Vikings show interest in OL, twice

The Vikings aren't relying simply on players at the Senior Bowl or the NFL Scouting Combine for their prospect board. A lineman that was invited to neither has caught their interest and prompted further investigation.

The Vikings re-signed right tackle Phil Loadholt to a four-year, $25 million dollar contract and signed back former Vikings guard/tackle Seth Olsen on Wednesday.

Still, their scouts continue to look for upgrades to the depth on the offensive line, which is why they are reportedly getting extra time with Colorado State-Pueblo prospect Ryan Jensen, a versatile offensive lineman at 6-foot-3½ and 317 pounds.

According to's Gil Brandt, Jensen has worked out for the Vikings and two other teams, and he is one of the 30 players scheduled for the Minnesota's annual "top-30" visit before the draft. Each year, the Vikings host up to 30 players – the maximum allowed by the NFL – for a visit with position coaches and other staff and then bring everyone out to dinner. General manager Rick Spielman believes it helps the team decide how good of a fit the prospects would be in the locker room.

Jensen wasn't at the NFL Scouting Combine, but the average of the three 40-yard dashes he ran this week at his pro day, about 5.28, is about average for the linemen running at the combine. His broad jump of 8-foot-2 and his vertical jump of 25½ inches were both below average. But he his three-cone time of 7.69 seconds was better than most linemen at the combine.

According to Brandt, Jensen could be drafted as high as the third round, but it's been a long process for the Division II standout. Without a combine invite or one to the Senior Bowl, he is relying on his tape – according to the Denver Post, all 32 teams had representatives on campus at one point or another last fall – and his workouts in front of scouts this winter and spring.

"He's just one of the most competitive big guys I've ever been around," CSU-Pueblo coach John Wristen told the Post. "He's a guy who can play three positions inside, potentially, in the NFL. When we first got him, when we saw how athletic he was, how explosive, we knew. Some big guys are just floppers; they spend too much time on the ground. This guy was athletic, ran well and was just so tenacious."

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

Viking Update Top Stories