Minnesota Vikings: Day one combine prospects

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Dec 3, 2016; Laramie, WY, USA; Wyoming Cowboys running back and combine attendee Brian, Hill (5), runs against San Diego State Aztecs cornerback Damontae Kazee (23) during the fourth quarter at the Mountain West Championship college football game at War Memorial Stadium. The Aztecs beat the Cowboys 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 3, 2016; Laramie, WY, USA; Wyoming Cowboys running back and combine attendee Brian, Hill (5), runs against San Diego State Aztecs cornerback Damontae Kazee (23) during the fourth quarter at the Mountain West Championship college football game at War Memorial Stadium. The Aztecs beat the Cowboys 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL Combine set to take place from February 28th through March 6th, it is time for fans to familiarize themselves with certain names. The first field-day of the combine is March 3rd; showcasing running backs, offensive linemen and specialists.

When a team has as many needs along one certain position such as the offensive line like the Vikings do, fans can easily forget about other prospects worth a look. Make no mistake though, the offensive line will need to be addressed during this draft early and often.


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Luckily for Vikings’ fans, the greatest need for the team is on the first field day for the events. Of course watching an offensive lineman running a 40-yard-dash in five pieces of clothing may not be for everyone. The running backs usually put on quite the showing; be sure to tune in for that.

Running backs

Of course, Joe Mixon of Oklahoma is one that most would like to look at; he was not asked to participate most likely due to an off-the-field incident. Of course everyone knows the names Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey; below will be names fans may want to keep track of as the Vikings most assuredly will be.

Alvin Kamara, Tennessee-Although Kamara is a player linked to off-the-field issues, may not be there in the second round due to his size and speed.

D’Onta Foreman, TexasSome believe Foreman would be perfect for the Vikings and their short-yardage woes. At a bulldozing 250 pounds, the Longhorn will get plenty of looks during the combine.

Wayne Gallman, Clemson-Gallman played third fiddle on the National Championship team yet was a main reason they won; may be perfect fit with Jerick McKinnon.

Brian Hill, Wyoming-The six-foot-one-inch back is rapidly climbing up draft boards and mock drafts due to his love for contact and ability to follow blocks. A great combine and or pro-day could make Hill come off the boards in the third round or earlier.

Offensive linemen

Obviously fans have familiarized themselves with the likes of Ryan RamczykCam Robinson, Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp due to their ever growing popularity. Fans also most assuredly have familiarized themselves with Taylor Moton and Antonio Garcia from this well written article. However, a few more offensive linemen exist that the fans may want to check in on during the combine.

Zach Banner, Chad Wheeler and Damien Mama, USC-The Vikings just so happen to have four total picks in the third and fourth round; would it be that far fetched if they took two linemen familiar with each other?

Jordan Morgan, Kutztown-The Division II standout has the potential to become a NFL starter despite coming from the little known Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). Morgan was so dominant he was given the PSAC Offensive Athlete of the Year Award that usually goes to a skill position player.

Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia-Scouts may have Orlosky rated much higher after watching his bench-press and pure strength. If the six-foot-three-inch tall 300 pound monster has a great combine, he may be the next center taken after Pat Elflein of Ohio State.

Specialists

Kickers are people too, dang it; likewise for punters and long snappers. The Vikings likely will pass on drafting any specialists as they have plenty more to concern themselves with. However, a few prospects worth a look will display their talents at the combine.

Austin Rehkow; punter, Idaho-The term “specialist” suits this Vandal perfectly as he handled kickoffs, punts and field goals in the 2016 season.

Zane Gonzalez; kicker, Arizona State-Chances are, Gonzalez will be the first kicker taken in this years draft; he will have to work on his hang time on kickoffs though.

Jake Elliott; kicker, Memphis-Elliott was named first-team all-conference four straight years. He too may need to work on his kickoff distance and hang time.

Finish

Whether the above listed prospects perform well on the first day of the combine is yet to be witnessed. Even if the above men perform poorly, they will still be worth watching to see how they handle the interviews, testing and the other activities that follow them this week.

If the Vikings do draft a couple of the prospects listed, at least now readers can say, “I think I read about him somewhere.” Knowing truly is half the battle, thanks G.I. Joe.

— Justin Ekstrom covers the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings and can be followed on Twitter @thesportscrib21. Like and follow vikings32 on Facebook and Twitter

 

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