Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Attention shifts to Senior Bowl

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, Super Bowl, Vikings off the field Updated: January 26, 2011 - 9:41 AM

While we wait for the Super Bowl next week, the NFL's center of attention this week is the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

Coaches, scouts and personnel departments from around the league are in Mobile scouting and evaluating senior draft prospects.

There is no shortage of draft experts who offer opinions and analysis on prospects, but we especially like and have a ton of respect for the job that Mike Mayock of the NFL Network does in his draft preparation. Mayock rolled out his list of top five players at each position at the beginning of the week.

The rankings are likely to change after the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, but Mayock provided an early look at his top prospects. We're going to list quarterback, offensive linemen, cornerback and safety since those positions seem to be the Vikings biggest areas of need.

All of the position groups can be found right here. (Mayock wrote that it's too early to rank quarterbacks so he grouped them.)

The Vikings own the No. 12 overall pick.

Quarterback:
First-round potential
Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
Jake Locker, Washington
Cam Newton, Auburn
Ryan Mallett, Arkansas

Next level
Andy Dalton, TCU
Ricky Stanzi, Iowa
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
Pat Devlin, Delaware
 
Guard/center:
1. Mike Pouncey, Florida
2. Stefen Wisniewski, Penn State
3. Danny Watkins, Baylor
4. John Moffitt, Wisconsin
T-5. Rodney Hudson, Florida State
T-5. William Rackley, Lehigh
 
Tackle:
1. Nate Solder, Colorado
2. Anthony Castanzo, Boston College
3. Tyron Smith, Southern California
4. Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
T-5. Ben Ijalana, Villanova
T-5. Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State
 
Cornerback:
*1. Patrick Peterson, LSU
2. Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
*3. Brandon Harris, Miami (Fla.)
*4. Aaron Williams, Texas
5. Jimmy Smith, Colorado
 
Safety:
*1. Rahim Moore, UCLA
2. Ahmad Black, Florida
3. Deunta Williams, North Carolina
*4.Robert Sands, West Virginia
*5. Will Hill, Florida
 

* Represents underclassman 

 

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