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NFC North Draft Winds: Rumors connecting players, NFL teams

  • By NFL.com
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College Football 24/7 takes a look at the buzz surrounding the NFC North teams leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft.

Chicago Bears

First-round spot: 14
» Bears' 2014 draft picks | Draft history

A Monsters of the Midway-esque defensive unit that was once one of the league's best has been reduced to mediocrity. Defensive line and safety appear to be the biggest areas of need on the unit. The interior offensive line also figures to get some attention in the draft.

Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton
May 1: Bears show strong interest in Princeton product
Should Aaron Donald be unavailable, nobody can say the Bears haven't done their homework on the draft's consolation prizes at defensive tackle. Reid is one among them and has been the subject of "extensive pre-draft work" by the Bears' scouting department.

James White, RB, Wisconsin
April 25: All-around RB worked out for Bears
White is a solid all-around back; while he doesn't necessarily stand out in any area, he is a solid runner, receiver and blocker. He seems to be a third-day selection, and the Bears definitely could use depth behind Matt Forte. The Bears have one pick each in the fourth and fifth rounds and two picks in the sixth, though the sixth might be too late to grab him.

Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
April 22: Productive DT met with Bears
The Bears need to come out of this draft with at least one defensive tackle; the question is when they decide to seek that help. Will it be the first round? If they go another way on the draft's initial day, picking Sutton (6-foot-0½, 303 pounds) on the second day is a possibility. He was productive at Arizona State (19.5 sacks and 45.5 tackles for loss in his career), but he also is a divisive prospect because of his fluctuating weight and a lack of consistency. Still, his pass-rush potential in the interior likely excites some teams. Are the Bears one of them?

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
April 18: Jeremiah: Clinton-Dix should appeal to Bears
In a teleconference Thursday, NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said safety is a position the Bears could look to fill with the No. 14 overall pick. "I think they'll have shot at one of those top two guys, Ha Ha Clinton Dix from Alabama, Calvin Pryor from Louisville," Jeremiah said. "HaHa Clinton-Dix might be a little more attractive to them just as a playmaker over the top, kind of a little more range than Pryor." Clinton-Dix (6-foot-1, 208 pounds) is seen as a first-round lock, and he likely also will appeal to two teams drafting earlier than the Bears -- the Lions at No. 10 and the Rams at No. 13.

Zach Fulton, G, Tennessee
April 18: Ex-Vols guard works out for Bears
The Chicago Bears will get a look at former Tennessee guard Zach Fulton on Friday at the club's facility in a workout for prospects local to Chicago, and he is expecting to get a familiar request: to snap a few footballs from the center position. According to chicagosuntimes.com, Notre Dame guard Chris Watt has been making a similar adjustment in private workouts. The Lions, Falcons and Panthers have worked out Fulton, as well.

Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
April 8: Report: Fuller meets with Bears
The Bears likely will be looking to improve their defense with the team's first-round pick, and to that end Fuller is visiting with the team. Chicago's secondary could use an infusion of talent at cornerback and at both safety spots. But the Bears also could use some help at defensive tackle.

De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon
April 7: Speedy Thomas will meet with Bears
Thomas had a disappointing junior season in 2013 but definitely is dangerous with the ball in his hands. With Devin Hester having departed in free agency, you have to think Chicago would be intrigued with Thomas as a return man. Thomas also has the potential to be a dangerous slot receiver and useful on jet sweeps, though his lack of size means he will be a specialty player. He's a third-day selection.

Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois
April 4: Lynch working out at QB for Bears
Lynch has worked out as a running back at the combine and as a defensive back at his pro day, he'll work out at his preferred position of quarterback when he meets with the Bears on April 18, according to suntimes.com. Lynch finished third in the Heisman vote last season and said he is intent on winning the NFL's Rookie of the Year award.

Kelcy Quarles, DT, South Carolina
March 13: Bears showing interest in Quarles
South Carolina defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles said the Chicago Bears showed keen interest in him during the interview process at the NFL Scouting Combine. Prospects get to have 15-minute meetings with teams in Indianapolis, and Quarles detailed some of the things he talked about with reps from the Bears.

Yawin Smallwood, OLB, Connecticut
Feb. 25: Smallwood would be 'honored' to play for Bears
By the time Smallwood met with the media at the NFL Scouting Combine, the only team he had interviewed with was the Bears. He was delighted to have talked to a team looking to upgrade its personnel on the defensive side of the ball. "It would be an honor (to play for the Bears)," he told ESPN.com. "They have a great tradition of having great Hall of Fame linebackers over there, so I would be so happy to play over there. But I'm just going to show what I can do and see what happens from there."

Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Feb. 20: Mayock: Bears could get defensive
On a conference call with reporters, NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock broke down the Bears' options at pick No. 14 in the first round of the draft, saying, "When you're looking at the pure 4-3 ends in this draft, they are few and far between. (Jadeveon) Clowney is going to be gone, and if (Kony) Ealy is there at 14, he's a good pick."


Detroit Lions

First-round spot: 10
» Lions' 2014 draft picks | Draft history

A second consecutive season without a playoff berth meant a change of leadership for the Detroit Lions. Enter former Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell, whose most pressing needs could be in the defensive backfield.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
May 6: Watkins: Lions' trade talk is 'serious'
Watkins told Ian Rapoport that the Lions have made their interest known in potentially trading up for the explosive Clemson wide receiver. Detroit currently picks 10th overall. The Lions have been on Watkins' scent for some time. Last month, the team rolled out the red carpet during a pre-draft visit attended by vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. and Lions receivers Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate.

Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
April 29: Productive WR visited with Lions
Robinson, who led the Big Ten in receptions in each of the past two seasons, would be an interesting addition for the Lions, who could line him up opposite Calvin Johnson. The big question about Robinson is his speed; he ran a sub-4.5 40 at Penn State's pro day after a disappointing 4.60 clocking at the NFL Scouting Combine. Robinson is effective as a deep threat and also on wide-receiver screens. Detroit picks 13th in the second round (45th overall), which is about in line with where Robinson -- who grew up in a Detroit suburb -- is expected to go.

Erik Lora, WR, Eastern Illnois
April 23: Highly productive FCS WR to meet with Lions
Lora (5-foot-10, 203 pounds) was not invited to the combine but had a solid pro day performance, running the 40 in 4.49 seconds and turning in a 36-inch vertical jump (http://blogs.nfl.com/2014/03/04/garoppolo-wasnt-only-standout-at-northwestern-pro-day/). Lora was Jimmy Garoppolo's favorite receiver at EIU and caught 259 passes in his final two seasons, good for 3,218 yards and 31 touchdowns. Lora was an all-county player in high school in Miami in the large-school classification, but his size and supposed lack of speed led to zero FBS offers. He has a chance to be a late-round pick but likely ends up as a priority free agent. Despite signing free-agent WR Golden Tate, Detroit seemingly is looking to add some receivers in this draft. The Lions pick 12th (227th overall) in the seventh round.

Keon Lyn, CB, Syracuse
April 23: Under-the-radar prospect visiting with three teams
Lyn's draft grade is a long way from being complete, given that he wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, and that a fractured knee cap would have prevented him from doing much there, anyway. He may not be drafted at all. But Lyn isn't totally off the NFL radar as he has visited the Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions, according to Syracuse.com. He'll hold a personal pro day Monday. And you have to like the photo he tweeted from Raiders headquarters.

Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
April 22: Mack welcomes idea of playing alongside Suh
Mack visited the Lions and said he could see himself playing alongside Ndamukong Suh. Before Lions fans start dreaming -- and NFC North offensive coordinators begin having nightmares -- remember that Detroit picks 10th. Unless the Lions move up, they're not going to have a shot at Mack.

Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
April 21: Big CB met with Lions
Jean-Baptiste (6-foot-3, 218 pounds) is intriguing to a lot of teams because of his size. He didn't run all that well at the NFL Scouting Combine (4.61 in the 40), though he did have an eye-popping 41.5-inch vertical jump. He improved his 40 at Nebraska's pro day, turning in times of 4.45 and 4.48 seconds. Despite his size, he's not all that physical, and while there has been some talk of him potentially being a safety, his lack of physicality would be an issue there. And while he ran better at his pro day, his speed (or lack thereof) remains a concern. Jean-Baptiste, who turned 24 earlier this month, was a wide receiver in high school and in prep school, and signed with Nebraska out of junior college (he did not play football there) as a receiver; he has played just a bit more than two years of cornerback. Detroit needs corners and could go with Jean-Baptiste with its second-round pick (45th overall); he might be a bit of a reach that early, though. The Lions pick 12th in the third round (76th overall), but he could be gone by then.

