Vikings' Predraft Visits List

NFL teams are allowed to bring up to 30 non-local draft prospects to their headquarters for predraft visits. We've been tracking the visits for the last month and offering insight on their value from former NFL scout Tom Marino. Here is what we've learned.

QUARTERBACK

Brian Brohm: After leading Louisville to an Orange Bowl victory, Brohm was faced with a tough decision — enter the NFL Draft or stay in school for his senior season. But when his coach, Bobby Petrino, left Louisville for the NFL, Brohm began to reconsider his initial instinct to stay in school. After talking with new Cardinals head coach Steve Kragthorpe, Brohm decided to stay and play in a new system. He gave up the opportunity to be a potential top-five selection in the 2007 draft in hopes of leading Louisville to a national championship, according to Scout.com's Chris Steuber. But after a poor team showing this past season, Brohm still managed to post impressive numbers. He completed 308 of 473 passes (65.1 percent) for 4,024 yards, 30 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Brohm is considered one of the most NFL-ready quarterbacks in the draft, despite not possessing a strong arm, and scouts like his potential in a West Coast Offense. However, he is thought to be an early second-round pick and may not be available for the Vikings in the middle of the second round.

Joe Flacco: After transferring to Delaware from Pittsburgh, Flacco set school records while completing 331 of 521 passes (63.5 percent) for 4,293 yards in 2007. His ability to take care of the ball is no doubt an asset the Vikings preach often for their quarterbacks. He threw 23 touchdowns while limiting his interceptions to five last season.

He also had prototypical NFL quarterback size at 6-foot-6¼ and 236 pounds.

Despite running a spread offense in college, Flacco looked comfortable working for NFL coaches at the NFL Scouting Combine, according to a pool report filed on him. He is considered to have a strong arm with some limitations as an athletic quarterback, although he ran for four touchdowns in 2007.

Kyle Wright: Wright wasn't a visitor to Winter Park, but we know the Vikings had a workout for the University of Miami product, who was one of the nation's most sought-after recruits coming out of high school and lived up to the expectations in his first season as a starter, his sophomore year. He threw for 2,403 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. But Miami's offense struggled in 2006 and Wright's totals dropped to 1,655 yards passing, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions, and he suffered a season-ending thumb injury that caused him to miss the final four games of that campaign.

Last year, Wright had to earn his way back into the starting lineup after Kirby Freeman began the season as the starter. Wright's statistics didn't look much better, as he threw for 1,747 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

WIDE RECEIVER

Malcolm Kelly: Kelly, who measured in at the NFL Scouting Combine at 6-foot-3 5/8 and 224 pounds, is expected to be selected anywhere from the middle of the first round to the start of the second. The Vikings currently have the No. 17 overall pick in the first round.

After reviewing film on Kelly, Scout.com's Tom Marino, a former NFL scout of 35 years, has the wideout rated as a first-round value and the No. 2 receiver on his draft board behind Michigan State's Devin Thomas, who also visited the Vikings.

"Impressive-looking player with excellent hands, body control and ability to adjust to the ball," Marino wrote in his evaluation of Kelly. "Catches equally well on or off his person. Uses size to effectively shield defenders on under routes or in the red zone. Has the athletic ability and strength to avoid the hold-up and the speed to climb a defender on his open releases. Liked his ability to snatch the ball away from his body. Should factor quickly as an inside receiver and develop into a front-line player."

While Kelly believes he has the speed to be a deep threat in the NFL, he admits he needs to work on his route-running because he wasn't asked to do much besides downfield routes in college.

Devin Thomas: According to Marino, Thomas is the top wide receiver prospect in the 2008 NFL Draft – ahead of names like Malcolm Kelly, Mario Manningham, Limas Sweed, DeSean Jackson and James Hardy.

