Cornerback Drew Early Vikings Interest

The Vikings were inquiring about a cornerback prospect at the Hula Bowl, and that prospect will get a chance to improve on his draft status this weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Vikings had several free-agent cornerbacks in for visits during the NFL season, lending credence to the theory that actions speak louder than words.

Their interest in another cornerback during the early stages of the offseason continues to indicate an interest in upgrading the depth at the position.

The Vikings were one of several teams that had questions for Kansas State cornerback Justin McKinney at the Hula Bowl college all-star game, according to what McKinney told's Ed Thompson.

As reported in an earlier edition of the NFL Draft Buzz on, McKinney had received some interest from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But now has learned he also drew the attention of a number of scouts during Hula Bowl week. But McKinney also revealed to that the scout he believes liked him the most was one from the Miami Dolphins.

"I didn't really have to tell him anything about myself," said McKinney, as it turned out that the scout had attended a number of the cornerback's games during the season as well.

The New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, and Carolina Panthers all had questions for McKinney as he worked out in Honolulu. A second-day pick whose stock is on the rise, McKinney is a scrappy corner who registered six career interceptions, including three during his senior campaign. But perhaps more importantly, he consistently displayed his physical nature by leading his team in tackles in 2007 with 74, including 51 solo tackles, and had a team-leading 12 passes defensed.

McKinney was named a second-team All-Big 12 selection by the conference's coaches and honorable mention by the Associated Press. He started every game in 2007 and 25 of his last 28.

As a sophomore in 2005, despite making only three starts, McKinney had a team-leading nine passes defensed and team-best three interceptions. He also added 29 tackles while contributing mainly in nickel and dime defensive coverages.

As a freshman at Garden City Community College, he ranked sixth among junior college players with five interceptions.

The Vikings' top spots at cornerback appear to be set with Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin as the starters and Marcus McCauley and Charles Gordon contributing in nickel and dime defenses, but their infusion of young cornerback workouts during the season would indicate a desire to keep an eye on their options for depth at the position. As a projected late-round pick or even a potential undrafted rookie, McKinney could be one of those younger options at the position.

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