With the NFL Scouting Combine kicking off Wednesday in Indianapolis, the Vikings scouting and coaching staff will get a look at a large number of draft candidates.
ESPN's Ben Goessling said the Vikings will take a "best-player-available approach" but added that specific positions of need could "help dictate how they'll stack their board." Goessling expects Minnesota to home in specifically on ways to strengthen their offensive line. Beyond that position, he wrote the following:
[The] Vikings could look for help at defensive tackle, where Sharrif Floyd's injuries have been an ongoing issue. They might entertain the idea of adding a linebacker. And depending on what happens with Adrian Peterson, they might delve into a deep running back class to help with their 32nd-ranked ground game.
Goessling highlighted five players that Minnesota could focus on at the combine over the next week, including three offensive linemen, a running back and a defensive tackle. Goessling opined that Western Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp could be a good fit for the Vikings.
Only 6-foot-4, Lamp is seen more as a guard than a tackle in the NFL, but he might be one of the best guards on the board, thanks to his nimble feet and strong work ethic. His frame might be too small for him to play tackle in the NFL – you'll hear the dreaded arm-length question attached to his name – but the Vikings could use help at guard after releasing Brandon Fusco, as well.
Moon remembers a pioneer
Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon posted on Twitter Sunday to honor Bernie Custis, who passed away Thursday at age 88. Moon, who got his start in the Canadian Football League and later in his career played three seasons for the Vikings, wrote:
"I wouldn't be where I am today with the sacrifice of those who came before me."
Custis became the first African American to start at the quarterback position at a major American university when he garnered attention at Syracuse. Custis was drafted by the Cleveland Browns but was released to the CFL when he told Head Coach Paul Brown he didn't want to play a position other than quarterback.
In 1951, Custis became pro football's first black quarterback when he started for the Tiger-Cats in a game against Montreal. Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun wrote the following of Custis:
Custis led to Chuck Ealey, who never lost a college game at Toledo, to Condredge Holloway, who was Russell Wilson before there was a Russell Wilson. Holloway led to Warren Moon, who changed just about everything in the way football viewed black quarterbacks […].