Top rookie ready for prime time?
More than a few draft experts had Vikings rookie safety Tyrell Johnson projected as a possible starter as a rookie. Due to the unfortunate injury to veteran Madieu Williams, it looks like the Vikings are going to need Johnson to step up sooner rather than later.
Thrown to the wolves a bit in starting the team’s preseason opener last week, Johnson didn’t necessarily stand out, but he did seem to at least earn some credibility by stepping out there with the “lights on” as coach Brad Childress said. Most impressive were probably a pair of potential touchdown-saving open-field tackles that he made early in the game.
Johnson has all the physical tools to be an outstanding all-around player. The key for him at this point, as a rookie, will be for him to be in the right place at the right time.
Still no interest in Scott
What does it say that the Vikings are still not interested in re-signing defensive end Darrion Scott?
With Kenechi Udeze out for the season as he battles leukemia, Jayme Mitchell on IR with a knee injury, and Brian Robison recovering from surgery to remove a varicose vein that was leading to blood clots in his leg, the team signs journeyman rookie Chris Norwell to pick up the reps.
Without question, Scott is at least a decent football player who is more than physically capable of providing something at the NFL level. But the Vikings, and apparently everyone else in the league, are not impressed with the character issue.
Before suffering a dislocated shoulder in the Seattle game it looked like rookie free agent tackle Drew Radovich had already bypassed Chase Johnson on the depth chart for a backup spot on the offensive line. Radovich hopes to be back in two weeks.
Harsh words for one former Vikings from one unnamed NFL scout in this snippet in Pro Football Weekly: “(Chiefs MLB) Napoleon Harris is awful. He has no thump to him at all. He is the last one moving. He has no instincts. He always runs to a block and gives himself up. All his movement is lateral, never downhill. He shows no second effort. He looks like Tarzan and plays like Jane. He belongs on the third team. He is stealing a paycheck.” Harris played pretty well for the Vikings a couple years ago, but they clearly made the correct choice in re-signing E.J. Henderson and letting Harris leave. It would not be surprising if Harris does not make the opening-day roster in Kansas City this season.
Wide receiver Todd Lowber, the former track and basketball star who went to camp with the Vikings last summer, is currently with the Dallas Cowboys. He finished last season on the New York Giants practice squad, but was waived prior to entering training camp.
Similarly, Chandler Williams, a seventh-round pick by Minnesota last year, finished last season on the practice squad with the Dolphins. He is now in camp with the Atlanta Falcons.
Another recent media report linked the Vikings to interest in trading for QB Chris Simms with Tampa Bay. It’s just speculation, folks. No actual source; same for earlier rumors that they would be interested in Chad Pennington. The team has cast its lot at quarterback for this season and the guys they have are it.