According to Scout.com sources attending the Florida State pro day, Vikings scouts have been eyeing up a pair of Seminole speedsters, wide receiver Craphonso Thorpe and cornerback Bryant McFadden.
Despite the recent signing of free-agent cornerback Fred Smoot, the Vikings could use additional depth at cornerback with nickel back Brian Williams scheduled for unrestricted free agency after the 2005 season and former nickel back Ken Irvin aging and moving to safety for 2005.
Since the trade of Randy Moss to Oakland, the Vikings have been on the lookout for a No. 1 wide receiver as well. While potentially drafting Thorpe probably wouldn't fill that need immediately, it would add depth behind Nate Burleson, Marcus Robinson and Kelly Campbell, a restricted free agent dealing with legal troubles from an arrest last month.
Thorpe, who measures at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds and runs about a 4.45 40-yard dash, is the eighth-ranked wide receiver in April's draft, according to Scout.com, and received three out of a possible five stars.
According to TFY Draft Preview, Thorpe is a "big-play receiver who is a complete wideout, displaying the ability to break games open or control them. Quick-footed, immediately gets off the line of scrimmage and a sharp route runner who separates from defenders exiting breaks. Consistently makes the catch away from his frame."
Thorpe suffered a broken leg in 2003 and has been called out by Florida State coaches during the 2004 for dropping passes. While he was called "possibly the most complete receiver in this draft" by TFY Draft Preview, his draft status was downgraded due to his leg injury, which he was said to be slow in recovering from, and a disappointing senior season. He has reportedly struggled to make receptions in traffic, possibly due to his lanky frame, but is supposed to be hustler who is good in and out of breaks.
Thorpe ran a 4.39 and 4.47 40-yard dash at pro day, but he isn't expected to be a first-round pick.
McFadden, the cornerback who measures at 5-11 3/4 and weighed 193 pounds at the Indianapolis Combine, is the seventh-ranked cornerback in the draft, according to Scout.com.
He ran a 4.41 and 4.49 in front of scouts Tuesday.
The scouting report from TFY Draft Preview on McFadden is mostly good: "Technically sound cornerback with a good head for the position. Fluid in his hips, displays a nice sense of timing and positions himself against opposing receivers to make a play on the ball. Quickly locates the pass in the air and consistently shows a good move defending the throw. Keeps the action in front of him. Tough and engages opponents off the line of scrimmage."
The bad, according to TFY, is that McFadden can be "slow to come off blocks and help out defending the run or screen plays. Gets turned on occasion."
McFadden told Viking Update at the combine that he hasn't given up a touchdown pass since 2002 and listed Arizona Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin (a Florida State alumnus) as the toughest wide receiver he has faced. He did say he needed to improve his film study to pick on receivers' tendencies better.
Vikings Show Interest In Two Seminoles
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