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Vikings Players Who Could be on the Bubble in 2016

Just like every other training camp/preseason, each team will have bubble players yearning for those final roster spots. Below are 5 guys on the Vikings who need to show up this August if they still want to wear that beautiful purple jersey in 2016.

Scott Crichton

Crichton was a third round pick of the Vikings back in 2014.  At the time the pick seemed like a steal, as some draft experts had Crichton pegged as a late first to mid second round value.  Three years later Crichton has 0 career starts and just 10 tackles.  He’s been extremely underwhelming and it appears Mike Zimmer and the defensive coaching staff is losing patience with him.  If Crichton doesn’t step it up in camp this year he’ll be gone, and seen as one of the Vikings bigger draft busts in recent memory.

Charles Johnson

Charles Johnson broke out the end of the 2014 season, with 415 receiving yards and a couple of touchdowns.  He appeared primed and ready for a stellar 2015 campaign.  But what did he do?  He caught 9 passes for 127 yards and no touchdowns.  There were rumblings that he was secretly injured, but it sure didn’t look that way.  With Treadwell, Diggs, Wright, and Thielen all but assured roster spots, it’ll come down to Johnson and Patterson for that fifth spot.  With Patterson being a former first rounder he’ll clearly have the edge, and it could be Johnson who is looking for a new home come this September.

Jeff Locke

Locke is no lock to be the Vikings punter in 2016.  He had a very sub par 2015 season where he struggled to pin opponent’s deep in their own end, or kick the Vikings out of poor field position.  It was shocking really that the team didn’t bring in anyone mid season to challenge him for his job.  PFF did an article recently of the top 32 punter in the league and Locke wasn’t even on it.  That is how poorly objective eyes see him.  The team would be wise to bring in anyone to compete with Locke during camp, or scour the waiver wire this labor day weekend and see if an experience punter is available.  It would be very heartbreaking if Jeff Locke’s horseshit punting holds this team back from making the deep playoff run it appears primed for.

Jabari Price

The fact that price is still on the roster means that the Vikings must see something in the 2014 7th round draft pick. Afte playing in 14 games as a rookie in 2014 he has failed to see the field since due to injury and suspension. The tough part with Price is, he has actually looked pretty good when on the field, just can’t seem to get him ON the field. With guys like Newman, Rhodes, Waynes, Munnerlyn locks to make the roster, Price will be fighting Sherels and White for that final spot on the roster.

Shaun Hill

While Hill has had some good moments coming off the bench in his career, the 36 year olds time could be limited. Look for 3rd stringer Taylor Heinicke to make a serious run at the backup spot in preseason, if he can leap Hill on the depth chart it would no doubt be the end of  Hill’s second stint with the Vikings. While they could still keep him around for that veteran presence and knowledge source for Teddy/Taylor, i’m just not sold it is worth the roster spot any longer.

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Bug Howard Interview | North Carolina Tar Heel Wide Receiver

DraftSeason: While the team goal is to win the ACC, what is your number 1 personal goal this year on the field?
Bug Howard: Put my team in the best position possible to win every game by doing my job at a very high level every game.

DraftSeason: What do you feel sets you apart from some of the other top receivers in the nation?
Bug Howard: My upside, 6’5 220 frame, and my ability to still be very athletic at this size. The will to do the duty work to help a teammate (Blocking). Being a student of the game knowing defenses and knowing how to beat them. My catch radius and my ability to make 50/50 balls 80/20 (catching in traffic). The pride I take into special teams.

DraftSeason: You have been catching passes from the now graduated Marquise Williams your entire career, do you foresee any growing pains or setbacks with your new quarterback in the upcoming season?
Bug Howard: I will have a better connection with Mitch this year. Mitch and I came in together and built a pretty strong connection on and off the field. #Bestie lol

DraftSeason: Greatest accomplishment on the field?
Bug Howard: Punt block vs. V-Tech last year to help win the ACC- Coastal Division! To reach the ACC Championship.

