GOTTA BE THE SHOES
Chad Greenway said at the NFL Scouting Combine in February that he hoped to run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 or less. He ran it in 4.75 and 4.77 and came away disappointed and confused.
He may have also been worrying about his draft stock slipping a bit, he admitted on Sunday.
"There was a lot of worry because I know when people turn on the film and when I watch the film, I don't ever really consider myself a 4.7-type runner. I think I play a lot faster than that, and I try to. At Iowa I never ran slower than a 4.6, so I went to the combine, and it was a situation where everyone wants to excel and do their best, and I didn't do that," Greenway said.
He was wearing shoes that he called track flats, a decision he deemed a mistake. At his campus pro day a few weeks later, he was back in more of a football spike and ran a 4.54.
"Obviously there was a lot of worry going into those next three weeks preparing for the pro day, and I put everything I had into it and changed my shoes, and that was probably the biggest difference honestly," he said. "I ran on the same surface that I ran on in the combine, and I ran about two tenths faster, so I saved myself a little bit maybe. But I think people who watch film and people who know football know I play faster than a 4.7, and I don't think the people who really know were too concerned about it."
The Vikings' coaches and scouts put more credence in their film study than the combine workout, and Greenway happily made it to the Vikings' pick at No. 17 in the first round on Saturday.
"I had heard through the media that they liked (Florida State linebacker) Ernie Sims, and I really wanted to be here," Greenway said. "This was the place that I really wanted to be, so I was hoping he would go someplace like Detroit so I could come here. It was actually a good fit, so he can go as high as he wants."
Actually, the Vikings did like what they saw of Ernie Sims on film, but they had major concerns about his repeated concussion problems. One league source told Scout.com that Sims has had six concussions while Greenway has proved to be a much more durable linebacker to this point.
Vikings second-round cornerback Cedric Griffin said USC receiver Steve Smith was the best receiver he covered in college, and he spent the majority the national championship game matched up on Smith.
"Steve Smith I covered more often than any other receiver. He is a pretty good receiver. I like him," Griffin said.
In practice at Texas, however, Griffin said his days covering Roy Williams a few years ago were the biggest test.
It's uncertain if Griffin will end up as a cornerback or safety in the long term, but it appears the Vikings will start working him at cornerback, the position he played at Texas.
DON'T LET THE BALL HIT YOU
Second-round pick Ryan Cook is almost 6-foot-7, a rather lengthy frame for a center in the NFL, but it sounds like his primary role this year will be as a backup to Pro Bowl center Matt Birk, who is coming off of multiple hip and sports hernia surgeries.
Cook said he entered college at about 6-foot-4, but that being almost 6-7 and playing center was never a problem. At least he never got hit in the back of the helmet by a pass.
"No, we never seemed to have that problem. A lot of people had a lot of questions about that, me being so tall and him having to throw over the top of me, but we never seemed to have any problems with that," he said.
Cook played at New Mexico, where the most famous alumnus is Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, the highest player drafted out of New Mexico.
"I talk to him on a regular basis," said Cook, who said they talked on Saturday after Cook was drafted by the Vikings. "He's the highest player drafted from the University of New Mexico, so he's kind of an idol, per se, in New Mexico. Everyone looks up to him, and I look up to him as well."
With Urlacher on the Bears, Cook said the two will have "friendly rivalries."
HURRY UP AND WAIT
The Vikings wouldn't say how long they expected the development of second-round pick Tarvaris Jackson to take before they could count on him.
Head coach Brad Childress said Jackson has everything they want in a young quarterback, but he needs time to learn the pro game. Jackson agreed when asked about what he needs to improve most.
"Learning the NFL game, coverages and stuff like that," he replied. "It is a big learning curve from college to the NFL for anybody, so probably just the learning aspect of it. The physical part, I always find that the easy part. It's coming here to learn."
Fourth-round pick Ray Edwards is listed as having some potential to play at defensive tackle in some scouting reports, but the Vikings have no such designs on moving him from end to tackle.
Vikings director of college scouting Scott Studwell doesn't see Edwards as a defensive tackle – more of an edge rusher – but Edwards said he would do whatever it takes to get on the field.
"As long as I am on the field helping my team, that's the type of player I am," Edwards said.
Edwards left Purdue after his junior season, partly because of finances and partly because he was benched because of what Studwell thought was business made personal between the coaches and Edwards.
Studwell declined to say how highly ranked Edwards would have been had he not had the attitude question marks, but he did indicate that Edwards is just a young person needing to mature a bit.
ON THE MARK
Jason Chayut, the agent for fifth-round draft pick Greg Blue, should get into the draft prediction business.
"My agent told me about the fifth round, but I knew I was better than a fifth-round player," Blue said. "I'm just happy just to get the opportunity because that's all I want is the opportunity to play the game."
While Chayut nailed Blue's draft position, Childress was right on the money when he talked about second-day selections. Childress said many of the second-day picks feel like they deserve to be first-day selections and are out to prove that in their early years. Blue's comment seems to fit that analysis perfectly.
Notebook: The Picks Explain
Viking Update Top Stories
Munnerlyn likes Cutler’s risk-taking waysCaptain Munnerlyn likened Jay Cutler to Brett Favre, calling him a “gunslinger,” but Cutler was at his best when he conformed last year.
Viking Update7:32 AM
Did Vikings have bounty system?In a new book released recently, the claim is made that the Minnesota Vikings had a bounty system in place at the same time the Saints were eventually swept up in the Bountygate…
Viking Update7:25 AM
Fusco: O-line problems correctableAs players and coaches watched film of Sunday's loss to Philadelphia, more than a few them got an uneasy feeling. Not because the Eagles dominated them as much as it appeared, but…
Viking Update4:15 AM
Vikings sign 3 to practice squad, release 3The Minnesota Vikings shook up their practice squad on Tuesday, signing three – including an offensive lineman – and releasing three.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 1:34 PM
Long: No excusesJake Long was only on the field for 13 plays Sunday at Philadelphia, but two of those resulted in turnovers that cost the Minnesota Vikings offense from putting up points. On…
Viking UpdateYesterday at 12:55 PM