Another Vikings visit revealed

Scout.com keeps breaking the visits and then breaking them down with in-depth analysis. The Vikings are scheduled to have another tackle among their predraft visitors. See what he had to say in an exclusive interview, when he talked about his passion for the game and an eagerness to join the NFL ranks.

Arizona offensive lineman Eben Britton can create a crowd. His presence as a potential first-round draft pick come April 25 drew 50 scouts and eight offensive line coaches to his pro day earlier this month, according to NFL.com.

The Vikings will get a closer look at him, as the offensive tackle is tentatively scheduled to visit the team April 8-9, according to Scout.com's Ed Thompson. Those are the presumed dates of the team's annual mass predraft visit, where prospects are introduced to coaches, staff and other prospects.

Britton, who measured in at 6-foot-6 ½ and 310 pounds, has become a prospect on the rise. He was originally viewed as a second-round value by media draft analysts and it's still uncertain if he holds enough value for the Vikings to select him with their 22nd overall pick in the draft. However, he will almost certainly be off the board before the Vikings pick again in the second round.

For Britton, the draft can't come soon enough.

"I think it's just really being patient, knowing that all of this is just a really long process, just having to keep my nose to the grindstone and keep working hard, knowing that all of this is going to pay off when April and the draft comes because it's a tremendously long process," he told Thompson in a phone interview. "There is a lot going on as far as my agent hearing from teams. I think patience is the biggest thing and not getting too anxious or eager to get to April."

Britton's love of the game came through when talking about preparing for the draft and, better yet, to finally become an NFL player. He was especially fond of his experience at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"That was huge. I just smiled from ear to ear at the combine because all my years at Arizona I had watched the combine on TV. I was like, ‘Man, one day I want to be there.' Being there this year was surreal. I couldn't believe it, being around all those great players and all those coaches that I've watched on TV since I was in high school, and then interviewing with those guys," he said. "It was just an unreal experience and something (where) I had to pinch myself when I realized where I was. It was awesome. It really was a moment when I was like, ‘Wow, this is for real. I'm really doing this and on my way into the NFL.'"

And it's obvious that even the violent aspects of the game appeal to Britton.

"Some people might say it's crazy, but I just like the violence of the game. It's either you or the guy in front of you. It's a battle, and there's a lot of great things to be said about that. It's a beautiful game on that level – it's just man versus man. We're gladiators of the modern time and it's a really special thing to be. There is a very warrior-Zen mindset that you can bring to football and I really enjoy that," said the creative writing major.

That creativity and athleticism helped Britton earn Freshman All-American honors in 2006, when his blocking consistency graded out as the second-highest in the Pac 10. He improved his blocking consistency in 2007, when he led the nation's right tackles in blocking consistency, and he went on to earn All-Pac 10 and All-American honors in 2007 and 2008.

He played in his first 24 games at right tackle for the Wildcats and his last 13 at left tackle.

"Britton is a durable, consistent performer who's solid in many aspects of the game. He has great size, long arms and mauls the opposition at the line," writes Scout.com draft analyst Chris Steuber in his analysis of Britton. "He has good balance and uses his hands effectively. He moves well laterally, despite not possessing the quickest feet, and uses his wingspan to force defenders off their course of action. He's a solid run blocker. He's not the most athletic tackle and struggles to get to the second level."

Britton had two offensive line coaches during his tenure at Arizona. The first, Eric Wolford, was a "great motivator," Britton said. The second, Bill Bedenbaugh, he credited with really refining his technique.

The end result is some positive feedback that Britton is getting from NFL scouts.

"I think they just see that I have great character and I'm a guy that can be a leader in the locker room. Toughness, really. I've seen my toughness really come through on film," he said. "Those are some really good qualities, I think, when coaches are looking at you."

The Vikings will get their look in less than two weeks.


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