DraftSeason: Best cornerback you have had the chance to face during your college career?
Bug Howard: Kyle Fuller and Cockrell Ross

DraftSeason: No secret that you are a fan of Randy Moss, size wise you guys are a spot on match. Any other similarities you see in each others game?
Bug Howard: The ability to stretch the field, i’m not as fast as him but still able to get behind Db’s. The ability to high point the ball like no other and the effortless one handed catches. The COMPETITIVENESS!!

DraftSeason: What is an off day like for Bug Howard?
Bug Howard: Morning/ Class. Afternoon/ Team bonding doing things like (basketball, home-run derby, paintball). Night/ Go out with my girlfriend Tory Kemp (dinner/moives, inc.). Late Night/ Go on a run with my girlfriend around the town (she’s a track-star)

DraftSeason: Using one word, how would you describe your style of play.
Bug Howard: Big or Smooth

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 01:   Michael Harris #79 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after the Vikings defeated the Chicago Bears 23-20 at Soldier Field on November 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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5 Most Underrated Vikings Heading into 2016

Every team has the guy or guys that just don’t seem to get as much love as they deserve. For a team to succeed they need the role players and depth to do it, unfortunately they just don’t get as much run as the stars of the team.

Below we introduce our Top 5 Most Underrated Vikings.

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Jerick McKinnon

McKinnon has yet to get much run due to #28 leading the rushing attack, but something tells me Viking fans might actually get a real taste of what the speedster can bring to the team in 2016. In the limited doses we have got of McKinnon he looks like he can add a new element to the offense. With a career average of 4.9 yards a carry and proven ability to catch the ball out of the backfield he could be looked upon to give the aging but still great Peterson a few more breathers than we are used to.

Tom Johnson

When the Vikings signed Tom Johnson a few years back, it’s safe to say many Vikings fans said “Who the Hell is that?” Well after watching him play for the last two seasons, no one is saying that anymore.  Johnson plays a handful of snaps a game but always seems to make the most out of his playing time.  Whether it’s sacking a quarterback, collapsing a pocket, or stuffing a run, Johnson is usually in the middle of it.  In two seasons with the Vikings he has racked up 58 tackles and 12 sacks.  Johnson would likely start on most teams, and at least should be given much more credit as one of the better backup/rotational defensive tackles in the entire NFL.

Jarius Wright

Wright will never be the big name receiver or a guy who puts up 1,000 yards receiving. But what he is … is reliable. For the past handful of years he has been one of the most reliable options the Vikings have had on offense. Not only one of the Minnesota’s best 3rd down options but has proven time and again that he can make the tough plans when called upon. With the addition of Treadwell and the emergence of Diggs last year, don’t look for Wright’s role to change much, which I consider a good thing as Wright is the perfect #3 receiver in my eyes.

Mike Harris

Harris has been one of the most underrated Vikings over the past year and a half. He made the transition from tackle to guard in 2015 and made an immediate impact starting all 16 games. With the addition of Alex Boone, look for the right guard battle to come down to Fusco/Harris, with Harris having a legit shot to win the job. Worst case he adds much needed depth along the offensive line and instantly becomes one of the best backup guards in the NFL.

Adam Thielen

Adam Thielen has been a fan favorite of the Vikings because he did it the hard way.  He was an undrafted player out of Mankato who worked his tail off in training camp and the practice squad to earn a spot on the Vikings roster. Thielen has become one of the best special teams players on the Vikings, and is often the first one down the field either making the tackle or downing the punt.  He has even been the team’s emergency return man when needed. Thielen has gotten better and better each year as a receiver and has made some big time grabs in his time with the Vikings.  Thielen’s versatility and willingness to do whatever it takes to help the team, makes him much more valuable to the Purple than any stat line can possibly show.

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5 Most Overrated Vikings Heading into 2016

This is about as negative of an article you’ll get from us regarding the Vikings. I want to be very clear that each of these players are obviously large pieces to the Vikings plans of bringing home a Super Bowl ring, but they seem to sometimes get a TAD more love than they might deserve at this point in their career.

Below we introduce our Top 5 Most Overrated Vikings.

