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Minnesota Vikings Hot Wire News Bites

Vikings | Eric Wilson: Signs tender

Wilson has signed his restricted free agent tender for $3.259 million for the 2020 season, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Wilson suited up for all 16 games in 2019 and accumulated 62 tackles (36 solo) and three sacks in the process. He currently projects as the team's starting weakside linebacker heading into 2020. The 25-year-old will look to pick up where he left off this year, as he finished Week 17 against the Bears last season with a career-high 12 tackles (seven solo) and one sack.

Vikings | Jake Bargas Inks deal with Vikings
May 2, 2020

Bargas has signed with the Vikings, the team's official website reports. Bargas went undrafted out of North Carolina. He played in 48 college games, recording 21 receptions for 189 yards and two touchdowns in the process. The fullback will now look to earn a spot on the team's 53-man roster.

Vikings | Nakia Griffin-Stewart Picked up by Vikings
May 2, 2020

Griffin-Stewart has signed with the Vikings, the team's official website reports. Griffin-Stewart is an undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh. At 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, he will look to make an impression during training camp. He recorded 19 receptions for 185 yards and a touchdown during his lone season with the Panthers and is primarily viewed as a blocking tight end.

Vikings | Vikings RB Dalvin Cook plans to participate in the team's virtual voluntary offseason program
April 26, 2020

Cook is entering the last year of his rookie deal. The backfield remains unchanged after the draft: Cook will get all the work he can handle, Alexander Mattison will see sporadic backup usage and is nothing more than a high-end handcuff, and Mike Boone will flash in the preseason but ultimately provide little value without multiple injuries occurring. It seems likely the Vikings and Cook manage to get some sort of deal done before the season starts.

Vikings | Vikings signed Texas A&M WR Quartney Davis
April 25, 2020

Davis played both in the slot and out wide with the Aggies, ultimately posting a 99-1,201-11 receiving line from 2018-2019. He has an intriguing size (6-foot-1 and 201-pounds) and athleticism (4.54-second 40-yard dash; 35.5-inch vertical), although the combination didn't exactly lead to a ton of big plays. Overall, just two of Davis' 54 receptions in 2019 went for 25-plus yards. Perhaps time with an NFL team will help David begin to transition his above-average traits into actual production. A strong offseason performance could help him find a practice squad spot.

Vikings | Vikings selected Washburn OG Kyle Hinton with the No. 253 overall pick
April 25, 2020

Via Dane Brugler of The Athletic, "A three-year starter at Washburn, Hinton lined up at left tackle in head coach Craig Schurig’s pro style offense, lining up in two- and three-point stances. An All-American in two sports in college, he left his mark at Washburn and his coaches are very complimentary of his football character and work ethic. Hinton is extremely quick off the ball and stays balance din his slide-and-redirect, rarely ending up on the ground. He was able to latch-and-drive Division-II defenders, but it will be a different story vs. NFL power as his core strength is a concern. Overall, Hinton faces a position switch and a sizable jump in competition at the next level, but his athletic traits and intelligence are exciting foundation traits for a team willing to be patient, projecting as a low risk, high reward guard/center."

Vikings | Vikings selected Mississippi State S Brian Cole with the No. 249 overall pick
April 25, 2020

Cole spent time at East Mississippi Community College before playing 17 games with the Bulldogs from 2018-2019. He totaled 78 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, four pass deflections and two interceptions, while also notably being named team captain in 2019. The former four-star athlete recruit possesses the type of size (6-foot-1 and 213-pounds) and athleticism to warrant this late-round selection, but he'll need to prove his worth on special teams in order to make this roster.

Vikings | Vikings selected Iowa QB Nate Stanley with the No. 244 overall pick
April 25, 2020

Stanley (6'4/235) made 39 consecutive starts in Iowa's I-formation offense, finishing with a 27-12 record as only the second three-year captain in school history. The Hawkeyes' offense relies on quick throws and intelligent opportunities downfield, but Stanley's career average depth of completion (6.4) emphasizes his reluctance to take shots. Having said that, tight windows don’t intimidate him, and his concentration inexplicably increased on third and fourth downs (70-for-121, 57.9 percent). With a spotty track record of overthrowing his teammates by 15-plus yards at times, Stanley projects as a late-round developmental project whose ceiling is that of a career backup's. The current No. 2 quarterback for the Vikings is Sean Mannion, so Stanley has a chance.

