Vikings emphasize athleticism at 2018 NFL draft

"A lot of the traits that they have, you can't teach, you can't coach, but you can sure develop them."

Posted: Apr 29, 2018 8:48 AM

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — As he maneuvered through the NFL draft on Saturday, Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman certainly had his eye on filling team needs.

Trusting his coaches to develop players, Spielman also had a specific focus on athleticism.

Minnesota, after trading out of the third round and holding the second pick in the fourth round, selected Ohio State defensive lineman Jalyn Holmes to start Saturday's third day of the draft. Later, the team added two former basketball players as part of a six-player, final day haul.

"Sticking with the athletic traits we're looking for and relying on this coaching staff to develop a lot of this young talent," Spielman said. "A lot of the traits that they have, you can't teach, you can't coach, but you can sure develop them."

Spielman continued to move around the board on Saturday. The Vikings then made a pair of trades with the New York Jets, adding tight end Tyler Conklin from Central Michigan and the first kicker taken in the draft in Auburn's Daniel Carlson in the fifth round.

Minnesota added guard Colby Gossett from Appalachian State, Tulane defensive end Ade Aruna and California linebacker Devante Downs.

Holmes, a 270-pound defensive end at Ohio State, likely will play inside for the Vikings. He ran 4.82 in the 40-yard dash at the combine, sixth among defensive ends.

Conklin and Aruna were both former basketball players.

Conklin left behind a scholarship at Northwood University as a basketball player to walk on to the football team at Central Michigan. Aruna came to the United States from Nigeria to play high school basketball before switching to football prior to his senior season.

Conklin had the second-best mark among tight ends in the vertical jump and 60-yard shuttle at the combine.

Aruna also flashed his traits at the combine. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound end was second among all defensive lineman in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.60 seconds and had the top vertical jump and broad jump.

"We'll have a hell of an intramural team," Spielman joked. "All these guys are long. All these guys can jump out of the gym. All these guys can run. When you have those traits, to me and to this coaching staff, our philosophy if we can get athletes in like that, it gives you a chance to hit on some guys that can be pretty special."

Spielman referenced the team's selection of defensive end Danielle Hunter in the third round in 2015 after Hunter had 1½ sacks as a senior. He's developed into a starting end and has 25½ sacks in three seasons.

Aruna's basketball background even included a matchup with NBA forward Andrew Wiggins where Aruna was responsible for defending the eventual Minnesota Timberwolves player.

"As soon as we got down to the stadium to play that game, my coach told me, 'Hey, I want you to guard Andrew Wiggins. He's going to be your assignment tonight,'" Aruna said. "I told him, 'No problem, if that's how you want it I will get it done, just like that.' I gave him one of the lowest scoring games of his high school career, that night."

EXTRA POINTS: Carlson could replace Kai Forbath as Minnesota's kicker after hearing his name selected in the fifth round. Carlson was a three-time finalist for the Lou Groza Award, given to the best kicker in college football, and was a second-team All-American the past two seasons.

Forbath re-signed with the Vikings in March on a one-year contract after an inconsistent season in which he led the NFL with five missed extra-point attempts and hit just 84.2 percent of his field-goal attempts.

In four years at Auburn, Carlson was perfect on 198 extra-point attempts.

"At this next level, extra points are backed up a little so it is going to take that much more focus and hopefully that can continue to keep that streak alive and take pride in making sure I am mentally locked in," Carlson said.

He hit 80.7 percent of his field-goal attempts, including an 87.5 percent mark in 2016 before hitting 23 of 31 (74.2 percent) last season.

Spielman said Carlson and Forbath will compete for the job during the summer.

CURLING FOR PICKS: Minnesota's fourth-round pick was delivered via the St. Paul Curling Club from the U.S. Olympic men's gold medal-winning curling team. The team led by captain John Schuster, a Minnesota native, announced the pick of Holmes.

Holmes was selected 102nd overall, which was the same pick Washington used to get quarterback Kirk Cousins in 2012. In his first chance at free agency, Cousins signed a three-year contract worth $84 million in March.

