Vikings Show Interest In West Coast LB

More than 20 teams showed up to a pro day Saturday, with many looking the way of a linebacker. Despite the trade for Sam Cowart, the Vikings were among those paying particular attention.

Among the teams in attendance at the San Diego State pro day were the Ravens, Jaguars, Vikings, Eagles, Patriots, Bears, Saints, Chargers, Jets, Giants, Falcons, Dolphins, Chiefs, Raiders, Bengals, Texans, Titans, Broncos, Bills, Bucs, Niners, and Cardinals.

The Chiefs were heavily represented with four members of the staff and the Chargers also had four staff members, including James Lofton. The Patriots had three members of their staff and the Ravens, Vikings and Packers had at least two staffers present.

With the weather not cooperating, the players ran their forties in the weight room on a specialized track setup for the event.

Kirk Morrison, the linebacker who has become the face of San Diego State football, ran in the high 4.6's on both runs, with times ranging from 4.66 to 4.74. Morrison did not participate in the bench press, a drill he performed (25 reps) at the combine. He did post a 33-inch vertical jump, 9-foot-6 broad jump, 4.29 short shuttle, 7.05 three-cone and 11.80 long shuttle.

The players were able to move outside to do the three-cone drill, L-drill and short and long shuttles. The toughest part was measuring their speed on the wet field. Many players slipped when making their cuts and some had to live with the time posted despite losing traction on each cut.

"It was pretty slick out there," Morrison admitted. "I am glad we ran our 40s inside."

The position drills showed off the explosion of Morrison, as he cruised through the drills with authority.

"Explosive," one scout with the Ravens said of Morrison after the drills. "All-out hustle on every play."

Morrison believes he continued his ascension up the charts since the offseason began. He had a strong Senior Bowl week and teams are bustling about his personality.

"I think I showed my athleticism and how much better it is since the end of the season," Morrison said. "I showed I can play any linebacker position and be successful.

"I am happy with what I did. I went out and performed my best."

After he completed his workout, Morrison met with Bengals linebackers coach Ricky Hundly, who took him off the field into a private room. Pete Bercich, the linebackers coach of the Vikings, followoed the pair off the field as he setup his own private meeting with the linebacker.

The Packers, Eagles, Bengals and Rams all have further plans to work Morrison out.

Matt McCoy, another linebacker who is getting noticed by scouts, ran in the low 4.6's with times ranging from 4.58 to 4.64. He also posted 19 reps on the bench press. He added a 33.5 vertical jump, 9-foot-7 broad jump, 4.24 short shuttle, 7.30 three-cone and 11.70 long shuttle.

Linebacker Heath Farwell, a part-time starter until his senior campaign, surprised many with his strength and agility. He posted an impressive 32 reps on the bench press and ran his 40s in the 4.55 range. His 4.30 short shuttle was impressive considering speester Underwood ran it in 4.29. He also ran a 6.95 three-cone and 11.40 long shuttle to go with a 9-foot-9 broad and 36-inch vertical.

Marviel Underwood, a 5-foot-10, 205-pound safety, had the fastest times, clocking in at 4.28 on several scouts' hand timers on his second run of the day and times ranging from 4.32 to 4.40 on his first run. The consensus was a 4.38 on both runs. He added a 10-foot broad, 39-inch vertical, the aforementioned 4.29 short shuttle, and a 7.00 three-cone drill.

McCoy has received interest from a number of teams, including several that were not present on Saturday. The Pittsburgh Steelers have setup a private workout with McCoy and the Patriots talked to him at length on Saturday.

The Ravens got a close-up look at all the linebackers because they ran the drills. Linebackers coach Jeff Fitzgerald ran the majority of the drills with help from one of his assistant coaches.

Farwell performed admirably in his drills and got noticed by a couple of teams. Fitzgerald said, "(Farwell) made people recognize he has some skills." He also told the linebacker to get stronger in his footwork and he could have a future in the NFL. Farwell posted a team high seven sacks and four forced fumbles as a senior.

A physically impressive Underwood appeared fluid in his backpedal and was called an underrated prospect by one AFC scout. He showed a knack for locating the ball in the air and good swivel in his hips.

Several teams have considered moving Underwood to corner. He garnered interest from the Falcons, Jets and Chiefs.

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