Kyle Rudolph

Was only a few years ago Rudolph snapped up a big ole contract, and at the time it was justified. But injuries piled up and up until 2015 couldn’t seem to put together a 16 game season. He has only topped the 50 reception mark (2012) once and has yet to break 500 yards receiving. On a team with not a ton of receiving options I feel Rudolph shouldn’t have an issue topping either of those numbers on a yearly basis with ease. At only 26 he still has plenty left in the tank….

Blair Walsh

I want to be very clear that Walsh missing the kick last year is not the reason he finds himself on this list. Ever since Walsh’s fantastic rookie season, something just hasn’t been quite right. It is just VERY tough to get the warm and fuzzies when #3 comes strutting on the field to kick the ball. When a guy misses 4 extra points in a single season (2015) you might have an issue. Hopefully getting back indoors with the new stadium helps boost his confidence and he can shake those inner demons to become once again one of the best overall kickers in the NFL.

Anthony Barr

It may be surprising to see Barr on this list as he is an absolute game changing talent, who appears to be on the edge of stardom.  The problem is, he has yet to break that barrier.  Nagging injuries have cost Barr 6 games of his NFL career so far.  Also, for a man with his pass rushing abilities, he has just 7.5 career sacks in 26 games.  Obviously he is asked to do much more than just rush the passer, but it would be nice to see Barr really breakout and tally sack numbers in or much closer to double digits.

Shariff Floyd

Floyd is another extremely talented player whose numbers just don’t measure up to his abilities.  A large part of this is due to injuries, as Floyd has started just 24 games in three seasons, and has played many well under 100%.  He has shown to be dominant at times but also has disappeared for long stretches.  His back up Tom Johnson actually has five more sacks than Floyd does in the two years they’ve played together.  It is time for Floyd to put together a full season, and dominate at the level his talent would indicate.

Xavier Rhodes

Let’s face it …. Rhodes is 3 years in as a starter and he has 2 INTs …. 2 of em. Let’s put that into perspective, Justin Trattou a defensive end for the Vikings who played in 5 games had 2 INTs just last year. While there is no doubt he will be worth the next contract he gets from the Vikings, if he can manage to put up some numbers and cut down on some of the PI calls he could be elite. He just needs to be more consistent and show a little more swagger/confidence on the field.

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Mike Tyson Interview | Cincinnati Bearcat Safety

DraftSeason: What is your #1 goal on the field for the 2016 season?
Mike Tyson: My #1 goal on the field is to do my job and be confident at it. Be a team leader and be the best I can for my team, be versatile and be the play maker I am. Make plays when need and most important have fun while I’m doing it.

DraftSeason: What part of your game do you feel needs the most work for you to become a more complete player
at safety?
Mike Tyson: The part of my game I feel needs the most work is to be more consistent.

DraftSeason: What part of your game sets you apart from some of the other top safeties in college football?
Mike Tyson: The part of my game I feel that set me apart from other safeties is my size and speed. I feel like there is no other safety that is my size that can move like I can. Cover and play in the box if needed, i’m versatile and know how to get the ball to my offense.

DraftSeason: You picked Cincinnati over some pretty big time college football programs, what was it about being a Bearcat that led to your ultimate decision?
Mike Tyson: To be honest I didn’t come to Cincinnati because of the program, the wins, or even the coaches. It was the players that were here, they are who got me to come. It just felt like home, every player kept it real with me, did not cut no corners, it’s all about the people.

DraftSeason: Any pregame rituals we should know about?
Mike Tyson: Yes. Before a game I like to talk to my son, he makes me feel better and gives me more confidence than I already have. I like to put on my uniform the same way every game in a certain order. Listen to music and relax. Joke a little with my brothers (teammates).

DraftSeason: Any current NFL safety you try to mold your game after?
Mike Tyson: Top 3 Safety I try to mold my game after is Charles Woodson, Kam Chancellor, and Reshad Jones.

DraftSeason: Is Cincinnati’s Skyline Chili as good as they say it is?
To be honest I don’t really like it.  I only had like 3 times. But this place called Richies and Island Friday is where it’s at.

DraftSeason: Using one word, how would you describe your style of play?
Mike Tyson: Competitive

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