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Lunchbreak: NFL.com's Early All-Pro List Includes 1 Viking

Posted Aug 23, 2017

The 2017 regular season isn’t yet underway, but that doesn’t stop predictions of all kinds being made across the league.

Most recently, NFL.com analyst Elliot Harrison took a look at teams’ top players and put together his “2017 All-Pro Predictions.” Harrison said it was a “difficult undertaking” to pick first- and second-team players after just two preseason games for most teams but went for it anyway.

Harrison tabbed Xavier Rhodes, who signed a contract extension in July, as one of the two first-team cornerbacks. He wrote:

Opposing quarterbacks completed far below 50 percent of their passes against Xavier Rhodes last season, helping to further establish the Vikings top corner as one of the premier players at the position. While Rhodes still occasionally gives up the big play, the continued emergence of Danielle Hunter should bolster the secondary by reducing the amount of time the unit must do its job. (Check out Hunter's sack of Russell Wilson last Friday.) Both first-team All-Pros from last season – Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters – might find their help up front a bit weaker, with Shane Ray and Justin Houston on the mend.

Harrison praised Hunter but did not pencil him in as a 2017 All-Pro. At defensive end, he picked Oakland’s Khalil Mack (second-team: J.J. Watt) and Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney (second team: Joey Bosa).

Harrison selected Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins as the other first-teamer, with New England’s Malcolm Butler and Kansas City’s Marcus Peters being named second-team All-Pro.

Rhodes was Harrison’s only NFC North selection for his first-team All-Pro predictions.

Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund latest donation $50K

The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee has donated an incredible $2 million to communities and programs across the state as part of its 52-week countdown to Super Bowl LII.

Most recently, Frogtown Park and Farm received a donation of $50,000 to fund an outdoor kitchen.

James Walsh of the Star Tribune explained that Frogtown Park and Farm was founded in 2013 as “a community-led effort to secure 13 acres in [Saint Paul’s] least-green neighborhood.” Walsh wrote:

From its first plantings to its first harvest providing thousands of pounds of food for area food shelves and markets, the idea, said [co-founder Seitu Jones], was to make Frogtown Park and Farm a place that would both build and listen to its community. The most recent influx of cash, part of the Super Bowl host committee’s “52 Weeks of Giving” campaign, created an outdoor kitchen and food preparation area that will host cooking classes, food events and community celebrations.

According to Walsh, Frogtown Farm is one of the country’s largest urban farms.

The farm is a nonprofit. The Frogtown Farm Commons, where the outdoor kitchen was built and where pizza was prepared for the folks gathered Tuesday, is a community farming space where neighbors can gather, grow and learn while participating in weekly growing season sessions on cultivating, harvesting, preparing and preserving techniques.


Jake Reed’s son earning attention at Georgia

Vikings receiver Jake Reed has long-since retired, but his surname remains on the gridiron.

Jake’s son, J.R., is currently a defensive back for the University of Georgia. Times Free Press reporter David Paschall recently wrote about J.R.’s pursuit of “creating his own name” on the football field.

According to Paschall, Reed said the following during a recent news conference: “Being around legends like my dad and Cris Carter always inspired me to be like them and to try to be the best. I played receiver growing up, but my dad told me my future was on defense.”

Paschall wrote:

Reed was a two-way player at Prestonwood Christian in Plano, Texas, but a torn ACL his senior season resulted in a downward shift in his recruiting value. He signed with Tulsa in 2015 and played in 13 games before electing to transfer to Georgia last summer.

Paschall explained that Reed worked on the scout team during the 2016 season but in the spring was received Most Improved Defensive Player honors.

He has been working as a first-team defensive back this month when the Bulldogs employ five in the secondary, and the need for him grew last week when senior cornerback Malkom Parrish suffered a broken bone in his foot that could sideline him up to a month.

[…]

Reed is about to encounter a spotlight much more akin to what his father experienced on Sundays. It's also the best opportunity yet for him to develop his own notable path.