Lunch Break

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Lunchbreak: ESPN Lauds Vikings Offseason Moves

Posted May 16, 2017

The Vikings have placed an emphasis on improving their running game this offseason, and some around the NFL have taken notice.

Field Yates of ESPN.com chatted with a handful of league personnel to gauge which team made the best moves, and the Vikings were on the list.

Yates said that Minnesota’s focus on improving at running back and offensive line will help the Vikings in 2017.

The Vikings added Latavius Murray in free agency before taking Dalvin Cook in the second round of last month’s draft.

Yates wrote:

The major get for this team in one front-office exec's mind was trading up in the second round of the draft to land former Florida State star Dalvin Cook.

"[The] skill set that he possesses is power, speed and quickness as well as excellent balance," he said of Cook. "[Cook] brings to them three-down playmaking ability as a runner and receiver."

There were some health concerns surrounding Cook leading up to the draft, and he had an average combine workout, but just one glimpse at his tape in college showed his talent.

Cook was a big play waiting to happen for the Seminoles and is a natural, fluid pass-catcher who will carve a role in that phase of the offense for Minnesota. The team invested heavily in its offensive line -- signing tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers in free agency -- and Cook appears primed to see early work alongside Murray. 

The Vikings ranked last in the league with 1,205 rushing yards in 2017.

Tocho had head start on switch to safety

Jack Tocho enjoyed a standout career at North Carolina State as a cornerback, but he could be eyeing a move to safety now that he’s in the NFL.

Tocho recently chatted with Tim Yotter of Viking Update about the transition, and noted he had a bit of a head start on the position change.

Yotter wrote:

Tocho, a seventh-round pick for Minnesota, was told right when he was drafted to start preparing for work at safety.

Too late.

Tocho had already been doing that his senior year at North Carolina State, even if it wasn’t on game day.

“Honestly, ever since my junior year I’ve been hearing talks about playing safety. When I was at N.C. State, I was playing a little bit of safety just to get ahead of the game in practice,” he said. “The coaches kind of knew it, too, just felt that, just in case, it was something I could have in my back pocket.”

Over four seasons for the Wolfpack, Tocho played 49 games and made 36 starts. He totaled 122 tackles (98 solo), 26 pass breakups and six interceptions.