More fuel for Bridgewater-Parker connections

DeVante Parker was part of the Vikings’ “top 30” visit, further fuel for those wanting to reunite Teddy Bridgewater with his college receiver.

Are the Vikings closing in on drafting Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker if he is available at pick No. 11 on draft day?

Last month at his pro day, Parker told reporters he had meetings with four teams – the Vikings, Chargers, Dolphins and 49ers. It’s no coincidence that all four of them are in the middle third of the first round – the Vikings at No. 11, Miami at No. 14, San Francisco at No. 15 and San Diego at No. 17. But, it would appear as though the Vikings have a particular interest in Parker that goes beyond their visit with him in March.

The connection to the Vikings is pretty obvious. Last year, the Vikings used the 32nd pick of the draft on Teddy Bridgewater, who was Parker’s quarterback at Louisville. It would seem natural that if the Vikings are looking for a new wide receiver, getting one their budding franchise quarterback already has a rapport and familiarity with would be a glove fit.

So, it came as no surprise to learn that Parker was at Winter Park Wednesday meeting with Vikings officials.

The Vikings struggled at wide receiver last year and this offseason replaced veteran Greg Jennings with speedy Mike Wallace of the Dolphins. Other than that, the situation has remained the same. Charles Johnson is an intriguing prospect. Cordarrelle Patterson is a talented athlete who has seen the shine come off of him as a future star prospect. Jarius Wright is a part-time receiver who makes plays, but isn’t a dynamic go-to target and he is entering the final year of his rookie deal.

While the Vikings have cooled on their enthusiasm with Patterson, the “Big Three” wide receivers in the 2015 draft – Alabama’s Amari Cooper, West Virginia’s Kevin White and Parker – are viewed as three of the top players that will come into the draft with the “can’t miss” tag applied to them. Given the success of the Class of 2014 rookie wide receivers, it’s a buyer’s market when it comes to drafting the players who can make a franchise quarterback look good.

Parker is one of those players and he has clearly got the organizational attention of the Vikings.

The Vikings have several options when it comes to who they’re going to pick in the first round. There is no guarantee that Parker will be on the board when the Vikings make their first selection of the draft. However, if he is there, it would seem the Vikings have more than a passing interest in him.

  • In the event that Parker isn’t in the mix when the Vikings pick, the team visited with Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes.

  • Former Viking Erin Henderson officially found a home in the NFL, signing with the Jets. Henderson was out of football all of 2014 after being arrested twice in late 2013 on alcohol-related driving offenses.

  • There had been some speculation that when free agency opened a month ago, the Vikings might have an interest in Patriots free agent running Stevan Ridley as potential insurance in the event Adrian Peterson and the Vikings part ways. The Vikings never made any significant overtures, and if there was any interest it went away Wednesday when Ridley joined Henderson as the newest members of the Jets.

  • Chris Kluwe took to Deadspin again, penning another volatile missive to take potshots at just about anything and anyone. For those unfamiliar with Deadspin, you may want to exercise caution when reading a Kluwe tome, because it often includes language that would offend many. His latest tirade was a hatchet-job on the winner of some cooking show called “Chopped.” Whether it was sarcasm or not, in his unfiltered diatribe, Kluwe mentioned that the winner’s favorite football team is the Vikings and the former punter took parting shots at not only the Vikings, but their fans.

  • Speaking of Kluwe, the Department of Irony came up with this: Kluwe will be the keynote speaker at 7 p.m. April 17 at the Morris (Minn.) Elementary School Concert Hall to recognize the National Day of Silence. The event advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Who knew that if you had a Day of Silence, Kluwe would be speaking?


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