VU Daily Blog: 4/9/10

Jimmy Clausen Day had a couple of Vikings connections. Plus, news on Bryant McKinnie, Jared Allen, Vlad Ducasse, Carlos Dunlap, Chris McCoy and more. Take a spin through all kinds of Vikings news and analysis with's blog.

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Posted by: Kevin Brown
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 10:17:00 PM

Spear hunting with Jared Allen

As you'd imagine, Vikings Pro Bowl DE Jared Allen brings an all-out intensity to everything he does; including spear hunting.

"My dad hunted, my grandfather hunted, and I just remember being around it a lot growing up," Allen said, in this American Hunter story by Ben O'Brien.  "I didn't get into it personally until after my senior year of college, after I had the time and the money.  I was probably about 22, and it brought back those childhood memories being out there, carrying the ammo.  I just love being out in the country, I grew up in the country."

In recent years, Allen has bagged a red stag in New Zealand, a black bear in northern Idaho and a buffalo with a bow.  He also took a wild boar in Texas equipped with only a knife, a hunt that he called "absolute controlled chaos."

The more adventurous and wild, the better for Allen, who eats every animal he takes in the field.

Okay, now back to pre-NFL Draft coverage.

Posted by: Kevin Brown
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 7:16:00 PM

Bevell watches Clausen workout

As noted in a previous post, the Vikings had offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and scout Ryan Monnens on hand for the workout of QB Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame.

The video footage on NFL Network showed both looking less interested than others, as Bevell could be observed chatting with draft guru Mike Mayock during much of the workout.  Still, Bevell and Monnens had a good view of Clausen's footwork, accuracy and throwing mechanics.

"He made some nice throws," Bevell said in this Chicago Tribune report.  "He really did a good job for himself in the types of throws. He threw some deep corner routes, he threw some comebacks. It gives you an opportunity to see how that ball comes out."

It looked to me like Clausen was still gingerly favoring a toe injury, had a high-effort delivery and a sometimes awkward follow-through on his throws.

The general consensus still appears to be that Clausen will be gone when the Vikings pick comes up at No. 30, but a couple mock drafts have him landing right there.

In fact, this Sporting News piece lists the Vikings as one of three teams that Clausen is "ready-made" for.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll tweets:  "Our guys had a great mtg w/ jimmy & I got to talk w/ him during the mtg too-- he's awesome.... It was a big day for jimmy!"

That kind of candor seems to be either Mike Tice-like or pure smokescreen to potentially drive up some trade value for the Seahawks picking at No. 14.

Posted by: Kevin Brown
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 4:43:00 PM

UMass lineman a consideration for Vikings

Another of the many players the Vikings might consider at the bottom of Round One in the upcoming draft is Massachusetts OT Vladimir Ducasse.  According to a recent National Football Post report, the Vikings are one of four teams with whom he has had visits.

Ducasse is an interesting prospect.  He was born in Haiti, where he lost his mother when he was five.  He didn't come to the U.S. until 2002, in order to pursue a college education and live with his father.  He didn't play football until his junior year of high school, but he's learned quickly, started all 23 games over the course of 2008-09 at UMass, was team captain and can speak three languages.

He is still considered raw and unrefined in terms of technique, but he's a big-bodied left tackle who might begin his career inside at guard before eventually anchoring the weak side.

At 6-foot-4 5/8, 332 pounds, Ducasse has near prototype size and mass.  He did 29 reps at 225 pounds, posted a 1.76 10-yard split time, 2.86 20-yard, 5.11-5.30 40-yard time, 27-inch vertical jump, 8'-8" broad jump, 4.46 short shuttle and 7.47 three-cone drill.

It's not a high priority for the Vikings, but they wouldn't mind snagging a potential left tackle for the future who lives a quieter life off the field than current starter Bryant McKinnie.

Posted on Twitter at: 2:53:00 PM
Positional Analysis: Wide receivers: The Vikings have dedicated a lot of resources to improving their receiving co...

