The Vikings visited with at least their third defensive tackle during the mass predraft visits on April 9-10. Earlier, VikingUpdate.com broke the visits of Maryland's Dre Moore and Notre Dame's Trevor Laws, and we recently uncovered another predraft visit, this one from West Virginia's Keilen Dykes.
Dykes was a four-year starter for the Mountaineers at defensive tackle and defensive end, and he received the 2007 Iron Mountaineer Award. He was also selected to the NSCA Strength All-American team.
Scout.com's Tom Marino rates Dykes as a fourth- or fifth-round draft value.
"A very tough, strong nose who was a very effective run stopper," Marino, an NFL scout of more than 30 years, writes in his evaluation of Dykes for Scout.com. "Plays very hard, is unselfish and was a consistent performer. Could also play a three-technique [the position played by Kevin Williams in the Vikings' defense]. Is a run stopper who had a good feel for blocks and restricted the ‘A' gap."
Dykes was named All-Big East first-team in 2006 and 2007, serving as a team captain in 2007 and was called the most important piece of the defense by the coaching staff.
Last year, he registered 32 tackles, three sacks, four tackles-for-loss, three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. He also scored a touchdown on a 19-yard interception return.
In 2006, Dykes had 32 tackles, three sacks and 5½ tackles for a loss. He moved into a starting role the previous year, when he recorded 37 tackles, two sacks and six tackles-for-loss as a sophomore – he didn't become a starter until midway through that season.
Marino writes that Dykes "has adequate range but needs to protect his lower half more effectively. Marginal pass rusher who showed limited counter skills. Blue-collar player who will contribute to winning football games."
During his time at West Virginia, the Mountaineers racked up a 41-9 record, appeared in four bowl games and won three of them. They were ranked 13th against the run in 2006 and 18th in 2007.
For his career, he tallied 130 tackles, 23 of them for losses, 12½ sacks, three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
He graduated in December 2007 with a degree in Athletic Coaching Education.
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