Vikings | Vikings selected Michigan State DE Kenny Willekes with the No. 225 overall pick
April 25, 2020

Willekes (6'3/264) started 31 consecutive games in four redshirt years after walking on with the Spartans, recording 73 tackles and seven-plus sacks on an average 714 snaps in each of his last three seasons. Arguably this class' best run defender off the edge, Willekes was rewarded for his maniacal work ethic with the Burlsworth Trophy for the nation's top walk-on in 2019, adding back-to-back Michigan State MVP honors to boot. One of the most accomplished players in the history of the school's illsutrious program, it's worth noting Willekes' poor athletic testing across the board is a red flag. Word to the wise: we still wouldn't bet against him carving out a rotational role.

Vikings | Vikings selected Michigan S Josh Metellus with the No. 205 overall pick
April 25, 2020

Metellus (5’11/209) was a three-year starting strong safety at Michigan who earned an All-Big Ten honorable mention as a senior after recording 74 tackles and two interceptions. An overly aggressive safety with a compact frame, Metellus was better as a downhill tackler than in pass coverage. His instincts and first step need to improve to see passing-downs snaps in the NFL, especially because he only has 39th percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism and 4.55 speed. While below-average as a coverage safety, Metellus may be a productive player against the run and on special teams based on his physicality.

Vikings | Vikings selected Oregon State OT Blake Brandel with the No. 203 overall pick
April 25, 2020

Brandel (6'6/308) was a PAC-12 snap hog, making 39 career starts at left tackle after nine on the right side as a rookie. Technically sound, Brandel also committed remarkably few penalties, but he has short arms (33 1/4") for his size. The Vikes, who entered Day 3 with 13 picks, are taking a flier on Brandel's size and reliability. He profiles well as a practice squadder.

Vikings | Vikings selected Miami WR K.J. Osborn with the No. 176 overall pick
April 25, 2020

Osborn (5'11/203) transferred to Miami for his final collegiate year and led the Hurricanes in receiving yards (547) in his only season in the ACC. He proved a mediocre athlete at Indy's combine, highlighting his participation with an above-average 40 (4.48) at his position, but Osborn ultimately lacks the 'oomph' to break tackles and fight for yards after the catch at the next level. He'll compete for a special teams role in the league, although the Vikings' receiver depth chart isn't exactly a tough one to climb.

Vikings | Vikings selected Temple CB Harrison Hand with the No. 169 overall pick
April 25, 2020

Via The Athletic's draft guru, Dane Brugler, "A one-year starter at Temple, Hand was the boundary cornerback in defensive coordinator Jeff Knowles scheme, playing both man and zone coverages. He was part of ex-coach Matt Rhule’s first recruiting class at Baylor, but called Waco a 'big culture shock' and made a smooth transition to Temple in 2019, leading the team in interceptions. Hand is a competitive player with the eyes and toughness required to read and react, trusting his vision and not allowing himself to overthink things. While he isn’t a poor athlete, he doesn’t play with sudden qualities and lacks the textbook technique to help compensate. Overall, Hand is quick to sort from off coverage, but lacks the necessary twitch in his hips and feet to be a consistent playmaker at the position, projecting as a possible backup zone corner."

Vikings | Vikings selected Oregon LB Troy Dye with the No. 132 overall pick
April 25, 2020

Dye (6’3/231) was a four-year starting weakside linebacker at Oregon who earned three-straight second-team All-Pac 12 honors. He made at least 84 tackles and 8.0 tackles for loss in every season, allowing just 6.8 yards per target in coverage. His role for the Ducks often put him on tight ends. Some believe he could also see reps at safety with the Vikings, or elsewhere later in his career. He has the speed and instincts to play on passing downs as long as he’s healthy following his postseason knee surgery. Dye should at least be a quality special teamer in the NFL, but he could carve out a linebacker/safety role in subpackages for Minnesota short-term.

Vikings | Vikings selected Baylor DL James Lynch with the No. 130 overall pick
April 25, 2020

Lynch (6’4/289) was a two-year starting defensive end who set sack records at Baylor and earned first-team All-American honors as a junior after leading the FBS in pressures. He’ll be a three-tech in the NFL, but he rushed from the edge often in the Bear’s three-man front. His power, hand moves, and chase led to 13.5 sacks and 19.5 TFLs as a junior, but his 7th percentile arms are a concern. A highly productive player with 53rd percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism, Lynch profiles as a rotational-level defensive tackle in the NFL despite average burst.

