Monthly Archives: July 2017

Cheap Stitched Nike NFL Vikings Ben Gedeon Jerseys 2017

MANKATO – The day the Vikings drafted him in the fourth round, Ben Gedeon was home in northeast Ohio, reminiscing with his two older brothers about the backyard games that surely, they believe, helped lead him to here with an inside track at making the Vikings’ 53-man roster.

Backyard battles included 7-on-7 football games with neighbors and Wiffle ball games that could turn physical, especially for Gedeon, always the youngest and thus easiest to pick on. Basement boxing matches helped end disputes.

His older brothers enjoy reminding Gedeon of the days when they were bigger and stronger even as Gedeon works on playing linebacker in Mike Zimmer’s defense.

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Even Gedeon, who benched press more than any other rookie linebacker at the scouting combine, thanks his older brothers for unintentionally prepping him for NFL training camp — though he adds they may still have the upper hand on him.

Gedeon grew up idolizing his older brothers in a football family. Oldest brother Alex was a captain on the Harvard football team. Middle brother Sam played Rugby at the Naval Academy. But it’s Ben, a standout at Michigan, who’s primed now for his first NFL season.

“That’s in the back of your mind, but you take it day by day,” Gedeon said. “If you start looking too far ahead, these days will really get after you.”

Gedeon played in all but one game during his four-year career in Ann Arbor, leading the Wolverines in tackles as a senior. Two practices into training camp, Gedeon has already been praised by Zimmer as a smart linebacker.

“I like Gedeon,” the head coach said. “He’s a tough guy. He’s kind of an old school linebacker. He’s got very good instincts and physicality. We’re playing him in a couple different spots just to get him acclimated. He’s smart. You tell him one time and he gets it pretty good. I like him.”
Gedeon graduated from Michigan with a degree in Economics. He was a late bloomer on the field, making only one start his first three years on campus. But as a senior he recorded 4.5 sacks and 94 tackles, nearly two-dozen better than anyone else on Jim Harbaugh’s squad, and earned second team all-Big Ten honors.

He comes to the Vikings with ample special teams experience, put there his first three years at Michigan. He’s hoping that will help earn him a spot with the Vikings as a rookie.

“You have to try to prove yourself on special teams,” Gedeon said. “That’s what I’ve been harping on during camp and organized team activities. You’re a rookie, so you’ve got to work your way up and grind it out on special teams while you keep absorbing the defense.”

Cheap Authentic NFL Vikings Youth Jaleel Johnson Jerseys 2017

But with a few weeks before the training camp grind begins, both players returned to their Iowa roots and worked with around 40 other former Hawkeyes at the Legends of Iowa Football Camp.

The Minnesota Vikings selected Johnson, a first-team all-Big Ten defensive tackle, in the fourth round. The Los Angeles Chargers drafted King, a two-time All-American defensive back, in the fifth round.

Both players have impressed their clubs in their spring organized team activities and mini-camps. At minimum, Johnson (6-foot-3, 316 pounds) should work in the Vikings rotation and could start as a rookie alongside Linval Joseph. Johnson started his final 27 games at Iowa and led all Big Ten defensive tackles in 2016 with 7.5 sacks in the Hawkeyes’ two-gap scheme. He was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after gaining a sack, a safety and 9 tackles in a 14-13 upset of No. 3 Michigan last November.

“We made some positive steps moving forward,” Johnson said about the spring. “I’m learning from some really great guys like Linval, [Everson] Griffin and those guys. I’m looking forward to getting started in training camp.

“The tempo is definitely a lot quicker than I thought it would be. But it’s nothing that I can’t handle. I’m around a lot of great guys, guys who are willing to help you along.”

Los-Angeles-Chargers-Desmond King San-Francisco-49ers-George Kittle Minnesota-Vikings-Jaleel Johnson
Former Hawkeyes Desmond King, LeShun Daniels, Jaleel Johnson and George Kittle talk with young athletes at the Legends of Iowa Football Camp in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Scott Dochterman/Land of 10)
King (5-10, 201) was one of Iowa’s most decorated football players. He was a consensus All-American in 2015 when he won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. At Iowa, King started a school-record 51 games and played in two others. He intercepted 14 passes to tie for fourth in school history. In 2015, King tied a school record with 8 interceptions in 2015 and also tied the Iowa career mark by returning 3 interceptions for touchdowns in his career.

With those accolades, King was considered a potential first-round or second-round draft pick. It was a surprise when he slipped to the fifth round.

