The Vikings' need at cornerback is well-chronicled with injuries of varying seriousness to starters Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin, so the team continues to investigate its possibilities with some of the top prospects in April's draft.
The latest evidence is a visit they have scheduled with South Florida CB Jerome Murphy, according to Aaron Wilson of RavensInsider.com on the Scout.com network.
Murphy has a few qualities the Vikings look for in the cornerbacks in the Cover-2 defensive system. He has the size at 6-foot-1/4 and 196 pounds, and he comes from a physical background having come into his college career playing safety.
Because of his early safety experience, teams also have questions about his speed. He said the fastest 40-yard dash he ran was a 4.37 a few weeks before the NFL Scouting Combine, but in Indianapolis his best 40 time was 4.50.
His safety experience could be an asset with the Vikings, who also talked with Murphy at the Combine.
"I came in to college playing safety, so that's where I get that physical mentality from," he said in Indianapolis, where he also described his style of play.
"A physical, cover-like type corner that likes to hit. Exciting to see."
Murphy, who is projected to be about a third-round value, is considered one of the biggest hitters in the draft at cornerback and one of the best in run support.
As a senior, he had 77 tackles, four interceptions, eight passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 13 starts. That was a continuation of his maturation as a defender. As a junior, he had 67 tackles, 3½ of them for losses, two interceptions and five passes defensed.
His style on the field isn't the only thing that had people in Indianapolis talking. He also finds a style that he carries with him every day – a set of white gold teeth.
"They're different," he admitted. "You see other people with gold teeth, but they're gold and I like white gold. I like to be different."
Although he also plays with the teeth in, he says they aren't dangerous. And he says they aren't very visible to opponents because he also has a mouthpiece over the top row.
While his flare off the field is interesting, he will ultimately be judged by his performance on the field, and he said the biggest adjustment for him will be in the mental part of the game and learning the plays.
However, his playing style might be just what the Vikings are looking for.
"I'm not really a big chance taker. I'd rather just come up and make a play instead of just taking chances," he said.
Sound like the attributes the Vikings look for in their cornerbacks.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Visiting CB brings a golden style
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