Vikings | Vikings selected South Carolina DE D.J. Wonnum with the No. 117 overall pick
April 25, 2020

The FBS Comeback Player of the Year in 2019, Wonnum (6'5/258) mustered through 216 snaps with a sprained ankle as a true junior before returning and finishing his career with the ninth-most tackles for loss (29.5) in school history. Although he never eclipsed six sacks in any season as a three-year starter, his straight-line speed (4.73 40) and pounce (10'4" broad) will be coveted at the next level. He needs to primarily focus on developing more pass-rush moves if he expects to become a full-time starter at any point in his career.

Vikings | Vikings selected Mississippi State CB Cameron Dantzler with the No. 89 overall pick
April 24, 2020

Primarily used as a dual-threat quarterback in high school, Dantzler (6'2/188) essentially learned to play corner as a two-year starter at Mississippi State, permitting fewer than 77 yards receiving in every game in his final year. While his toothpick frame suggests a pushover, Dantzler lived in opposing receivers' shoulder pads (specifically in man coverage) at the collegiate level. Unfortunately, his three pass interference penalties in 2019 can likely be attributed to his lethargic 4.64 40-time. Dantzler's physicality on special teams will be his best friend until coordinators discover how to use his length and above-average press abilities in coverage.

Vikings | Vikings selected Boise State OT Ezra Cleveland with the No. 58 overall
April 24, 2020

Cleveland was a late riser who was talked about as a potential first-rounder. Cleveland (6’6/311) earned the job as Boise State's starting left tackle as a redshirt freshman, garnering back-to-back first-team All-Mountain West Conference honors in his final two seasons at the collegiate level. A true snap hog who soaked up 95.6 percent of the team's offensive snaps as a three-year starter, Cleveland's tall stance still leaves him susceptible to being overpowered while simultaneously limiting his ability in any power-running scheme. He still turned heads at Indy's combine in leading all tackles in the Wonderlic (30), bench press (30), short shuttle (4.46), 3-cone (7.26), and 40-yard dash (4.93). His mobility and SPARQ athleticism (91st-percentile) should help him land as a work-in-progress starter at left tackle immediately. Cleveland's arrival in Minnesota could mean the end of the Trent Williams-Vikings rumors. Cleveland is a perfect fit for OC Gary Kubiak's offense.

Vikings | Vikings selected TCU CB Jeff Gladney with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft
April 23, 2020

A four-year starter at TCU, Gladney (5’10/191) earned second-team All-Big 12 honors in 2018 after allowing an elite 4.7 yards per target before taking a step back in his final season (7.2 yards per target) as a perceived one-year wonder. An instinctual player with plus athleticism — according to the Horned Frogs' training staff, Gladney squats 620 pounds, benches 400, and hang cleans 400-plus — he made a career in shadowing a majority of the nation's top wideouts as one of only two FBS players with at least 15 passes defended in each of the last two seasons. Still, the red flags are there: He'll be 23 on draft night, tore his ACL and LCL in his senior year of high school, underwent meniscus surgery this past offseason, and was scratched from the 2020 Senior Bowl due to a sore knee. He also disappointed at Indy's combine, running a 4.48 40 (he clocked at 4.34 last offseason) and sluggish 7.26 three-cone (13th-percentile) in front of league execs. Gladney may be forced into a sub-package role at the next level given his size, but he has the tracking skills and traits to eventually man the perimeter as a No. 2.

Vikings | Vikings selected LSU WR Justin Jefferson with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft
April 23, 2020

A two-year starting slot receiver at LSU, Jefferson (6’1/202) set the school record for receptions (111) as a junior in the most prolific passing offense in college football history. He wins with nuanced route running, steady hands, straightline speed (4.41), and 6.4 YAC per reception. Per Pro Football Focus, Jefferson accumulated 41 percent of his 2019 yardage (1,540) from ins, outs, and crosses, which are fortunately the routes he’ll likely see most often with the Vikings. He also ranked second to Jerry Jeudy in 15-plus yard catches the past two seasons. Jefferson can be a reliable target in any role as a rookie since he ran 19 percent of his routes from the slot in '18 before seeing an increase to 78 percent during the team's National Championship run. He's a high-floor, high-ceiling WR3/4 in Minnesota since the opportunity is ripe for an every-down role across from Adam Thielen. The Vikings will still utilize a heavy dose of 12 personnel featuring Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith, too.

Vikings | Vikings re-signed OL Dakota Dozier to a one-year, $1 million contract
March 27, 2020

Dozier appeared in all 16 games and made four starts for the Vikings last year. The 28-year-old will return as veteran depth that can back up multiple spots.

