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.


Griffen makes favorable first impression

Posted by: under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Vikings players, Kevin Williams, Leslie Frazier, Vikings draft Updated: May 28, 2010 - 10:19 PM

The Vikings have held only two weeks of Organized Team Activities so it's way too early to make any firm judgments on how players look.  It's impossible to get an accurate read until players put on full pads and are allowed to have contact in training camp.

But rookie defensive end Everson Griffen has made a positive first impression, according to coaches and teammates.

"He runs real hard," All-Pro defensive tackle Kevin Williams said. "He has a high motor it seems like. When he gets the defense down and all the other things, I think he’s going to have a good chance of maybe getting in the rotation with us."

Griffen was projected by some draft experts as a first-round pick, but he fell to the fourth round largely because of his lack of consistency at USC.

Vikings director of college scouting Scott Studwell said Griffen had a tendency to "disappear" in games.

"There were games when he was a first-round pick and there were games when he would disappear," Studwell said on draft day.
 
Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said Griffen has worked hard to be consistent throughout the first two weeks of OTAs.
 
"He’s making a conscious effort to be consistent every rep," Frazier said. "We talked to him about that prior to the draft. We’ve talked to him about that since we’ve had him. He’s making that effort to play with a high motor all the time. I think the guys that we have, they’re going to demand it from him as well as the coaches. So he won’t have a chance to really slip back to some of his old habits. If he does, we’ve got enough people to really push him."
 
Williams, for one, is ready to fill that role.
 
"If you’re around us, you know it’s going to be a tough road to hoe," Williams said. "If he’s slacking we’re going to let him know and fast. I think with all the guys we’ve got as leaders, he won’t get caught slacking."
 
 

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