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NFL.com's Harrison Believes Vikings Will Return to Playoffs

Now that the 2016 NFL Draft is in the books, the focus has shifted to the actual season.

NFL.com's Elliot Harrison released his early NFC playoff predictions and has the Vikings going back for a second straight season.

Harrison went through his six NFC postseason teams in 60 seconds and had Minnesota at No. 5. The Vikings went 11-5 and won the NFC North last season.

Harrison touched on a pair of recent draft picks in Laquon Treadwell and Moritz Boehringer while also complimenting Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer's stout defense.

"They drafted a 'slow' wide receiver who happens to be kind of awesome," Harrison said in the video clip. "They have a fast wide receiver who happens to be kind of German.

"And Zim's defense is legit," he added.

Vikings CB Waynes could be primed for breakout season

The most recent chatter regarding the Vikings has been about their 2016 draft picks.

Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com took a quick look at the past when he recently wrote that Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes could be ready for a breakout season.

Waynes, the No. 11 overall pick in 2015, started one game last season and was mainly used on special teams. The former Michigan State standout had 30 total tackles but seemed to get better as the season progresses as he recorded an interception in a Wild Card playoff loss against Seattle.

If last season was all about learning for Waynes, this season should be all about grabbing the starting job opposite veteran Xavier Rhodes.

Don't be surprised if (Vikings Head Coach Mike) Zimmer spends much of training camp paying special attention to Waynes' technique. Zimmer said late last season that he thought Waynes was starting to get a grasp on what the Vikings wanted from him.

"I think he understands he has to be tighter in coverage than what he was in the beginning," Zimmer said. "I think he has a better understanding of the techniques that are being played. He still has things he's got to continue to work on. In this league, it's not good enough to be close to your guy. You've got to deny your guy the football, and he doesn't do that all the time."

Former Vikings RB Smith has new broadcast home

Former Vikings running back Robert Smith has found a new professional home.

Smith, who has enjoyed a successful broadcasting career after retiring from football, recently announced on his Facebook page that he's headed to FOX Sports and BTN studio shows.

The former 1993 first-round pick by the Vikings played all of his eight seasons in purple and gold. Smith finished with 6,818 rushing yards (second in team history) and 32 rushing touchdowns in 98 games.

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