vikings, as scouts commented on his exceptional quick twitch muscles. Coaches in attendance remarked that had he been able to run at the Combine, Hardison would’ve ranked as one of the top overall performers on the defensive line. Yesterday, Hardison met privately with the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers."

Fox Sports’ Kevin Zimmerman had this to say about Hardison’s draft stock after his performance:

"Hardison could be solidifying a place as a middle-round pick. His versatility along the defensive line should pay dividends, but he said his stock took off in the Senior Bowl, when scouts liked him playing the 3-technique, the quicker defensive tackle in a four-man front. “I don’t really pay attention to it, to be honest with you,” Hardison said. “It only takes one team to like you. I’ll be honored if I get drafted."

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Hardison is regarded as somewhat of a raw player with big upside. It definitely seems that Mike Zimmer and his staff this year are on the prowl for high-ceiling defensive line players they can develop. The Vikings also showed strong interest in Nebraska DE Randy Gregory, a player who currently projects as a top-10 pick (and therefore will likely be gone before the Vikings pick). Hardison is someone to look out for in the middle rounds. Last year the Vikings took DE Scott Crichton in the third but he failed to make a dent as a rookie and his future remains somewhat cloudy.

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