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.


ESPN draft expert has Vikings taking DE

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Brian Robison, Chad Greenway, Jared Allen, Ray Edwards, Sidney Rice Updated: February 10, 2011 - 3:04 PM

I found it interesting a couple of days ago when Pro Football Weekly's Nolan Nawrocki projected the Vikings would take Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn with the 12th-overall pick in the April draft.

Turns out Nawrocki isn't the only one who thinks the Vikings will look to grab a defensive end. ESPN's Todd McShay projects Minnesota will go with North Carolina's Robert Quinn (6-5, 270 pounds).

Obviously, Nawrocki and McShay feel the Vikings might go in this direction because Ray Edwards and Brian Robison could leave as free agents, depending on what happens with a new collective bargaining agreement, and Everson Griffen did not help himself when he was arrested twice in the same weekend recently for alleged misdemeanors.

The Vikings have several areas of need and defensive end isn't necessarily the first position that comes to mind. Quarterback on the other hand ...

Nonetheless, Quinn's name is an interesting one. He is considered a big-time talent but did not play in 2010 after being ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA for accepting improper benefits. Quinn reportedly received about $5,600 in agent-related benefits and travel accommodations, including two black diamond watches.

Quinn had a big sophomore season in 2009, finishing second in the ACC with 11 sacks and leading the conference with 19 tackles for loss in 13 games. He also had 15 quarterback hurries.

Having Quinn lined up at left end and Jared Allen at right end has the potential to cause big-time problems for opponents.

On another note, today marks the first day that teams can put the franchise tag on one of their potential free agents. Many of you have wondered if the Vikings will use this tag on either linebacker Chad Greenway or wide receiver Sidney Rice. The Vikings now have 14 days to make a decision.

Odds seem good that if the Vikings are going to franchise Greenway or Rice -- the two mostly likely candidates --  they will wait the two weeks so they can see where things might be headed with the CBA talks. As of right now, it appears we could be headed for a lockout (instead of free agency) as of 11 p.m. March 3.

 

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