We’re almost a week away from the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, where college prospects will try to impress all 32 teams through interviews, testing and on-field workouts.
The Vikings, as always, will send a large contingent of scouts and front office personnel in an attempt to get an up-close look at potential players they could add to the roster.
NFL.com analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Lance Zierlein recently unveiled a player they think each team should focus on in Indianapolis.
With the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine just around the corner (Feb. 26 through Mar. 4), this year's prospects are about to embark on the biggest job interview of their lives. Who should your team be studying at the event?
Jeremiah and Zierlein opined that Minnesota should take a long look at Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner to help out the Vikings in the trenches.
The duo wrote:
Dalton Risner is a tough, corn-fed right tackle who many see as a guard. Either way, the Vikes should find out if they like him enough to take him in Round 1. (And if so, at which position?)
Risner, who was a two-time All-American at Kansas State, started 50 games in four seasons for the Wildcats. He played center as a redshirt freshman in 2015 before moving to right tackle.
Vikings players Stephen Weatherly and Anthony Harris appeared at Mystic Lake’s eSports Tournament.
Coller: Smith, Harris was solid safety tandem in 2018
Matthew Coller of SKOR North is in the final stages of recapping the Vikings position groups from the 2018 season, and he landed on the safeties on Tuesday.
The bulk of Coller’s article focused on Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris, who made the majority of Minnesota’s starts on the back end of the defense.
Smith, who was named to his fourth straight Pro Bowl, started all 16 games and led the Vikings with 1,024 defensive snaps.
In 2017, Smith put together a campaign that was worthy of defensive MVP consideration. He wasn’t able to repeat his five-interception season in 2018 or rank at the top of PFF’s grades in nearly every category, but Smith was every bit as effective as he’s ever been for the Vikings’ defense.
He allowed just a 71.1 rating into his coverage, graded as the No. 1 run defender and No. 1 tackler by PFF’s standards and was effective in the pass rush, picking up nine QB pressures. He also set a career high in tackles for loss (nine).
Smith’s ability to play in any area of the field causes nightmares for opposing quarterbacks, whose first job is to find him. Per PFF, the Vikings’ star safety lined up 380 times inside the box, 417 times at free safety, 108 times on the defensive line, 91 times at slot corner and 29 times at outside corner. There are few players in the world capable of that type of versatility.
Harris started the final nine games of the 2018 season after Andrew Sendejo suffered a groin injury.
Coller said Harris’ steady play helped the Vikings produce another top-10 defense.
Harris stepped in when Sendejo went down and played very well. He allowed just seven catches on 13 targets for 52 yards and picked off three passes. PFF rated him as the fifth best safety among players with more than 600 snaps, grading his run defense and coverage sixth in the NFL.
Harris is a remarkably smart player whose familiarity with Zimmer’s defense and experience as a backup set him up to be prepared for a starting role.
Smith and Harris tied for the team lead with three interceptions apiece in 2018.