Marcus Martin, C, USC
April 21: One of draft's top centers meets with Lions
Martin (6-foot-3, 320 pounds) and Colorado State's Weston Richburg are the two best centers in the draft. Martin started at guard in his first two seasons with the Trojans, then moved to center as a junior in 2013. Center wouldn't appear to be a high priority for Detroit, but starter Dominic Raiola is 35. Martin could start at guard until Raiola is ready to be replaced. Detroit picks 13th in the second round (45th overall), which presumably is where the Lions would target Martin. Detroit picks 12th in the third round (76th overall), but Martin probably would be gone by then.

Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
April 18: Improving the o-line possible for Detroit
In a teleconference Thursday, NFL Media draft analyst Charles Davis said he thought Detroit picking Lewan (6-foot-7, 309 pounds) made some sense. "I don't think offensive line is out of line there at No. 10 for Detroit," Davis said. Lewan generally is considered the No. 3 tackle available, but he also is considered a guy who will be off the board by the early teens. If the Lions do select Lewan (or Texas A&M's Jake Matthews, the No. 2 tackle), Davis said Detroit could move Riley Reiff from left tackle to right tackle and "you've automatically gotten your offensive line a whole lot better and helped out Matthew Stafford. So it's not out of line that that could happen."

Marqise Lee, WR, USC
April 17: Lee hopes to get drafted by Lions
Lee isn't tipping his hand about where in the NFL draft he expects to be chosen, but after paying a visit to the Lions, the projected first-rounder certainly sounds like he's identified his best-case scenario.

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
April 17: Potential No. 1 pick Clowney meets with Lions
Clowney is in play to be the top pick in the draft and conventional wisdom says there is no way he lasts beyond the third pick. The Lions pick 10th in the first round. There's no way Clowney is there at No. 10 for the Lions, so perhaps they were just doing their due diligence on the player who is considered the top prospect in the draft.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
April 17: Lions meeting with big TE
Fiedorowicz (6-foot-5½, 265 pounds) might be the best of the second-tier tight ends (behind a top four of Eric Ebron, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jace Amaro and Troy Niklas). Fiedorowicz was underutilized at Iowa -- part of that is on him -- but he has excellent size, good hands, has shown an ability to get deep and can be a physical blocker. Still, he finished his career with only 91 catches, and it's tough to truly project him as a big-time receiving threat. Detroit definitely would seem to be in the market for a tight end, and Fiedorowicz seems likely to go in the third or fourth round. The Lions have two picks in the fourth round.

Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
April 14: Lions meet with star CB
The Lions need defensive backs, and they certainly are doing their due diligence on cornerbacks and safeties. Fuller (6-foot-0, 190 pounds) generally is considered one of the top five corners in the draft, and NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock has Fuller as his No. 2 corner. Detroit owns the 10th pick; that seems to be too early for Fuller, whose brother, Corey, is a Lions receiver. Detroit also has met with CBs Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard and safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Deone Bucannon.

Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
April 10: Mettenberger works out for Lions
It was a busy week for Mettenberger, who worked out for the Lions on Thursday and also had visits planned this week with the Jaguars, Raiders, Titans and Vikings. While Mettenberger (6-foot-5, 224 pounds) has one of the strongest arms in the draft and is a prototypical dropback passer, the Lions would seem to have more critical needs than a backup quarterback for Matthew Stafford. LSU FB J.C. Copeland (5-11, 271) and WR Kadron Boone (6-0, 204) also are working out for the Lions. Copeland is a solid blocker who seems likely to be a third-day pick, and Boone has an intriguing skill set and would seem to be a priority free agent. NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt says that if Mettenberger is healthy, he could be a second-round pick in May.

Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
April 7: Latimer has busy month with team meetings
There is a deep pool of wide receivers in this year's draft, and Latimer appears to be one of the fastest-rising prospects at the position. NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt said Latimer already has met with Buffalo, is visiting with Philadelphia and has meetings set up with Carolina, Detroit (April 11), Oakland, Seattle and San Diego.

Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
April 4: Bryant visits with Lions
While one Clemson wide receiver has said he likes the idea of teaming with Calvin Johnson, the Lions visited with another Tigers wide receiver. Bryant (6-foot-4, 211 pounds) has a great size/speed mix (4.42 in the 40 at the combine), but he's also a guy who underachieved in his three seasons at Clemson. He came on strong in the second half of his junior season, then turned pro. His potential likely will lead to him being drafted higher than he should be going off his production; he could be a target for the Lions in the second round.