"(Thomas) has excellent athletic skills, versatility, good hands, and was a real threat after the catch," Marino writes in his evaluation of Thomas. "Runs well and showed the ability to accelerate at the top of the route. Potential No. 1 receiver with a club. Top return potential – quick, instinctive, breaks tackles and has a burst. … Used mostly on slip screens and shallow screens."

A number of draft analysts have stated that they aren't sure any wide receivers are worthy of first-round consideration but expect that a number of them will ultimately be selected in the first round. Thomas is now one of those, according to Marino, who says the junior receiver is worthy of first-round consideration.

Thomas, a 6-foot-2, 216-pounder who ran a 4.43 in the 40, burst onto the scene with Michigan State last year as a junior. He set a school record with 79 receptions for 1,260 yards and eight touchdowns. He also was used occasionally as a ball carrier, rushing 27 times for 177 yards and was used sparingly as a punt returner. His bigger contribution on special teams came in the kickoff return game, where he led the Big Ten and set a single-season conference record with 1,135 yards on 39 returns.

Andre Caldwell: The 6-foot-2, 204-pound receiver is the third-ranked wide receiver behind Thomas and Kelly, according to Marino.

"Go-to receiver who has regained the foot speed he had prior to his knee surgery," Marino wrote in his evaluation of Caldwell for Scout.com. "Has size, experience and has been a very productive player. Works underneath effectively. Solid run-after-catch skills. Impressive getting in and out of breaks on speed cuts. Gets head around and locates the ball. I really liked his work at the Senior Bowl, where he showed his skills and savvy. Bigger, faster and more powerfully built than what I remembered."

Marino projects Caldwell as a mid second-round pick, which is just where the Vikings are selecting in that round.

Caldwell set the Florida Gators school record with 185 career receptions, which ranked ninth overall in Southeastern Conference history. He finished his career with 2,349 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. As a senior, he had 56 catches for 761 yards, despite missing most of September with a sprained medial collateral ligament.

Eddie Royal: While the 5-foot-9½, 184-pound Royal only caught 12 touchdown passes in his Hokies career, he became known as a very versatile player during his tenure there, and his special teams ability should give him third- or fourth-round value, according to Marino, a former NFL scout of more than 30 years.

"Little man who was both quick and fast. Has good hands but likes the ball in on his body whenever possible," Marino wrote in his evaluation of Royal for Scout.com. "Has small hands and a short receiving radius. Has the quicks and feet to avoid the hold-up, but was more effective lining up in the slot. Can track down the field, but doesn't offer the QB much in the way of a target. Questionable to win in traffic. Adept kickoff and punt returner – catches well, hits the crease and goes. Good courage and judgment."

Royal had three punt returns for touchdowns at Virginia Tech and averaged 11.7 yards while returning 111 punts over four years. Last year, he averaged 14.7 yards per return with two of them going for touchdowns. He averaged 23.5 yards per kickoff return during his four seasons as a Hokie, where the value of special teams became apparent to him.

Mario Urrutia: This wasn't a visit to the Vikings facility, but they did meet with the University of Louisville receiver.

"Before Urrutia's pro day workout, he was thought to be a fifth-round pick because of what were viewed to be slow 40-yard dash times at the NFL combine," wrote Scout.com's Adam Caplan, who first reported the meeting. "But after posting a 4.50 40 during this past Monday's pro day and after wowing scouts with a 35-inch vertical leap, league sources believe he's moved up to at least the fourth round."

The positive notes on Urrutia are his size – reportedly at 6-foot-6 and somewhere between 220 and 232 pounds. The negatives are what analysts were seeing while watching film on him – too many dropped passes.

OFFENSIVE LINE

John Greco: Marino has Greco projected as a guard at the NFL level.

"An impressive athlete with good feet and strength, size and athletic ability," Marino wrote in his evaluation of Greco for Scout.com "Looked natural on the left side, but due to his limited arm length, I would project this player down inside. Liked his work on pass protection – sets, kick step and striking power. A knee bender with striking power and savvy. Liked his balance, points and recovery skills. Under-the-radar player who has a chance to play a very long time. Smart and aware."

