A not-so-complete list of Vikings' pre-draft interest

Star Tribune Sports - Fri, 04/03/2015 - 13:02
With the 2015 NFL draft looming on April 30, the Vikings have been busy doing their homework on draft prospects. Here is a list of their interactions, reported by us or others, with certain prospects. Note that this is far from a complete list, as there are surely meetings the Vikings have kept quiet. Quarterback: Devin Gardner, QB/WR, Michigan: East West Shrine Game meeting Running back: Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State: Pro day meeting David Cobb, RB, Minnesota: NFL combine meeting Zach Zenner, RB, North Dakota State: East West Shrine Game meeting Wide receiver: Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn: NFL combine meeting Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland: Pro day meeting Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri: Winter Park visit Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State: Senior Bowl meeting Devante Parker, WR, Louisville: NFL combine meeting Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State: NFL combine meeting Tight end: Gerald Christian, TE, Louisville: NFL combine meeting Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota: Winter Park visit Offensive line: Jamon Brown, OT, Louisville: East West Shrine Game meeting T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh: Winter Park visit Shaq Mason, G, Georgia Tech: Senior Bowl meeting A.J. McCann, G, South Carolina: Winter Park visit Terry Poole, OT, San Diego State: East West Shrine Game meeting Defensive line: Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson: NFL combine meeting Bud Dupree, DE, Kentucky: NFL combine meeting and pro day meeting Dante Fowler, DE, Florida: NFL combine meeting Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska: Pro day meeting Marcus Hardison, DT, Arizona State: Pro day meeting and Winter Park visit Za’Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky: East West Shrine Game meeting Lynden Trail, DE, Norfolk State: Winter Park meeting Linebacker: Stephone Anthony, MLB, Clemson: Pro day meeting Paul Dawson, MLB, TCU: Winter Park visit Benardrick McKinney, MLB, Mississippi State: NFL combine meeting Denzel Perryman, MLB, Miami: NFL combine meeting Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington: NFL combine meeting and Winter Park visit Defensive back: Quandre Diggs, CB, Texas: NFL combine meeting Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut: Pro day meeting Marcus Peters, CB, Washington: Winter Park visit Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State: Winter Park visit Josh Shaw, CB, USC: East West Shrine Game meeting Cedric Thompson, S, Minnesota: Winter Park visit Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State: Winter Park visit
Categories: Local

Kill pleased with RBs pass protection, which is no small thing

Star Tribune Sports - Fri, 04/03/2015 - 12:35
Gophers coach Jerry Kill says all of the team's running backs have done a good job with pass protection.
Categories: Local

Friday (Changing one play in Minnesota sports history) edition: Wha' Happened?

Star Tribune Sports - Fri, 04/03/2015 - 08:57
Deadspin had a fun post on Thursday asking readers, “If you could go back and change the outcome of a single play in any historical sporting event, which one would it be, and why?” For a Minnesota sports fan, this opens up a floodgate of “what-ifs” and painful memories. Nevertheless, we thought it would be an interesting exercise to put that question out to you, but limit it to only plays that happened in games involving Minnesota teams. Some obvious candidates come to mind: Gary Anderson’s missed field goal in the NFC Title Game following the 1998 season; Brett Favre’s interception late in the NFC Title Game following the 2009 season. Darrin Nelson’s dropped pass in the 1987 game. Drew Pearson. Joe Mauer’s “foul ball” in the 2009 ALDS might be another pick. Even though he ended up walking after Phil Cuzzi made the wrong call on his would-be double, fans still might have a burning desire to know how that inning would have played out otherwise. Corey Koskie’s hit in the 2004 ALDS against the Yankees, a ground-rule double that likely would have scored the go-ahead run and could have given the Twins a 2-0 series lead had it stayed in the park? Or perhaps Anaheim’s goal in double-overtime of Game 1 of the 2003 Western Conference Finals against the Wild? If that doesn’t go in, maybe Minnesota wins the game and the series is completely different? We’re missing tons of other candidates, so as you ponder this question and leave your answer in the comments, obviously don’t feel like you have to pick only the ones we mentioned. But remember: It’s just one play that we’re looking for here.
Categories: Local

Rescuers save doe from icy death trap in NW Minnesota river

Star Tribune Sports - Fri, 04/03/2015 - 07:16
The animal offered no resistance as it was hoisted into a boat.
Categories: Local

Wolves' Pekovic faces ankle surgery next week

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 22:24
He will have surgery next week to try and solve his ankle and foot issues.
Categories: Local

Escobar will play for Twins, but no one knows exactly where

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 22:15
He is expected to play a lot, but it’ll likely be at several positions.
Categories: Local

Rangers stop Wild's win streak with 3-2 win at Xcel

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 22:10
The Wild showed no quit against the New York Rangers, but in the end, Minnesota was doomed by sloppiness.
Categories: Local

Longtime pals from Georgia together again with Gophers

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 21:32
The roommates have known each other since the age of 8.
Categories: Local

Down year? Big Ten thrives with two teams in Final Four

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 21:18
After what looked like a down season for the conference, it has two teams on the biggest stage.
Categories: Local

Taylor not pressing Saunders to move

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 20:54
The Timberwolves owner is inclined to let the coach keep doing double duty – for now.
Categories: Local

Making maple syrup takes time, but it's a sweet chore

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 20:48
Boiling 450 gallons of maple sap to make syrup takes some time, but it’s a rite of the season.
Categories: Local

Twins-Red Sox: Robinson officially added to roster

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 16:50
The Twins are set to play the Red Sox at Hammond Stadium, and old friend David Ortiz is in the battling order
Categories: Local

TFD: Twins rotation is a relative strength, which could spell trouble

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 16:49
Even the more pessimistic among Twins fans — after badmouthing an outfield defense and bullpen that look worrisome, at best — generally concedes that the starting rotation, an eyesore for much of the past four season, should be better than it was last year (mild praise) and downright functional if some things go right. Most of the true optimism is saved for an offense that finished 7th in MLB in runs scored in 2014 and could keep the team in games, but the rotation is emerging in conversations as a strength — partly by default, and partly because Phil Hughes, Ervin Santana, Ricky Nolasco and Kyle Gibson all have the potential to be above-average, while Tommy Milone as the fifth starter is better than Milone or (fill in the blank) as a No. 3 starter, as the pecking order has gone in recent years. Here’s the problem, though: even if the Twins’ rotation is upgraded, there are still a lot of questions. Can Hughes — very good in 2010, 2012 and 2014, not so good in 2011 and 2013 — avoid the every-other-year swoon? Will Santana, at age 32, avoid a decline? Will Nolasco, who looked better this spring by all accounts, put an ugly 2014 behind him? Can Gibson take another step? Can Milone be effective outside of Oakland? There is enough skepticism from the outside to make us wonder if the rotation is truly a strength or if it merely looks better by comparison to previous years. The Washington Post ranked the Twins’ rotation 28th out of 30 in MLB, though admittedly didn’t offer much by way of explanation beyond doubting it has been upgraded enough beyond last year’s MLB-worst 5.06 ERA. If the second-best thing about your team — better than the defense, better than the bullpen, not as good as the offense — is still bad enough that a major publication ranks it among baseball’s worst, it’s enough to make us wonder if it is really a strength. One thing is for certain: the Twins will need it to be a true strength if they are going to come anywhere close to .500 this year.
Categories: Local

Wolves' Pekovic to undergo Achilles surgery next week

Star Tribune Sports - Thu, 04/02/2015 - 16:14
Wolves starting center has played just 31 games this season becuase of recurring ankle pain
Categories: Local


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