Vikings | Vikings re-signed RB Ameer Abdullah
March 27, 2020

Abdullah has been stripped of any offensive prominence since joining the Vikings off waivers in '18, totaling 23 carries and 16 catches across 23 games as the team's fourth-string runner. He'll continue to be dispersed on kick returns this upcoming year, which he averaged 25 yards per return (and 25.2 in two postseason contests) in 16 appearances with Minnesota last season.

Vikings | Vikings re-signed C Brett Jones to a one-year, $910,000 contract
March 26, 2020

In theory the Vikings' No. 2 center, Jones might actually be No. 3 since LG Pat Elflein appeared to be the Vikes' back-up plan at the pivot last season. 28-year-old Jones can also play guard. He will likely retain his 53-man roster spot.

Vikings | Vikings signed DE Anthony Zettel, formerly of the 49ers
March 25, 2020

Zettel, 27, will be making his seventh stop since 2016. He started last season with the Bengals before latching on with the Niners just before Christmas. Zettel even played 14 defensive snaps in the Super Bowl. He hasn't recorded a sack since notching 6.5 in 2017 with Detroit.

Vikings | Vikings signed WR Tajae Sharpe, formerly of the Titans, to a one-year, $1 million contract
March 25, 2020

Sharpe gives the Vikings a potential starting option opposite Adam Thielen on what is a thin depth chart at the position. The former fifth-rounder turns 26 later this year. Once a starter for the Titans after a strong rookie camp, Sharpe became more of a role player in Tennessee last year after the emergence of A.J. Brown and signing of Adam Humphries. Sharpe has good size at 6'2/194 and has a career 92-1,167-8 line across 47 games (29 starts). Look for Minnesota to address wideout in the draft.

Vikings | DeMarquis Gates Signs NFL deal
March 24, 2020

Vikings sign LB DeMarquis Gates, formerly of the XFL Roughnecks, to a one-year, $610,000 contract. Gates was a productive player at Ole Miss but was forced to prove himself in the AAF and XFL the past two offseasons. In five games with the Roughnecks, Gates made 32 tackles and forced two turnovers. He'll look to crack the Vikings' roster as a special teamer this summer.

Vikings | Rashod Hill Staying in Twin Cities
March 20, 2020

Hill signed with the Vikings on Friday, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com reports.

Vikings | Dan Bailey Back with Vikings
March 19, 2020

The Vikings re-signed Bailey on Thursday, Lindsey Young of the team's official site reports.

Vikings | Michael Pierce Heads north to Minnesota
March 18, 2020

Pierce and the Vikings agreed on a three-year deal worth $27 million Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Vikings | Sean Mannion Re-ups with Minnesota
March 18, 2020

Mannion agreed to terms Wednesday with the Vikings on a one-year contract, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Vikings | Britton Colquitt Signs three-year deal with Vikings
March 16, 2020

Colquitt agreed to a three-year, $9 million contract with the Vikings on Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. The deal includes $5 million in guaranteed money.

Vikings | Anthony Harris Slapped with tag
March 16, 2020

The Vikings have franchise-tagged Harris, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Vikings | C.J. Ham Signs long-term deal
March 16, 2020

Ham is signing a four-year, $12.25 million contract to stay with the Vikings, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Vikings | Kirk Cousins Signs two-year extension
March 16, 2020

Cousins is signing a two-year contract extension, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Vikings | Vikings promoted LBs coach Adam Zimmer to co-defensive coordinator
January 27, 2020

Zimmer, 36, is of course the son of Vikings' coach Mike Zimmer, and Adam has been coaching the linebackers since his dad was named head coach in 2014. Adam and DL coach Andre Patterson were named co-defensive coordinators Monday, replacing George Edwards, who was let go after the playoff loss.

Vikings | Vikings promoted DL coach Andre Patterson to co-defensive coordinator
January 27, 2020

Patterson, 59, has been the Vikings' DL coach since 2014. With DC George Edwards leaving and going to Dallas, the Vikings are making Patterson and LBs coach Adam Zimmer co-defensive coordinators, though we'd imagine coach Mike Zimmer actually handles most of the defensive calls.

Vikings | Vikings Gary Kubiak is taking over as the offensive coordinator
January 23, 2020

Kubiak replaces new-Browns coach Kevin Stefanski. Still, the long-time run-game guru had a large impact on the Vikings' ability to largely control games on the ground as well as Kirk Cousins' frequent play-action success. Expect a similar approach in 2020: Feed Dalvin Cook all he can handle while featuring Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs in the passing game.

Vikings | Bralon Addison Inks future contract
January 21, 2020

Addison signed a reserve/future contract with the Vikings on Tuesday.