The draft is over but that does not mean football talk for the Minnesota Vikings slows down it. In fact, only gets heavier and deeper. Football fans that live and breathe football like myself just salivate when media and teams put more info on TV or the internet.
picture taken at Minnesota Vikings Training Camp in Mankato 2012 – Todd Walkingstick
5th Year Options
The Minnesota Vikings had to make a decision by Monday on two players, Harrison Smith and Matt Kalil on whether the organization would exercise the 5th year of their contracts.
The answer was announced that yes both contracts would be exercised. Harrison Smith in my mind is a guy the team can’t afford to lose. He is the hardest hitting safety in the NFL and the Vikings need to secure this guy for years.
Matt Kalil on the other hand I was not as sure of until I saw the info released. Kalil makes the Pro Bowl his rookie year and after that has seemed to struggle. We are just football fans and do not know all the underlying issues. We see results but we cannot say we know the blocking schemes. Is this fair to Matt?
I believe Offensive Line Coach, Jeff Davidson will be working with Matt even more to get his game back to his rookie year. 2015 campaign will be Matt’s biggest year of his career. I for one am excited to see how Matt does under pressure.
The last 3-4 drafts have been awesome by the Vikings and I hope Matt and Harrison are in purple until the day they retire.
Jersey Numbers For Draft Picks
Monday uniforms were issued to the Vikings draft choices as you may know. And if you don’t know here it is:
Minnesota Vikings Training Camp – Todd Walkingstick
CB Trae Waynes – #26
LB Eric Kendricks – #54
DE Danielle Hunter – #99
OT T.J. Clemmings – #68
TE MyCole Pruitt – #83
WR Stefon Diggs – #14
OT Tyrus Thompson – #72
DE B.J. Dubose – #90
OT Austin Shepherd – #74
LB Edmund Robinson – #40
I am a Training camp junkie going the last 21 years and 20 of those I only missed 6 days. I meet the guys and get pictures with them if they ok the picture. I know have 10 more to attempt to meet. I know some have said that NFL stands for not for long. Guys come and go and every year new players are given jerseys. There have been some players that are fortunate to stay in the same organization for years and thus wear the same number.
2014 Minnesota Vikings Verizon Training Camp – Todd Walkingstick
I look over these numbers and 3 players come to mind that at one time had the number. I start with Trae Waynes and number 26. Antoine Winfield comes to mind with this old number. Winfield was arguably the best free agent signing ever for the Vikings. He played from 2004-2012.
If Waynes can play and tackle like old Wnfield the Vikings hit gold. I know everyone is different but as a fan I can hope Waynes resembles Winfield play specifically the tackling.
I look at number 40 and can’t help but remember old faithful, Jimmy Kleinsasser (1999-2011) A guy out of North Dakota who made it big in the NFL. I know Robinson is a linebacker so hopefully the skill of Jimmy rubs off on Robinson.
One similar fact is Edmond Robinson comes out of Newberry College and Jimmy out of North Dakota which are 2 schools that very few players have made it in the NFL
The last number I will look and think back of is long time long snapper, Mike Morris (1991-1999). Clemmings is a draft pick and Morris was not but again I hope this new 68 can have the success that Morris had in length in the NFL.
Their other numbers you may look at and be reminded of former players that wore that number but these were the 3 big ones to me.
Training Camp Opportunities
I wish all 2015 Minnesota Vikings draft choices good luck this season with the Vikes. I look forward to meeting them.
I had a streak from 1998-2013 where I got a picture with every draft choice but Randy Moss. I am still working on 2014 and now 2015 class. It is the most awesome thing as a Vikings fan to say I met this guy and have a picture to prove it.
Thanks for reading
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