Typically, we do this is blocks of 10. 1 thru 10, Laquon thru Mac Alexander, etc....Well, this particular group didn't provide the juiciest talkers ever, so we went 41-60 earlier this month. Listen to the hour of conversation below.
41 - S Anthony Harris -- I really liked Andrew Sendejo, but now he's in Philly. That opens the door for 2015 undrafted kid Anthony Harris. Harris has stepped in and performed wonderfully in Sendejo's absence(injury or suspension) many times over the last couple years. He has shown the ability to make some splash plays when needed as well, with the commonly used example of his forced fumble on Rams WR Cooper Kupp at the goalline of their game in 2017 at US Bank Stadium. Changed momentum, took points off the board and the Vikes cruised to a 24-7 win. Barring catastrophe, he will start along side Harrison Smith in 2019.
42 - LB Ben Gedeon -- Prototype hard-hitting 4-3 linebacker. Wouldn't use "splash" as any descriptive term for Gedeon, but he's been very good when called upon since being drafted out of Michigan. Because of the Nickel defense taking priority, he's only on the field for a bit more than a quarter of defense snaps in a season. He absolutely kicks ass on special teams. In the 4-3 base, I've heard that he might have competition in the form of new rookie LB Cam Smith from USC, but I'd expect Ben to win that fight this year.
43 - LB Reshard Cliett -- He had some buzz around him a year ago during camp and preseason that he may sniff out a chance to make the team. He did not. There's even less room for him in 2019, unfortunately.
44 - CB Nate Meadors -- Undrafted rookie CB from UCLA. Because there are a couple large voids in the secondary group, I'd never count out somebody jumping up and making a spot. But I've heard nothing about him, positively or negatively, which doesn't bode well for him moving the meter in camp.
45 - LB Greer Martini -- Very cool name and he went to Notre Dame. Played for Salt Lake in the AAF after spending 2018 on the Packers pratice squad. That is all.
47 - LS Kevin McDermott -- I like Kevin and I wasn't aware there was an issue with our 9.5 fingered long snapper until the team drafted Austin Cutting in the 7th round. The team might save a few hundred thousand if they went with the rookie over McDermott. I still favor Kevin to win the job, though, after going through hoops with the Air Force to delay Cutting's service time to let him play football, the coaches clearly like Cutting.
48 - FB Khari Blasingame -- He's a Vandy alum like Stephen Weatherly so he's probably very intelligent. 6' and 230lbs, he can block and mash people. Not sure what else he can do at this stage, and it's a very tall task to overtake CJ Ham for that spot. Probably a candidate for the practice squad.
49 - CB Terrence Alexander -- Another undrafted rookie corner, this time out of LSU. Grad transfer from Stanford. Only started 5 games for the LSU during his final season. 23 years old, so a bit wiser and more mature. I'm stretching here...any more undrafted rookie corners and I'll just start listing their favorite foods.
50 - LB Eric Wilson -- I've joked about it on air, but part of me wonders if Eric is secretly annoyed that Barr decided to return to Minnesota. Wilson jumped out of his skin last season when he got opportunities to play and I reallllllly like him as a play and part of this defense. He's definitely in the mix on the final roster, but he won't start.
51 - DL Hercules Mata'afa -- Sounds like he still has some speed after tearing up his knee a year ago. Undersized as a D-tackle, but incredible "get-off" burst at the snap, he's as advertised out of Washington State. I've heard the team likes him, so he needs to produce in practice and preseason games to find himself on the path to a roster spot. How many D-Liners will the Vikes keep? If DT is the place they consider him most useful, then he's battling the likes of Jalyn Holmes and rookie Armon Watts for looks. Chip, chair, chance.
52 - C John Keenoy -- Undrafted rookie center from Western Michigan. Probably rowed the boat with PJ, or at least was recruited into the boat by PJ before he left for Minnesota. Keenoy doesn't appear to be a factor in the immediate future for the Purple.
54 - LB Eric Kendricks -- Kendricks rocks, and he gets triple digit tackles every year because he's always around the ball. Sack totals have diminished since he snagged 4 in his rookie season. Maybe Zimmer doesn't send him as often anymore. I'd like more play-making out of guys like Kendricks and the next person on the list. But overall, he's our man in the middle and I dig him a lot.
55 - LB Anthony Barr -- Barr likes us. He really, really likes us. Enough to spurn the Jets and come home to Zimmer. 3 sacks last season were nice to see. Hard to say if it was scheme, or the guys in front of him, but I thought he was caught in the wrong spot on some big run plays against the purple last year. And back to what I mentioned with Kendricks. Need more play-making. Maybe that's forced fumbles, recoveries, interceptions, batted passes. For both Eric and Anthony. Can you imagine how drastically things would've changed had Barr actually went to the Jets? Do we still draft Bradbury? What does our LB depth chart look like? I want him to blow up this year.
56 - C Garrett Bradbury -- Speaking of Bradbury, here's our 18th overall pick. Needs to be great right away. Physically looks the part, and it sounds like he's doing everything he can to be mentally ready and sound, too. Whether it's Elflein or other OLiners mentoring him, OL coach Rick Dennison, Kubiak, etc....We need him to be 100% ready and capable by the Falcons game. So far, he's on track.
57 - LB Devante Downs -- Special teams work, including a mistake he made last year that led to a blocked Matt Wile punt at Lambeau. With the drafting of Cameron Smith, he's running out of room and time to compete/win a job on the final 53.
58 - LS Austin Cutting -- This kid might take Kevin McDermott's job as long snapper. Air Force academy grad, he's been granted permission to pursue football before he completes his service commitment, and the team drafted him in the 7th round to avoid a bidding war for him in the UDFA market. As stated above, I still favor Kevin, for now.
59 - LB Cameron Smith -- Very good, but not necessarily elite in any particular category, he was kind of the captain of the defense for the USC Trojans. Had 11 TFL's his junior year, and 7.5 last year while only playing in 9 games. Based on what I've heard, he'll have a fair shot to compete with Ben Gedeon for the 3rd LB position in the base 4-3. He'll also have to show that he's willing and able to smash on special teams. I think he makes the team.
60 - Tito Odenigbo -- Went to Illinois, then transferred to Miami for his final college season. 25 tackles and 6.5 TFL in 13 games for the Canes. He's Ifeadi's brother. I think Ifeadi has a real chance to make the team. There will not be a spot for Tito on the team at this stage.
LISTEN BELOW to PA & #92Noon's analysis with the Numbers Game! --->