Marino places a second- or third-round grade on Greco, who earned first-team all-MAC honors in each of his final three seasons and was also named third-team All-America as a senior. In his final season at Toledo, the Rockets allowed only 16 sacks and averaged 447.8 yards of offense per game, leading the conference in rushing, scoring and total offense.

He is credited with 275 knockdown blocks and 34 touchdown-resulting blocks in three seasons at left tackle. He started 49 consecutive games to end his career, including 36 at left tackle, and was a captain of the team during his final two seasons with the Rockets.

Chad Rinehart: Rinehart played left tackle most of his career at UNI, but he also played guard at the Senior Bowl in January. He likely would project to a guard in the NFL, according to Marino.

"Not impressive from a physical standpoint but was technically sound, very tough and understands the game," Marino wrote in his evaluation of Rinehart. "Would project down inside to a guard position. Has a good understanding of angles and he wasn't on the ground a great deal. Good to scoop, but wasn't real efficient at the second level. Is a journeyman player who gives you some versatility and experience. Not a supple, easy-moving athlete. Solid mid to late second-day selection."

Marino placed a fifth- to seventh-round value on Rinehart, who measures at 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds.

DEFENSIVE END

Kendall Langford: The issue with Langford entering the offseason was likely the quality of opponents he faced and how that might translate into the NFL. In 2007 with Division I-AA Hampton, he had 12 quarterback pressures, six sacks and 13 tackles-for-loss. That was done over an 11-game period, and he has started every game since the beginning of his sophomore season.

The opinions on Langford vary. His agent, Adisa Bakari, believes many teams have a third-round grade on him but that some team could use a second-rounder to draft him.

Marino said Langford shows quickness off the ball but does not play with a lot of power. Marino's evaluation says Langford plays with high energy but can tend to run out of gas as the game wears on.

Jason Jones: Jones is an intriguing prospect who has risen from small-school obscurity at Eastern Michigan to put himself on the radar of NFL teams, but his raw skills may keep him from being an immediate contributor in his rookie year.

"Is a former tight end who was moved to a defensive tackle position at the midpoint of the 2004 season," wrote Marino in his evaluation of Jones for Scout.com. "Looks like a basketball player. Needs to play outside. Is a very raw player who had a tendency to get his pads up off the go. Limited use of hands to shed – gets stuck on blocks. Has skills and was not out of place at the Senior Bowl workouts, but is no better than a developmental player at this time."

In the past three years, Jones has garnered more than 50 tackles-for-loss with the Eagles, but his ability to transfer his explosiveness from the ranks of Eastern Michigan to the NFL will be the biggest question mark surrounding him.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Trevor Laws: Draft analysts have Laws projected anywhere from a second-round pick to a fourth-round selection. On the lower end of that analysis is Marino, who also had positive comments about him.

"Works his butt off. Has very good quickness, plays with leverage and has good strength in his hands. Very intense and physical. Play effort was second to none," Marino wrote in his evaluation of Laws. "Might not be quick or stout enough to play a nose. A physical drive-through tackler. Will fight you, but doesn't always play big inside – got covered up some by big people. Has limitations, but overall was a very solid football player. Has strong early second-day draft potential."

Laws measured in at 6 feet and one-half inch and 304 pounds at the Combine, but he believes his shorter build could be an asset.

Dre Moore: At 6-foot-4, 305 pounds, Moore is generally considered a second- or third-round draft pick. Scout.com's Tom Marino, a former NFL scout, has a third-round grade on Moore, whom he has ranked as the fifth-best defensive tackle available in the draft.

"Short-area player who was a strong space eater on the inside," Marino wrote in his evaluation of Moore. "Didn't make a lot of plays, but restricted the running lanes inside and freed up the backers to make plays. Plays on his feet and did a good job stacking the double team. Has good but not exceptional quickness, but was ineffective as a pass rusher – strictly a bull rusher who didn't counter or collapse the pocket. Round 3 potential, but could go sooner due to team needs and the lack of quality at the top."

