Even relative unknowns get Vikings visits

While the Vikings had a cast of first- and second-round picks visiting on April 8-9, it isn't just the big names that were attending. Among the invitees was a little-known offensive tackle who is hoping to continue to receive recognition.

Even the common names aren't always well-known in the NFL draft. Pat Brown is a regular-sounding name, but not many draftniks likely know of him.

The Minnesota Vikings know of him and made him one of their 30 prospects to visit Winter Park on April 8, according to Charlie Bernstein of InsideKnights.com, the Central Florida site on Scout.com.

Brown is an offensive tackle from Central Florida that isn't even listed among the top 20 at his position in Scout.com's rankings (NFLDraftScout.com has him ranked as the 44th offensive tackle in the 2009 draft). That means Brown likely will be waiting until after the draft before he receives a call to the NFL.

The Vikings are often aggressive after the draft when trying to sign undrafted rookies and they have proven a willingness to spend more on signing bonuses for players they think can contribute. In a similar situation last year, the team signed USC offensive tackle Drew Radovich with the lure of a $23,000 signing bonus as an undrafted player. While Radovich ended up on injured reserve, head coach Brad Childress has mentioned him a couple times this offseason when talking about the competition at right tackle.

While Radovich had injury concerns from his USC days, no such reservations exist with Brown. The University of Central Florida left tackle had the most starts in the nation at that position during the course of his career, earning All-Conference USA honors in each of his final two seasons with the Knights. In 2007, he was a first-team selection; in 2008, he was a second-teamer.

The 6-foot-5, 292-pounder helped lead the Knights to a 10-4 record, which was good enough to win the conference. He was part of All-American running back Kevin Smith's nation-leading 2,567-yard performance. The Knights set a team record with an amazing 3,287 yards on the ground and 502 points under former Vikings coach George O'Leary.

While Brown didn't make any postseason all-star games to help improve his draft recognition among NFL scouts, he likes the opportunity in front of him, even if it's as developmental prospect.

"From high school to right now, it's a lot more than I ever imagined," Brown told the Kane County Chronicle last year as he prepared to break the record for most games as a left tackle. "It's definitely different, especially as an offensive lineman, to get this sort of attention. I'm not used to it, but I like it."


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