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 1:42:00 PM

Vikings had two reps at Clausen's workout

The Vikings had two representatives, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and scout Ryan Monnens, at the workout for Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

According to an report, 16 teams attended his pro day, including St. Louis Rams GM Billy Devaney, head coach Steve Spagnuolo and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. The Browns, Seahawks and Bills were also in attendance, according to's Gil Brandt, who reported that Clausen checked in at 6-foot-3 and weighed 224 pounds.

Former Gophers quarterback and Vikings defensive back Marc Trestman, who also coached running backs and quarterbacks for the Vikings in the 1980s and 1990s, ran Clausen's workout. 


Posted on Twitter at: 1:19:00 PM
Pre-Draft Team Needs: Minnesota Vikings: The restrictions on the final four teams in the playoffs pretty much curt...

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 1:00:00 PM

Mock draft tweaking

While we wait for further reports from Jimmy Clausen's pro day (the Notre Dame QB completed 57 of 59 passes, according to the Associated Press), we have updated our mock draft at

This one is more of a tweak than a completely upgraded version, but two picks have changed and other verbiage/explanations have been updated to reflect recent trades/free-agent activities.

If you haven't viewed it in the past couple weeks or want to see the new picks for the Steelers and Packers, you can see John Holler's work right here.


Posted on Twitter at: 12:50:00 PM
Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen completed 57 of 59 passes at his scripted pro day Friday, according to the AP. He didn't run. #vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 11:30:00 AM
In a jump ball w/ Peppers, that's certainly true. RT @TNTMNTERRI: @VikingUpdate this time Mckinnie is going 2 have the upper hand. #vikings

Posted by: Kevin Brown
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 10:49:00 AM

Report: Vikings to work out Florida's Dunlap

The Vikings appear pretty well set at defensive end with Jared Allen and the expected return of Ray Edwards.  They also have Brian Robison in reserve, with Jayme Mitchell and the recently signed Mike Montgomery also.  But Edwards might become an unrestricted free agent after the 2010 season, so it never hurts to keep the cupboard well stocked.  Especially when it comes to pass rushers.

That said, a Yahoo! Sports report from Joe Fortenbaugh of the National Football Post says the Vikings scheduled a workout with Florida DE Carlos Dunlap, one of the draft's more impressive physical specimens.

Dunlap (6-5 3/4, 277) has put up 22 reps at 225 pounds and run 40 times in the 4.58-4.71 range in predraft workouts.  He's also recorded a 1.60 (10-yard), 2.61 (20-yard), 4.61 (20-yard shuttle), and 7.21 (3-cone drill) time.  He vertical-jumped 31 1/2 inches and posted a 9-4 broad jump.

Dunlap has some character questions (he was suspended for the SEC title game against Alabama after a DUI arrest in which he was found asleep at the wheel of his idling car at an intersection at 3:25 a.m. on Dec. 1, 2009) that the Vikings are likely checking into more thoroughly.

He merits consideration in the second- or third-round, if the Vikings are convinced his off-field issues are not indicative of a chronic problem and that they feel they can develop his skills.

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 10:08:00 AM

McCoy among visitors … but not Colt or Gerald

Middle Tennessee State linebacker/defensive end Chris McCoy is among the draft prospects that have visited with the Vikings, according to draft analyst Chris Steuber.

A two-year starter for the Blue Raiders, the 6-foot-3, 251-pound McCoy was named the Sun Belt Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year this past season, after he recorded 64 tackles, 20 for a loss, and seven sacks. McCoy participated in the East-West Shrine Game this offseason and produced three tackles during the game. But as good as McCoy was as a senior, he didn't receive an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine.

To see how McCoy did at his pro day and which other teams have made extra efforts on scouting him, click on Steuber's report right here.


Posted on Twitter at: 9:28:00 AM
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Posted on Twitter at: 9:28:00 AM
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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 9:19:00 AM

McKinnie addresses Julius Peppers signing

When the Chicago Bears cut open their checkbook and paid the top unrestricted free agent on the market, Julius Peppers, the immediate reaction among Vikings fans was to remember the success Peppers had against Bryant McKinnie on Dec. 20, 2009.

