Scout's Notebook: C Kory Lichtensteiger

The Vikings waived undrafted rookie free agent Jon Cooper and signed Kory Lichtensteiger, who had been released by the Denver Broncos. Here's a closer look at the newest Viking.

#67, Kory Lichtensteiger, C
(6-2 1/4, 295, 5.16-5.35) Bowling Green

Notes: Born 3/22/85, in Van Wert, Ohio. He was a first-team All-Northwest Conference pick as an offensive and defensive lineman at Crestview High School in Convoy, Ohio. He was a four year scholar athlete in both basketball and football. His other awards included conference Lineman of the Year his junior and senior seasons, and First-Team All-Ohio his junior and senior year. He totaled 125 tackles and eight sacks as a senior after registering 100 tackles and six sacks as a junior. Earned four letters in basketball during high school and took part in the weight events on the track team. Younger brother, Luke, was an offensive lineman at University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind. Another brother, Kirk, played basketball at Defiance College. Lichtensteiger earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Bowling Green. Married to Mandi, and the couple has two sons: Ayden and Kale.

College: Redshirted as a freshman in 2003. Started all 12 games at left guard as a redshirt freshman in 2004, recording 94 key blocks/knockdowns and graded 85.5% for blocking consistency while registering 15 crucial blocks that led to BGU touchdowns. Started all 11 games at left guard in 2005, earning second-team All-Mid American Conference honors with 90 key blocks, 12 TD blocks and 84.4% blocking efficiency. Moved to center during 2006 spring drills; earned
All-Mid American first-team and Academic All-MAC honors, shared team MVP honors with Devon Parks, started all 12 games at center with 92 knockdowns, 10 TD-resulting blocks and 84.7% blocking consistency while serving as one of the team's captains. Finished his college career in 2007 with 76 knockdowns, 16 touchdown-resulting blocks and 85.5% blocking efficiency.

Pre-Draft: Was the third-ranked center according to Scout.com's 2008 NFL pre-draft ratings. Did not work out at his school's Pro Day due to a torn labrum. He had an MRI and had the injury scoped after the 2008 Senior Bowl but was still in a sling. Measured 6022 (6'2 ¼"), 298 pounds and recorded a 1.75 10-yard dash, 2.98 20-yard dash, 5.25 40-yard dash, 23-inch vertical jump, 8'8" broad jump, 4.56 short shuttle, 7.60 three-cone drill in individual workouts prior to the 2008 NFL Draft. Did not lift due to the injury. Prior campus workouts included a 5.16 40-yard dash, 410-pound bench-press, 520-pound squat, 30 3/8-inch arm length, 9 ½-inch hands and a Wonderlic score of 29.

Kory LichtensteigerPro: A fourth-round draft choice (No. 108 overall) by the Denver Broncos in the 2008 NFL Draft. Signed a four-year contract worth $2.19 million that included a $484,250 signing bonus. He played in all 16 games for Broncos primarily on special teams as a rookie and also saw action as H-Back in goal-line situations. He was waived by the Broncos on September 4, 2009. Signed with the Vikings on September 6, 2009 to provide depth behind John Sullivan at center.

Positives: Tough, smart and competitive, he can be an explosive run blocker who works hard to finish his blocks. Plays with good feel and awareness. Good initial quickness. Sound functional football strength. Shows good short-area quickness to pull and trap effectively. Mirrors and slides well and can anchor nicely in pass protection. Can make the shotgun snap. Can also play guard and has been used as an extra tight end. Good football intelligence and should be able to handle all the line calls. Hard worker with sound character and dedication to the game. Mature and will be involved in the community. Experience in a similar zone-style blocking scheme with the Broncos last season.

Negatives: Average athleticism. Lacks great natural size and explosive power. It more a crafty technician than a dominant power-type player. Appears a bit methodical adjusting to a moving target and blocking in space. Can be overwhelmed by elite power and speed.

Summary: Does not have great size and athleticism but has enough tools to fill in and even potentially start in the NFL at some point. Is well-suited for the zone-style blocking scheme the Broncos ran last season and the Vikings utilize. He was not as well suited for the blocking scheme that new Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels brought with him from New England, and he appeared to be the odd man out when they acquired veteran Russ Hochstein from the Patriots earlier this summer.

 


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