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
March 26: Lions head to College Station to check out Evans
The Lions' interest in Evans figures to take a turn in one direction or another as coach Jim Caldwell and general manager Martin Mayhew will both be on hand for Evans' pro day workout. It's a good bet Evans will get to know Caldwell and Mayhew much better at the pro day, as Clemson WR Sammy Watkins did following his own pro day performance.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
March 26: Lions among teams set to meet with Fiedorowicz
Fiedorowicz was worked out by Bengals tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes at Iowa's pro day, but will perform private workouts on the Iowa campus for the Cowboys and Texans. He has scheduled visits in the coming weeks with the Buccaneers, Falcons, Lions and Patriots, too.

Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
March 24: Lions could draft DT to motivate Fairley
Lions GM Martin Mayhew didn't hide the fact that the team's decision not to pick up the option on DT Nick Fairley was partly to give him an incentive to have a big season. The Lions, who hold the No. 10 pick in the draft, might also seek to push Fairley through the draft, perhaps not in the first round but possibly in the second round, in which they pick 13th. Nix and Ra'Shede Hageman are likely targets for them on the second day.

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
March 19: Ebron set to visit Lions
Ebron has at least four NFL teams lined up for visits next month. In addition to the Lions, Ebron will visit with the Bills, Panthers and Ravens. Detroit immediately follows Buffalo with the No. 10 overall pick, while Baltimore picks at No. 17. Carolina figures to be in a poor position to acquire Ebron with the No. 28 overall pick.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
March 17: Lions bring in Clinton-Dix for visit
The Lions hosted arguably the top safety prospect in the NFL draft in Clinton-Dix, linking a first-round talent to a club thought to be more inclined to draft for a different position in the first round.

Feb. 25: List of players interviewed by Lions at combine
MLive.com compiled a list of players who said that they interviewed with the Lions while in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine. The list included 10 wide receivers, the position with the most players who said they met with the Lions.


Green Bay Packers

First-round spot: 21
» Packers' 2014 draft picks | Draft history

Injuries have ravaged the Packers' roster in recent years. The team has yet to recover from the loss of safety Nick Collins in 2011 to a neck injury, and Jermichael Finley's injury in 2013 could also dictate the team's direction in the draft. Cornerback could also be an area addressed by the Packers, whose defense has failed to complement the team's explosive offense in recent seasons.

Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh
April 29: Fast-rising QB met with Packers
Savage is one of the more polarizing quarterback prospects; he has good size and a big arm, but he also is immobile and his mechanics go haywire when he feels pressure. Savage appears to be on the verge of being drafted in the second round; the Packers pick 21st in the second round (53rd overall) and that seems more and more likely to be too late to get Savage.

Brandon Dixon, CB, Northwest Missouri State
April 9: Dixon among small-school standouts visiting Packers
Dixon, Tennessee-Martin WR Jeremy Butler and North Dakota State QB Brock Jensen are scheduled for meetings with the Packers. Dixon (5-foot-11 1/2, 203 pounds) was a Division II All-American who played in the Senior Bowl and attended the NFL Scouting Combine; he ran the 40 in 4.41 seconds at the combine. Dixon is a potential third-day pick, while Butler and Jensen are likely to be undrafted free agents. Jensen (6-3, 223) led North Dakota State to back-to-back FCS titles in 2012 and '13 and is raw as a passer. Butler (6-2, 226), who transferred from Louisiana Tech, had 90 receptions for 1,203 yards and 10 TDs in 2013.

Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
March 14: Two Packers reps in Lubbock for pro day
Two representatives from the Packers were among those from 20 different NFL teams on hand for Texas Tech's pro day, where Amaro's workout as deemed worthy of first-round consideration, according to NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt. With uncertainty over Jermichael Finley's health clouding the Packers' tight end situation, the team could be on the lookout to add more talent at the position.

Dri Archer, RB, Kent State
March 2: Packers on quest to improve return game
While Oregon State's Brandin Cooks appears to mirror the skill set of Randall Cobb, his likely first-round status might not be worth the risk of jeopardizing more pressing needs elsewhere. A late-round option to help add a spark to a lackluster return game might be Archer or Pittsburg State's John Brown, who emerged from the combine with blazing 40 times.

Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
Feb. 22: Sutton draws interest from Packers
Sutton gaining 40 pounds his senior season, but wasn't as explosive and didn't play up to expectations. He said after the season he started dropping back down, and when he weighed in at the combine he was 303. However, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Packers apparently thought he looked good at 320 and told him so in an interview at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
Feb. 22: Mettenberger meets with Packers
Mettenberger suffered an ACL injury late in the 2013 season, wasn't able to participate in on-field drills at the NFL Scouting Combine, but hopes to be able to show his skills off for scouts at LSU's pro day on April 9. One of the teams to talk to Mettenberger at the combine was the Packers, who had quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt meet with the LSU QB, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.


Minnesota Vikings

First-round spot: 8
» Vikings' 2014 draft picks | Draft history

Despite selecting a quarterback in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings are unsettled at the position and could go in that direction in this year's draft.

Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
May 5: Vikings interested in Donald at No. 8
The Vikings have mostly been linked to a linebacker or quarterback with the eighth pick and are considered the favorite in some circles to draft Johnny Manziel. But NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah tweeted Monday that the team could be leaning toward drafting Donald to shore up their front seven. The latest NFL.com mock drafts have Donald going as high as No. 10 and as low as No. 16. Jeremiah does not list defensive lineman as one of the team's top positional needs.

May 5: Vikings searching for Peterson backup in draft?
The Vikings have a starting running back in Adrian Peterson -- and a fine one at that. Who will be Peterson's backup in 2014? Finding Toby Gerhart's replacement could happen in the draft. New offensive coordinator Norv Turner wants to ease the workload facing Peterson, who recently turned 29 and is coming off his third surgery in as many years.

Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
May 2: Bortles excited about potential fit with Vikings
Bortles apparently likes the Norv Turner offensive system that would await him in Minnesota more than others. For the Vikings, the bigger question is whether Bortles will even be available to them with the No. 8 overall pick in the first round. The Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all have a need at the quarterback position.

Bryn Renner, QB, North Carolina
April 28: Vikes talk with potential third-day QB
Minnesota could use a starting quarterback, but projecting Renner as an NFL starter is a stretch. Could the Vikings draft a quarterback early, then another (such as Renner) late? Renner (6-foot-3, 228 pounds) played at a high level in 2012 (3,356 yards, 28 TDs) but suffered a shoulder injury and missed six games in 2013. When he did play in '13, he wasn't as sharp as he had been as a junior. Renner is a heady guy with a nice arm and has value as a third-day pick.

Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina
April 21: Martin reportedly visited Vikings
Martin (6-foot-6, 278 pounds) visited the Vikings last week, according to twincities.com. He's a good athlete -- he ran a 4.78 in the 40-yard dash and had a 35.5-inch vertical jump at the NFL Scouting Combine -- who put up big numbers as a senior with the Tar Heels (82 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss). He always had been good against the run but developed into a solid pass rusher in 2013. Martin lacks bulk but does possess good quickness. The Vikings definitely need a young defensive end with an upside, and Martin would be an interesting choice in the second round. The Vikes pick eighth in the second round (40th overall), but that seems a bit high for Martin. They also pick eighth in the third round (72nd overall), but he could be gone by then.

Lamin Barrow, ILB, LSU
April 16: Productive 'backer visits Minnesota
Barrow (6-foot-1, 237 pounds) led LSU in tackles in 2013 with 91 and was second in 2012 with 104. He runs well and is a good athlete, but he must become more physical and instinctual. He has an upside, and the Vikings seem likely to be in the market for some linebacker depth on the third day of the draft, which is where Barrow would fit.

Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
April 14: Mack will visit with Vikings
Mack (6-foot-3, 251 pounds) is a top-10 lock, and the only question is how early he will go in the draft. NFL Media insider reporter Ian Rapoport reported Mack will visit with the Minnesota Vikings, who pick eighth, on Wednesday and Thursday. He'll also meet with the Houston Texans, who pick first overall, next week. It's a long shot that he will be selected by Houston, but the Texans still are doing their due diligence. Minnesota surely could use a pass rusher of Mack's ilk, but will he be there at No. 8? The Atlanta Falcons, who pick sixth and desperately need an edge rusher, will meet with Mack, too. Mack also will meet with the Detroit Lions, who pick 10th, next week, and he already has visited with the St. Louis Rams (who pick second) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (third). The Jags are another team in the market for an edge rusher.

