All this week at the NFL Scouting Combine, draft-eligible prospects are hoping to impress on the field and in interviews with teams in preparation for this year's NFL Draft, which will kick off on April 23 in Las Vegas.
As part of the combine, the NFL selected Legends to serve as mentors for the combine participants.
Three Vikings Legends – Cris Carter, John Randle and Tony Richardson – were chosen as mentors to help their respective position groups, provide guidance on the combine and draft process, and share insights from their personal experiences.
Carter joined the Good Morning Football crew earlier this week to chat about being a mentor for this year's class of wide receivers.
"I've got five days. I've been here since Sunday with them," Carter said. "When they touched down, I touched down. I've been at every meal with them. And the ability to take someone from the past, who can just maybe help … you in your career so you can get off to a smooth start, avoid some of those bumps that some of us wide receivers have had along the way. But this group has been quality."
Carter was drafted in the fourth round of the 1987 NFL Supplemental Draft by Philadelphia, where he played for three seasons before joining the Vikings. He then played 12 seasons for Minnesota, during which he recorded eight straight seasons (1993-2000) with 1,000-plus receiving yards. Carter was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.
Randle joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 1990 and by 1992 had become a full-time starter. He notched six consecutive Pro Bowl seasons (1993-98) and also was named First-Team All-Pro each of those years. Randle played for the Vikings through the 2000 season and then spent three years with the Seahawks before retiring. In 2010, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Richardson spent most of his 16-season career with the Chiefs but played for the Vikings from 2006-07 before finishing his career with the Jets.
Gophers LBs prepping for NFL Draft
A pair of Golden Gophers linebackers are participating in this year's combine.
Carter Coughlin and Kamal Martin are rooming together in Indianapolis this week while working to catch the attention of NFL teams.
Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune caught up with Coughlin and Martin and asked them if general managers are aware that the Gophers are a "package deal."
"That could be the plan," Martin told Krammer. "No, but we joke about it all the time because we've been roommates since June 2016, and it hasn't stopped. We both signed with the same agent. We both room together where we're training and [are] rooming here. It's a funny and crazy story."
Interviews with coaches and scouts, as well as medical evaluations by team doctors, have kept them busy. Medical tests might be critical for Martin's draft stock after undergoing knee surgery that will keep him from Saturday night's on-field athletic testing. Coughlin, third in Gophers history with 22.5 sacks, will run drills as a linebacker. He's eager to prove his athleticism in speed testing such as the 40-yard dash.
Coughlin, from Eden Prairie, and Martin, from Burnsville, were pleasantly surprised during informal meetings with the Vikings to see former teammate Nick Rallis, a Vikings defensive quality control coach and "big brother" when they were freshmen and he was a senior.
"Back when Kamal and I didn't know what we were doing," Coughlin told Krammer, "the only reason we could play was because Nick was telling us pre-snap what we were supposed to do."
View photos from workouts at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis that include quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends.
Cousins supporting Michigan State combine pledge
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins consistently supports his alma mater, Michigan State, and their athletes. But this week he is going above and beyond by joining forces with a Spartan at the combine whose off-field mission aligns with that of the Cousins family.
Defensive tackle Raequan Williams is asking fans to pledge a dollar amount for every inch he records in the vertical jump. Williams will complete the drill on Saturday in Indianapolis, along with the other defensive linemen and linebackers who are at the combine.
Whatever proceeds are raised will be donated to Breakthrough Urban Ministries. Williams wrote on the PledgeIt site:
If it wasn't for Breakthrough, I'm not sure where I'd be today. I know that I would not be finishing up my time at Michigan State and on the verge of living out my NFL dream. Breakthrough helped me, and so many other kids like me growing up in Chicago, when we needed an outlet from tough living situations – providing meals for us, sports for us to play, or just giving us someone to talk to, rather than hanging out on the block. I can honestly say that Breakthrough saved my life.
Cousins, who grew up in the Chicago area before moving to Michigan in seventh grade, announced via Twitter that he and his wife, Julie, will match the total donations raised.