STILL NEED: Minnesota went for need during the three days of the draft, hitting the most important spots along the lines and at cornerback. Perhaps more work is needed after the Vikings weren't able to come away with an expected immediate starter on the right side of the offensive line.

One spot Minnesota didn't address was safety, where it returns All-Pro Harrison Smith along with starter Andrew Sendejo. The top backups are Anthony Harris and Jayron Kearse.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 39133

Reported Deaths: 1514
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12597787
Ramsey4963229
Dakota242192
Stearns241419
Anoka2266109
Nobles16726
Olmsted114715
Washington113740
Mower9602
Rice8488
Scott7624
Clay59138
Kandiyohi5781
Blue Earth4942
Wright4835
Todd4012
Carver3951
Lyon3272
Sherburne3255
Freeborn2970
Watonwan2380
Steele2371
Benton2203
St. Louis19615
Nicollet17312
Martin1715
Cottonwood1360
Goodhue1318
Winona12915
Crow Wing10812
Le Sueur1081
Pine1070
Chisago1021
Otter Tail1001
McLeod920
Dodge880
Carlton870
Unassigned8537
Polk822
Chippewa791
Isanti750
Waseca710
Douglas650
Murray650
Itasca6412
Meeker611
Morrison611
Faribault600
Pipestone592
Becker570
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington520
Renville362
Beltrami340
Brown342
Mille Lacs342
Wabasha330
Rock310
Fillmore300
Yellow Medicine300
Houston270
Swift221
Wilkin213
Norman200
Redwood190
Koochiching181
Grant170
Roseau170
Cass162
Aitkin150
Big Stone150
Kanabec151
Wadena150
Marshall120
Pope120
Lincoln100
Mahnomen101
Clearwater90
Hubbard80
Lake60
Stevens50
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32064

Reported Deaths: 731
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6739181
Woodbury326044
Black Hawk232358
Buena Vista171911
Johnson13408
Linn130482
Dallas129129
Marshall106019
Scott84510
Story8063
Pottawattamie74512
Dubuque74222
Wapello70830
Crawford6783
Muscatine64944
Sioux4810
Tama46829
Wright3851
Louisa36313
Jasper32517
Plymouth3245
Warren2911
Dickinson2663
Webster2484
Washington2459
Cerro Gordo1901
Hamilton1891
Boone1501
Clay1370
Allamakee1334
Clarke1333
Mahaska11717
Shelby1170
Clinton1131
Poweshiek1078
Carroll991
Pocahontas981
Bremer957
Franklin950
Des Moines912
Emmet870
Henry863
Cedar851
Hardin810
Taylor800
Monona770
Cherokee761
Floyd732
Marion710
Benton681
Guthrie684
Jones640
Sac640
Jefferson620
Osceola620
Buchanan601
Butler592
Hancock551
Humboldt551
Calhoun542
Harrison540
Lee542
Iowa530
Delaware511
Monroe517
Fayette500
Madison482
Lyon450
Clayton443
Davis411
Mitchell410
Palo Alto410
Grundy400
Mills390
Winneshiek390
Kossuth360
Howard340
Jackson340
Union340
Lucas314
Chickasaw290
Greene290
Winnebago290
Cass240
Ida230
Appanoose213
Keokuk211
Van Buren210
Page200
Worth200
Adair160
Audubon161
Unassigned160
Ringgold150
Decatur120
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont80
Rochester
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 82°
Mason City
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 81°
Albert Lea
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 85°
Austin
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 82°
Charles City
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 82°
Heat Advisory in effect until 7pm
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Reopening NIACC Safely

Image

Social Justice Program Gets Underway

Image

Group gathers to pray for racial justice

Image

Prep athletes eager to get back into the weight room

Image

Sean's 6pm Weather 7/8

Image

Bishop writes to ask for clemency for Dustin Honken

Image

Catch a ride to stay cool

Image

Free masks in Rochester

Image

Boys & Girls Club back open

Image

Rochester Elementary School releases plans

Community Events