Moore started the last two seasons at defensive tackle for the Terrapins, playing in 44 games with 26 starts. He had 10½ sacks and 17½ tackles-for-loss during his collegiate career. According to the Terrapins bio on Moore, he had the highest strength index – a measure of pound-for-pound strength – on the team last spring. He also set the school record for defensive linemen with a 365-pound clean lift in 2005.

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.

Marino rates Dykes as a fourth- or fifth-round draft value.

"A very tough, strong nose who was a very effective run stopper," Marino 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."

LINEBACKER

Beau Bell: The 2007 Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year declined to do many of the drills at the NFL Scouting Combine in February because he was still bothered by a knee injury suffered at the Senior Bowl and was disappointed that he ran in the 4.9-second range when he expected to be about two-tenths of a second faster at his workout.

Bell's agent expects him to be drafted somewhere between the second and fourth rounds while Marino has Bell rated as a late second- or early third-round value and the fourth-ranked middle linebacker in the 2008 draft.

"Explosive hitter who plays hard and fast," Marino wrote in his evaluation of Bell. "Can leverage, play off and runs to the ball. Excellent speed and backside effort – motor runs on high all of the time. A big hitter – people go backwards on contact. Top (special) teams potential at the professional level. Felt he was marginal in pass coverage (tends to play straight-legged, limited reaction). Sustained an MCL injury in Senior Bowl."

Bell started all 12 games as a senior in 2007, and registered a career-high 126 tackles, which led the Mountain West and ranked 20th nationally. He also led the conference with five forced fumbles and had three sacks and 9½ tackles-for-loss.

Lamar Myles: Myles led the Louisville Cardinals as a junior in 2007 with 128 tackles, including eight for a loss, two sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, but one of the questions scouts have about him is his lack of relative size playing linebacker.

"Little guy (220 max), who was tough and competitive," wrote Marino in his evaluation of Myles for Scout.com. "Out of position playing on the inside, but may not be athlete enough to line up at the Will (weakside) backer position. A good deal stiffer than I would have expected. Adequate to process, but I didn't think he showed A-1 playing instincts. Runs around and made plays, but don't know where he fits in a pro scheme."

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Charles Godfrey: The 5-foot-11 ½, 207-pound cornerback ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash, but Marino, a longtime former NFL scout, believes Godfrey doesn't play as fast as he times.

"Does have quick feet and short-area quickness. A lot of bail technique, which leads me to believe that he would be best suited to play in a Cover-2 scheme or move inside to the safety position," Marino wrote in his evaluation of Godfrey. "Showed a tendency to bite on double moves and was late to turn and go – lets receiver close cushion far too quickly."

Still, Marino believes Godfrey can be a fourth- or fifth-round pick.

Godfrey described himself as a physical player who likes man-to-man coverage the best but also thinks he can play well in a Cover-2 scheme like the Vikings often employ.

Ryan Mundy: Mundy began his collegiate career at the University of Michigan before transferring to West Virginia for his senior season. He became a solid contributor to a team that went 11-2, including the playoffs, while registering 62 tackles and three interceptions.

He is considered a smart player, an assessment that Marino agrees with in his evaluation of Mundy for Scout.com.

"Is a very mature, smart and instinctive player," Marino writes. "Makes all the back-end calls and adjustments. Reads the run quickly, comes up under control and makes plays – not a head hunter, but more-than-adequate tackler. In zone, covered ground and showed good awareness and ball skills. Marginal man cover skills. Impressive in bowl victory vs. Oklahoma. If medically sound, has a chance to factor."

Others: There are a few other unconfirmed visits that the Vikings reportedly had, including Michigan State cornerback Travis Key, LSU defensive lineman Korey Raymond and North Carolina defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer. VikingUpdate.com confirmed that the Vikings also spent extra time with Auburn safety Eric Brock after his pro day.


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