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 before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Dalton will visit Vikings

Posted by: under Vikings, NFL draft, Vikings draft Updated: March 24, 2011 - 1:31 PM

TCU quarterback Andy Dalton is scheduled to visit the Vikings, but he did not say anything about working out for the team before next month's draft.

In an interview with NFL Network, Dalton said he is set to visit Minnesota, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Tennessee and Washington. He will work out for Cleveland, New England, Chicago and Kansas City, as well as Tennessee and Cincinnati.

Assuming Dalton is taking an actual trip to Minnesota -- and that's how it sounded -- that would mean he will be at the "Top 30" dinner the Vikings will host for draft prospects early next month at Winter Park. That is different from going through a private workout for the team. There has been a report that Dalton would (or had) worked out for Vikings officials.

Dalton, who had his Pro Day on March 12, said he has heard all types of things about where he might be selected in the draft. "It's hard to really know what to believe," he said. "It really hasn't been my focus right now. Just trying to go out and do the best that I can and hopefully impress some teams along the way."

Dalton, 6-2, 215 pounds, led TCU to a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin this past season. He passed for 10,314 yards, with 71 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in leading TCU to 42 victories as a starter four seasons.

Dalton knows there will be some questioning how he will do in the NFL.

"I think for me -- we play in the Mountain West Conference -- they are going to say I didn't play against the best competition, didn't play in the SEC, didn't play in these bigger conferences," Dalton said. "But I think playing in the Rose Bowl, getting to play against a great team in Wisconsin, that was kind of a step for me. And then to show that I can make all the throws. Playing underneath center, all my skills will translate into an NFL offense. That's what I've been working on and am set to prove."

Former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer certainly sounds sold on Dalton, who is projected to be a fourth- or fifth-round selection in Pro Football Weekly's draft preview.

"I can't tell you how much Aaron Rodgers I see in Andy Dalton," Dilfer told the ESPN Radio affiliate in Seattle. "They have tremendously quick releases, they can throw from multiple foot platforms, meaning they can be off balance, very aggressive by nature, [they can] extend the play, and they understand the value of a completion.

"I think that's one of the biggest things in evaluating a quarterback that goes unnoticed is which guys understand the value of completing the football. It doesn't have to be glamorous all the time, but they're going to get a completion, they're going to move the chains and they're going to get completions in the biggest moments of games. That's what I see with Andy Dalton. If there's one guy in this draft -- if I was coaching -- that I would want to coach, it's Andy Dalton."


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters