Lunchbreak: Graff Takes Post-Draft Dive into 2019 Vikings Roster 

The Vikings roster increased from 67 players to 89 over the course of the weekend.

In addition to Minnesota’s 12 draft picks selected Thursday-Saturday, the team also agreed to terms with 10 undrafted free agents.

With the Vikings now one man away from a full 90-man roster heading into organized team activity practices, Chad Graff of The Athletic took a deep dive into Minnesota’s roster depth and made a few observations. He first commented on the quarterback situation behind starter Kirk Cousins:

The backup quarterback competition is going to be a fascinating one to follow. Kyle Sloter played great in preseason games last season, endearing him to Vikings fans. Sean Mannion worked with Rams coach Sean McVay the last two seasons and is a former third-round pick. And now Jake Browning is added to the mix.

[…]

All three will have plenty of opportunities to win the job behind Kirk Cousins, making it one of the most difficult positions to rank for an April depth chart.

Graff opined that it was “surprising” the Vikings didn’t select a wide receiver before grabbing two – Olabisi Johnson and Dillon Mitchell – in the seventh round but added that they “seem to have plenty of faith in Laquon Treadwell, Chad Beebe, Jordan Taylor or Brandon Zylstra taking a step forward.”

According to Graff, competition for the right spot “could be one of the most important” this spring and summer.

[Josh] Kline is the favorite to win the job after coming to the Vikings with plenty of experience. But fourth-round pick Dru Samia could climb the depth chart with a good training camp, and Danny Isidora and Dakota Dozier will get opportunities, too.

Lastly, Graff said that it will be “interesting to follow” the competition at the nickel cornerback position heading into the 2019 season.

Studwell’s high school years featured ‘remarkable transformation’

After four decades with the Vikings – as a player and then an integral member of the scouting department – Scott Studwell is hanging it up.

The former Vikings linebacker announced his retirement in April and was honored by General Manager Rick Spielman and the organization during Studwell’s last NFL Draft this past weekend.

Recently, Gordon Engelhardt of the Evansville Courier & Press delved into the start of Studwell’s career at Harrison High School in Evansville, Indiana. He wrote:

You could say Scott Studwell underwent a remarkable transformation at Harrison High School, from a 5-foot-2, 110-pound freshman wimp to a 6-2, 220-pound senior “Stud” (yes, that’s his nickname).

[…]

Bill, Scott’s older brother, was in the same Harrison class as prominent local attorney Pat Shoulders. Scott was a year behind them.

“In the early years, he was Bill’s little brother,” Shoulders told Engelhardt of Studwell. “By the time we were seniors, Scott could have made us call him ‘Sir.’ Pound for pound, he’s the toughest player to ever come out of Evansville.”

Engelhardt wrote about Studwell going to the University of Illinois and then being drafted 250th  overall by Minnesota in 1977.

When he left Illinois, he was the team’s second-leading career tackler behind the legendary Dick Butkus. But he said he didn’t carry a chip on his shoulder, even as a ninth-round draft choice.

In those days, there was no such thing as a mini-camp, a combine or a pro day.

“The first time I faced an NFL athlete was when I came up here [to Minnesota] in August,” Studwell told Engelhardt. “I had a lot of opportunities to showcase what I could do. We were in pads twice a day for six weeks.”

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