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2017 Vikings Draft Class Shares Biggest Takeaways from College

The Vikings entered the 2017 NFL Draft with a total of eight selections over the second through seventh rounds, but General Manager Rick Spielman continued his penchant for executing draft-day trades.

Spielman traded up from 48th to 41st so the Vikings could select running back Dalvin Cook and moved from 79th to 70th in order to draft center Pat Elflein with Minnesota's first two selections.

The Vikings then moved down often to collect additional picks and bring the total number of selections this year to 11. Only two players — linebackers Ben Gedeon (120th) and Elijah Lee (232nd) — were tabbed at spots originally owned by Minnesota before the draft.

"I've always felt that that's the best way to manipulate the draft board, especially with what you see developing on your draft board, to have the picks to move up and down so you can still accumulate as many young players as you can," Spielman said. "Not just to pick a player, to pick guys that we really wanted to target and valued."

The Vikings draft class is scheduled to arrive on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus today for their first Verizon Vikings Training Camp.

Here's a look at what they did the last time they were on a college campus and what their biggest takeaways were from their programs.

Dalvin Cook

Running back

2nd Round (41 overall)

Height: 5-10 | Weight: 210

College: Florida State

Last time on campus:

As a junior in 2016, Cook rushed for 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns on 288 attempts. He added 33 catches for 488 yards and a touchdown reception and left FSU with the school rushing record (4,464 yards).

Biggest takeaway from Florida State:

"I think the biggest thing was me taking coaching – from criticism to picking me up. I could take every part of coaching there is – I don't go in the tank. I don't do stuff like that, because I think Florida State prepared me well enough to come in and be a pro right away by teaching me to take the coaching and just doing the little things to be a pro."

Pat Elflein


3rd Round (70 overall)

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 303

College: Ohio State

Last time on campus:

Elflein effectively handled a position switch, moving from guard to center as a fifth-year senior, starting all 13 games for the Buckeyes and garnering the Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center.

Biggest takeaway from Ohio State:

"Playing in a lot of big games and big stages, so learning how to stay focused and play under a lot of pressure was something I definitely took away from Ohio State."

Jaleel Johnson

Defensive tackle

4th Round (109 overall)

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 316

College: Iowa

Last time on campus:

As a fifth-year senior, Johnson started all 13 games for the Hawkeyes and totaled 55 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.

Biggest takeaway from Iowa:

"My biggest takeaway really was just, 'Don't ever take anything for granted.' A lot of times I think about it like, five years in college flies by. Five years will fly by in this league. Every single day, you just want to come out to each practice and even a meeting, whatever it will be, and treat it as if it were your last. You never want to go into a meeting and not pay much attention or go to a practice and not get much out of it. Then you wasted a day. My goal is to just take full advantage of every single thing."

Ben Gedeon


4th Round (120 overall)

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 244

College: Michigan

Last time on campus:

Gedeon started all 13 games and totaled 106 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and two pass breakups in 2016.

Biggest takeaway from Michigan:

"The value of hard work. That's something that Coach [Jim] Harbaugh drilled into us every single day at practice and in meetings and during workouts. Just have greatness and go about your business in a certain way."


Rodney Adams


5th Round (170 overall)

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 189

College: South Florida

Last time on campus:

Adams capped his senior season with a school-record 67 receptions and tied his South Florida mark of 822 yards in a season. He tied for the team lead in 2016 with five touchdown catches.

Biggest takeaway from South Florida:

"I'd have to say my receivers coach, Ron Dugans [in 2014 and 2015], he was always telling me to be a pro – 'You're going to be at that level someday, so just work at being a pro right now.' And it's carried me to this point."

Danny Isidora


5th Round (180 overall)

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 306

College: Miami

Last time on campus:

As a fifth-year senior, Isidora started all 13 games. He finished his career with 39 consecutive starts.

Biggest takeaway from Miami:

"The biggest takeaway was trying to be a pro each and every day. Go about your business as a pro, never be late to meetings, stuff like that. I think that really transitions over to now because that stuff can't happen. I was a guy in college who didn't have those issues, so it's transferring over.

Bucky Hodges

Tight end

6th Round (201 overall)

Height: 6-6 | Weight: 257

College: Virginia Tech

Last time on campus:

Hodges posted career bests of 48 receptions and 691 yards in his third season and tied his best mark of seven touchdown receptions in one season in 2016.

Biggest takeaway from Virginia Tech:

"It was a different experience but a good experience, a lot of ups and downs. The first two seasons we didn't do that well … we went 6-6 both years and just made a bowl game. This past year, we made it to the ACC Championship and almost won it. It was a good experience. I met a great group of guys there and Coach [Frank] Beamer built a legacy there. I love Coach Beamer's whole staff, and Coach [Justin] Fuente is building on that legacy."

Stacy Coley


7th Round (219 overall)

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 195

College: Miami

Last time on campus:

Coley turned in career bests of 63 receptions, 754 yards and nine receiving touchdowns as a senior in 2016.

Biggest takeaway from Miami:

"Just playing in big games, just learning the situations, learning how to play under those big games. Just being yourself, willing to work hard and always working hard."

Ifeadi Odenigbo

Defensive end

7th Round (220 overall)

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 258

College: Northwestern

Last time on campus:

Odenigbo recorded 22 tackles, including 12 for loss, and 10 sacks. He finished with 28 career sacks, which ranks second in school history.

Biggest takeaway from Northwestern:

"One thing I took away was time management. Waking up at 5 a.m. every day, from workouts to school to exams, as I got older and became more mature, I was really able to maximize my time. Now with the Vikings and the playbook, the things I learned at Northwestern have carried over.

"For me, I can't sleep in. During the weekdays I'll probably wake up around 5:30 or 5:45 a.m. and look over my playbook and try to get my body right. I'm no longer an amateur, I'm a professional athlete.  I have to have that mindset of treating my body like it and training like it."

Elijah Lee


7th Round (232 overall)

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 229

College: Kansas State 

Last time on campus:

As a junior, Lee totaled 110 tackles (72 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups and two interceptions. His five career interceptions were the most by a K-State linebacker under Bill Snyder.

Biggest takeaway from Kansas State:

"My biggest takeaway was [the importance of] how you carry yourself and how others perceive you. If you carry yourself the right way, others will respect you. If you don't carry yourself the right way, how can others trust you or allow you to get on the field if you don't want to be a guy that pays attention and are where you are supposed to be at all times? At Kansas State, one of the biggest things is being trustworthy. If you're trustworthy, they give you the opportunities and if you can't be trusted, you won't get on the field."

Jack Tocho


7th Round (245 overall)

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 202

College: N.C. State

Last time on campus:

As a senior, Tocho totaled 37 tackles (33 solo), 2.0 tackles for loss, a sack, nine pass breakups and two interceptions.* *

Biggest takeaway from N.C. State:

"My biggest takeaway is, 'Nothing comes easy.' Everything you do has to be earned. We definitely learned that throughout our years, just the mentality of hard work and being resilient, just fighting through adversity and all the trials and tribulations you may face."

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