Rounding up Vikings' private workouts, visits as NFL Draft approaches
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With campus workouts wrapping and the Minnesota Vikings scheduled to hold their mass visit to Winter Park this week, it seems like as good a time as any to catch up on which NFL Draft prospects have been getting an extra look.
Not much time is devoted in this space to tracking down private workouts and visits, since teams use them for a variety of reasons -- in some cases, subterfuge -- and the majority of players who visit a team end up elsewhere. Also, NFL teams have plenty of opportunities to visit with prospects in other settings, including the Senior Bowl, the scouting combine and remote visits such as the Vikings' trip to see Percy Harvin and his family before drafting him in 2009.
However, several media outlets -- most notably, ProFootballTalk.com, NationalFootballPost.com and the Star Tribune -- have reported on workouts and visits the past month, and at minimum it is interesting to see who's connected to whom. So, here's a rundown of the prospects connected to the Vikings so far.
Private workouts: Fresno State LB Chris Carter, Washington QB Jake Locker, Auburn QB Cam Newton, Florida State QB Christian Ponder, Stanford CB Richard Sherman, Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi.
Visits: Tulsa FB/TE Charles Clay, South Carolina CB Chris Culliver, TCU QB Andy Dalton, Abilene Christian WR Edmund Gates, Georgia DE Justin Houston, Troy WR Jerrel Jernigan, Connecticut linebacker Scott Lutrus, Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett, South Florida S Mistral Raymond, Southern California T Tyron Smith, North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina TE Ryan Taylor, Portland State TE Julius Thomas, Temple DL Muhammad Wilkerson.
Other: Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert (dinner after pro day).
Note that only 14 players are on the "visits" list. Each NFL team is allowed to bring 30 players to its facility prior to the draft, and the Vikings have chosen in recent years to use all its visits at a single event. More than half of the names on this year's list remain unreported.
The final scheduled campus workout is on Thursday at Notre Dame. The draft -- in which the Vikings have nine selections, including No. 12 overall -- begins three weeks later on April 28.