Receivers, offensive linemen targets for Vikings during NFL Scouting Combine


Players begin arriving to Indianapolis Tuesday for the NFL's Scouting Combine. It's the biggest pre-draft event where scouts can test the size, speed and strength of players hoping to make the NFL.

Players, who arrive in waves, will spend the first few days getting looked over, measured and interviewed before the physical tests and workouts begin Thursday.

Special teamers, offensive linemen and running backs will be the first group to arrive Tuesday. The receivers, quarterbacks and tight ends report Wednesday.

The defensive linemen and linebackers come in Thursday and the defensive backs on Friday.

So what are the Vikings looking for this year? The general consensus is that they'll be trying to find some help for their young quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

"Fixing a passing game that was ranked 31st in the league last year is certainly one of the Vikings' top needs as they look to build an offense that's balanced enough to compliment Adrian Peterson," reported ESPN's Ben Goessling Monday.

That means the Vikings could be taking an especially close look at wide receivers and offensive linemen this week in Indy. Those are the spots the "NFL Draft Experts" expect the Vikings to be taking in the first round.

ESPN's Mel Kiper has Minnesota taking Kansas State guard Corey Whitehair with the 23rd overall pick.

"I just thought Whitehair – he played tackle, guard and center (in college) – but he's a guard and center in the NFL. He's an immediate hole-filler and a heck of a player."

FOX Sports draft expert Peter Schrager has the Vikings selecting Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell.

"Treadwell's the most fascinating prospect in this entire draft class. I am downright intrigued to see where he ends up in April. He's a crisp route runner who does it all on tape. He produces. But he will be underwhelming in the 40-yard dash and the vertical and broad jump this week in Indianapolis. This will be your classic case of production vs. measurables. And for that reason, he may slip all the way to No. 23."

According to NFL.com, the SEC's leading receiver is hoping to answer some of those questions by running "in the 4.4s or 4.5s," but scouts will have to wait until his pro day March 28 in Oxford, Mississippi to see it.

WalterFootball.com also has the Vikings going with a receiver in the first round – Baylor's Corey Coleman. NFL.com's Daniel Jermiah agrees.

"The coaches at Baylor have told scouts that he will post times in the high-4.3s or low-4.4s. However, some scouts believe he will more likely run in the low-4.5s. From what I've studied on tape, I estimate his speed at around 4.45. While his speed is debatable, everyone expects him to post crazy jumping numbers. How crazy? A vertical leap of 42-plus inches and a broad jump of more than 11 feet."

So while it would seem receiver might be the obvious choice for the Vikings, if Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman's draft history is any indication, Vikings fans should expect the unexpected.


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