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.


Access Vikings: Georgia Southern RB McKinnon taken in third round

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion under Vikings, Percy Harvin Updated: May 9, 2014 - 10:57 PM

With the 96th overall pick in the third round, the Vikings selected Georgia Southern running back Jerick McKinnon.

"We're trying to find another third-down type back that gives us another version of what we have with Adrian [Peterson] and what we have with Matt [Asiata]," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said.

Listed at 5-9 and 209 pounds, he had an impressive NFL Combine performance with a 4.41 40-time, 32 reps on the bench press, 40.5 inch vertical jump and 132-inch broad jump.

Spielman said McKinnon had one of the longest Pro Days he's ever seen working out as a running back, punt returner and corner.

"He was just, from an athletic standpoint, too good of an athlete to pass up," Spielman said. "Just too explosive of a player."

McKinnson served as triple-option quarterback and running back throughout his time at Georgia Southern. He started in nine games – five at quarterback and four at running back – last year. McKinnon had 1,050 rushing yards with 12 rushing touchdowns and threw for 1,500 passing yards on 161 carries. 

"He's elusive, he has great speed in the open field and he kind of gives us that dynamic third-down type back that will gives us a spark when he comes in," Spielman said.

The Vikings had this extra third round pick as the final piece to the Percy Harvin trade last year with the Seahawks. 

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