Peppers looked a step quicker than McKinnie in a 26-7 Vikings loss to the Carolina Panthers, Peppers' old team. The defensive end finished with one sack, one tackle for a loss and three quarterback hurries, and McKinnie was replaced by Artis Hicks.

During a chat Thursday on, McKinnie was asked about facing Peppers twice a year now that he's in the NFC North.

"First off, I was hurt when I played against him," McKinnie replied. "I'm really excited to play against him again and get another shot at that. I'm looking forward to playing him twice per season."

McKinnie told Viking Update after that game that he was trying to adjust his stance after it was made public that something in his presnap stance was tipping if the Vikings were running or passing. At the time, he said he was thinking too much.

McKinnie also named a few other defensive ends that have presented him with big challenges during his NFL career.

"When I first got in the league, it was KGB (Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila) in Green Bay. I had to play him twice a year. He was fast, and he (had) good technique," McKinnie wrote in the chat. "Dwight Freeney is a great pass rusher. He has speed and the spin move. And, can't forget my own teammate, Jared Allen. He's good. Now I get to see another good one twice a year in Julius Peppers too."

McKinnie also reiterated his statements following the Pro Bowl on why he missed that game, saying the Toradol injection he took for the NFC Championship wore off during the practice week for the Pro Bowl and he tried to meet with the trainer for the NFC squad.


Posted on Twitter at: 8:21:00 AM
Pre-Draft Team Needs: Green Bay Packers: The Packers tend to stay out of free agency under executive V.P., general...

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Friday, April 09, 2010 at 8:06:00 AM

What's left in free agency?

The Vikings still have the ability to sign unrestricted free agents, despite a new rule in 2010 limiting their activity as a "Final Four" team in the 2009 playoffs. But, frankly, there isn't much out there on the unrestricted free-agent market.

Only three of the top 20 available players in's free-agent database were unrestricted. Two of them have already signed elsewhere and the other – Terrell Owens – has a "speak only when spoken to" kind of relationship with Brad Childress.

The top of the free-agent class is just too loaded with restricted free agents, and even on a position-specific needs list, there isn't much that is attractive – at least attractive enough to jump into a prohibitive contract before seeing what the draft has to offer teams. While the Vikings' injury and age situation at cornerback likely has them looking at draft options at that position, there are some possibilities there on the free-agent market. But why pay a big contract to a free agent when the draft could bring a player just as talented for less money?

Because of the labor uncertainty, besides a select few players and a select few teams, 2010 hasn't proved to be a desirable year for free agency for players or teams.

The Vikings just might be the poster child for that statement.


Posted on Twitter at: 7:48:00 AM
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Posted on Twitter at: 7:48:00 AM
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Posted on Twitter at: 7:48:00 AM
Ghee sounds like Vikings' kind of corner: Wake Forest cornerback Brandon Ghee is a likely second-round candidate, ...

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Thursday, April 08, 2010 at 7:19:00 PM

Vikings preseason schedule finalized

The Vikings finally know their full schedule … for the preseason anyway. With the announcement of the final two games, their full preseason schedule is as follows:

Sat., Aug. 14: at St. Louis Rams, 7 p.m. Central
Sun., Aug. 22: at San Francisco 49ers, 7 p.m. Central
Sat., Aug. 28: vs. Seattle Seahawks, 7 p.m. Central
Thurs., Sept. 2: vs. Denver Broncos, 7 p.m. Central

The Thursday preseason finale has many people believing that the Vikings will indeed open the regular season the following Thursday at the New Orleans Saints in a rematch of the NFC Championship Game.

The regular season schedule is expected to be released soon, possibly next week, but no exact date has been announced.


Posted on Twitter at: 7:18:00 PM
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Posted on Twitter at: 1:01:00 PM
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Posted on Twitter at: 8:29:00 AM
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Posted on Twitter at: 7:27:00 AM
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