VU Daily Blog: 5/10/10

From the best of the undrafted in NFL history to the appreciation of a modern-day longshot to a kicker trying to make the U.S. Open, see all the Vikings news and speculation as it progresses through the VU Daily Blog.

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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 4:44:00 PM

Longwell misses U.S. Open, has ‘a blast'

Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell didn't qualify for the U.S. Open in his first attempt Monday, but he enjoyed trying, despite not playing up to his high standards.

Longwell shot an 83 at the MetroWest Golf Club in Orlando, Fla., where he resides in the offseason, but he did play with the event's winner, Philip Choi, also of Orlando, an amateur who shot a 65.

"Didn't play great, but had two bad breaks which led to big numbers," Longwell said in a text message to Viking Update. "Had two doubles (double-bogies) and a quad, only one birdie. … Great experience."

Longwell wasn't near the cut line for the tournament (scores of 71 and better made it through), but he got better as the day went on.

"I shot 38 on the back nine, so got it going a little better," he said. "I'll be better next time just having gone through it once and knowing what to expect."

Longwell wasn't the only professional athlete trying to cross over into golf. Cowboys QB Tony Romo, former Braves pitcher John Smoltz, former NFL QB Billy Joe Tolliver and current Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee were among the well-known athletes trying testing their golf skills in U.S. Open qualifiers across the nation.

But Longwell was impressed with Choi, the winning player at MetroWest on Monday.

"I played with him and what a blast to watch him play. His longest par putt all day was four feet," Longwell said.


Posted on Twitter at: 11:52:00 AM
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Posted by: Kevin Brown
on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 9:13:00 AM

Sherels grateful for opportunity with Vikings

CB Marcus Sherels, a Rochester native signed to a free-agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings this week after concluding his career at the University of Minnesota, is looking forward to his budding pro career continuing at OTAs beginning on May 16.

Sherels was first noticed the 5-foot-9, 175-pound cornerback when he clocked a 4.37 40-yard dash and a 42-inch vertical jump at his Pro Day before the draft.  He then parlayed a tryout where he was offered a contract from more than 30 players on hand during the team's post-draft mini camp.

"Every opportunity you get on the field, you have to show the coaches what you can do," Sherels told Guy Limbeck of the Rochester Post Bulletin. "You can't take anything for granted."

Sherels has reportedly gained 14 pounds since his senior season, but would like to bulk up to about 180 if he can. He hopes he can add depth at cornerback and show his skills as a punt returner, possibly earning a spot on the eight-man practice squad.

"I just want a chance," Sherels said. "I'll play wherever they want me to."

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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 7:06:00 AM

Randle, Moon make list of top undrafted rookies

As 16 undrafted rookies try to make the Vikings roster, has listed the top 10 undrafted rookies of all-time. Two former Vikings made the list – one that was a Viking at the outset of his career and another that was a Viking in the twilight of his career.

Defensive tackle John Randle – he can now be called Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle – was ranked No. 8 among the all-time undrafted.

"Randle was an outstanding talent at Texas A&I University–Kingsville and even more of a force at the pro level from his debut year in 1990. He probably fell through the draft cracks because information on players from smaller schools wasn't nearly as readily available to NFL teams and scouts back then as it is today. Seven Pro Bowls, six first-team All-Pro selections and one 1990s All-Decade team selection later, Randle staked his claim as one of the most dominant defensive tackles ever to play the game," the photo essay said about Randle.

Randle played for the Vikings from 1990-2000, then spent his final three years with the Seattle Seahawks.

Warren Moon struggled to break into the NFL, likely because of the perception back then about African-American quarterbacks, but once he was given his chance there weren't many struggles on the playing field. Vikings fans got to see two 4,000-yard seasons in Moon's career.

"Most casual fans aren't aware Moon spent six seasons in the Canadian Football League – and did a damn good job there – before unleashing his game on the NFL," read Moon's entry. "It's almost inconceivable that someone who wasn't drafted accomplished everything he did at the NFL level – nine Pro Bowls, 49,325 passing yards, 291 touchdown passes while playing for four different teams. Moon also threw five touchdown passes against the Bengals on two different occasions. The only missing piece of his resume is a Super Bowl appearance."

Despite starting his career in the CFL, Moon still put in 16 NFL seasons, including 1994-96 with the Vikings. In those first two seasons (an injury sidelined him in 1996), he completed more than 60 percent of his passes and accumulated more than 4,200 yards in each of them.


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