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
April 12: Bridgewater works out for Vikings
Bridgewater was scheduled to work out for the Vikings on Saturday, then visit with team officials Sunday and Monday, according to NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport. Bridgewater had previously worked out only for the Cleveland Browns. His workout plus weekend meetings with Minnesota come one day after the team held a private workout for Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
April 11: Garoppolo latest QB to work out for Vikings
The Vikings stayed active in meeting with the draft's top quarterbacks, bringing Garoppolo in for a workout Friday, according to the Star-Tribune. Garoppolo, the FCS player of the year in 2013, is projected to go as high as the second round and could be a target for Minnesota when it picks eighth (40th overall) in Round 2.

Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
April 7: Mettenberger to meet with Vikings, four other teams
It will be a busy week for Mettenberger, who will meet with Vikings, as well as the Jaguars, Raiders, Titans and Vikings. All but Detroit would seem to be in the market for a starting quarterback. NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt says that if Mettenberger is healthy, he could be a second-round pick in May.

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
April 2: Jeremiah: Having Cassel allows Vikings to pass on Manziel
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah believes the Vikings could afford to pass on Manziel with the No. 8 pick because they have a serviceable starter in Matt Cassel who fits offensive coordinator Norv Turner's system. Head coach Mike Zimmer has been sending signals recently that Minnesota might indeed bypass Manziel, pointing out that Manziel has "flags" regarding his maturity, his leadership and his presence in the locker room. Fellow analyst Charles Davis emphasized that Zimmer shouldn't draft Manziel if he isn't comfortable with him as his quarterback.

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
March 26: Carr lines up workouts with QB-needy teams
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah revealed on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft" some teams expected to workout Carr, "Derek Carr, I'm told, has individual workouts setup with the Titans, the Cleveland Browns, the Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and St. Louis Rams."

Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
March 26: Barr set to meet with Vikings
Last week it was reported that Barr would have a private meeting with the Atlanta Falcons. Now we have learned that he's got a pretty busy schedule in the coming weeks. Barr has several meetings set up in addition to the one with the Falcons. "There have been a couple teams that have reached out," Barr told FOXSports. "I have a couple visits. I'm going to Pittsburgh. I was going to go to Detroit, but I met with their GM the day before the pro day, so I don't know if they think it's necessary. I'm also meeting with the Cowboys, Titans and Vikings."

March 19: Vikings' Zimmer attends Florida's pro day
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was among the personnel representing 15 NFL teams present at Florida's pro day, where he could have been keeping tabs on tight end Trey Burton, center Jonotthan Harrison, guard Jon Halapio, cornerbacks Loucheiz Purifoy, Marcus Roberson and Jaylen Watkins, or potential kickoff return specialist Solomon Patton.

Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
March 19: Vikings among 12 clubs interested in Murray
A dozen NFL clubs have shown more interest in Murray than others, and -- not surprisingly -- the Vikings are among them. The Vikings' quarterback spot has been in flux since 2011 first-rounder Christian Ponder failed to live up to lofty expectations.

March 18: Vikings' Zimmer, Turner at FSU's pro day
New Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner were among the many NFL notables on hand for Florida State's pro day, where receiver Kelvin Benjamin, safety Terrence Brooks, defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, and inside linebackers Christian Jones and Telvin Smith were among the notables working out.

March 17: Vikings' Zimmer at Florida's pro day
Linebacker/defensive end Ronald Powell, tight end Trey Burton and cornerbacks Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson were among the players who participated at Florida's pro day with Vikings coach Mike Zimmer looking on.

AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama
March 13: Vikings brass on hand at 'Bama pro day
Three officials from the Vikings descended on Alabama's pro day, giving way to speculation that the club is zooming in on McCarron as a possible answer at quarterback. Incumbent Matt Cassell is staying put after signing a two-year deal, but he's hardly the answer at a position that's been in flux ever since 2011 first-round pick Christian Ponder couldn't appropriately secure the reigns.

Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
March 3: Entire Vikings staff attends Minnesota pro day
Sure, the University of Minnesota is based in the same city, but the all-hands-on-deck approach that the local pro football team took to the local college football team's pro day is intriguing. Hageman figures to be the first Golden Gopher selected in the first round since Laurence Maroney was a No. 21 overall pick by the New England Patriots in 2006. While the Vikings have more pressing needs than defensive tackle -- such as quarterback, for instance -- Hageman's upside could make him a tempting selection.


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