“It was pretty challenging knowing that the expectation that you thought was going to happen didn’t happen the way you wanted it,” King said. “But at the same time, you’ve got to stay humble, stay calm and just blessed when you get the opportunity.

“I feel like I have something to go out there and actually kind of play for, and that’s my goal. To go out there and win a starting spot and get on the field as soon as I can and just help the team.”

King’s versatility should vault him into immediate playing time at nickel and free safety. He worked at both positions during the spring. Unlike at Iowa — which primarily runs a base defense — NFL clubs use five defensive backs about 75 percent of their plays.

Both players will compete for two of the NFL’s best defensive coaches. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was a defensive coordinator for 14 years before taking over at Minnesota in 2014. Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley held the same position in Seattle until 2012 and was head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2013 until late last season.

“[Zimmer is] a defensive guru,” Johnson said. “He knows the ins and outs of the defense and that’s kind of scary, all the stuff that he knows. Having him as the coach is definitely an advantage because he’s the one who puts us in the right position to win.”

“I think Coach Bradley is a terrific coach,” King said. “Bringing the strategy and the defensive plays to our defense, it kind of fits in perfect with the skill sets that we have. We have very quick, tenacious players on the team that are ready to attack. The defense that he plays is great for us.”

 

Johnson heads to a squad known for selecting Iowa players. Former Hawkeyes excelling with the Vikings include Hall of Fame safety Paul Krause, longtime linebacker Wally Hilgenberg and, most recently, linebacker Chad Greenway, who retired in March after 11 seasons. Greenway, a second-team All-American at Iowa in 2004 and 2005, ranks fourth in Minnesota history with 1,334 tackles.

“I’ve heard some talks about it,” Johnson said about the Iowa legacy with the Vikings. “It’s one thing to talk about it; it’s another thing to go out and do it.”

King will compete for a franchise relocating from San Diego to Los Angeles. The Chargers’ spring workouts took place in San Diego — their home for the last 56 years — but their fall camp and games shift to Los Angeles.

“I was in an Uber one time [in San Diego], and I asked the Uber driver [about the move],” King said. “He was a big Chargers fan. He said they were very disappointed about it. But they have to do what they have to do.”

Other current NFL players joining King and Johnson at the camp were George Kittle (6-4, 247) and LeShun Daniels (6-0, 225). Kittle, a fifth-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers, has seen first-team reps at tight end this spring. Daniels, a running back, signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots.

Authentic NFL Cheap Vikings Pat Elflein Jerseys Online

To count down the days until Vikings rookies, quarterbacks and select veterans report to Mankato on July 23, we will reveal our ranking of the 17 most important Vikings players heading into the 2017 season. Look for the next player on our list every weekday morning at Access Vikings.

This list, created by Matt Vensel and Andrew Krammer, is not a ranking of the best players on the team, though sheer talent is obviously an essential factor. It is a ranking of the players whose upcoming season will have the biggest impact on the franchise, whether it’s in 2017 or beyond.

Coming in at No. 16 on our list is center/guard Pat Elflein.

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Desperate times finally called for a change in draft philosophy in 2017.

For the first time since 2012, when they drafted left tackle Matt Kalil in the top five, the Vikings this spring used a pick in the first three rounds of a draft on an offensive lineman. That would be Pat Elflein, whom they coveted so much that they traded up in the third round to secure him.

The Vikings, who had one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines last season and spent big bucks on offensive tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers this winter, have not just handed Elflein a starting spot. But the former Ohio State standout figures to seize one at some point this season.

Elflein was an all-conference selection at guard his sophomore and junior years before the Buckeyes moved him to center in 2016. Not only would he earn all-conference honors again, the 6-foot-3, 303-pounder also took home the Rimington Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top center.

The Vikings had Elflein line up at center during the six spring practices open to the media. In the first couple of them, Elflein split time with Nick Easton as the first-team center but Easton hogged all the snaps with the starters late in the spring, including the key three-day minicamp.

But Elflein will get a chance to make his move once the pads come on and become the latest former Buckeyes lineman to start as a rookie.

Under the watch of offensive line coach Ed Warinner, who is now on P.J. Fleck’s staff at the University of Minnesota, the Buckeyes sent Taylor Decker, Corey Linsley, Jack Mewhort and Andrew Norwell to the NFL, and they all earned starting jobs during their first seasons in the league.

The Vikings will likely need Elflein to make an early impact, too, for their rebuilt offensive line to actually become a strength this season.