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Updated: July 25th, 2014 2:29pm
The official odds for the Mr. Mankato training camp award

The official odds for the Mr. Mankato training camp award

by Derek Wetmore
Email | Twitter
Audio Clip
Sports Over Beers, episode 25: Vikings camp stories, reminiscing
The Sports Over Beers podcast explores the Mankato experience for Vikings training camp, focusing on what happens after practice. What are the bars and things a first-timer should be looking to do at Vikings training camp? One of Phil Mackey’s more embarrassing stories in his time covering athletes. -- Five Lessons for a first-time training camp attendee. Five restaurants to check out during camp. An explanation of #MrMankato. A Jay Glazer story. A prank story between Keith Millard and Monte Kiffin.
[Click to listen]
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Mankato, Minn. - The committee has adjourned and the odds have been decided.

The Mr. Mankato competition is now officially underway.

1500 ESPN and the rest of the committee will be on the lookout for an under-the-radar player who absolutely dazzles for the Vikings in training camp. Each year, it seems, there's a guy who makes waves in camp.

That's who we're looking for. That's what it takes to be named Mr. Mankato.

(Bonus: T-shirts here!)

Fans, we need your help. We need an assembled army of amateur scouts. If you see anyone flashing in camp, tweet about him with the hashtag #MrMankato. It must be somebody who has a low profile, but makes a name for himself with a standout training camp.

Oddsmaker Chris Long from KSTP-TV helped us by putting together an inclusive set of odds for the award. Here they are:

* These odds don't necessarily reflect how likely a player is to make the roster. The odds are meant to reflect how likely each player is to win the Mr. Mankato Award. If a player has already played in the NFL previously, his level of "under-the-radar-ness" is lower, thus his odds are longer. Make sense?

--Kain Colter WR (Odds: 4-1)

Played "QB" in college. Big Ten kid, familiar to fans so they'll want him to do well.

Kain = Good Mr Mankato name. If he lines up *once* at QB, he wins. Will get special teams reps too? He has a chance to shine all over the place but simply will not make team.

That's Mr Mankato defined, right?


--Adam Thielen WR (6-1)

Hometown kid who has been around. Practice squad last year. Likeable as all heck. Looked OK as a practice squad guy in 2013.

Plus, there's no ignoring the WRF ... (White Receiver Factor). Do not underestimate the WRF. Ever.

Destined for year 2 on practice squad? That makes a strong Mr. Mankato candidate.


 --Antone Exum S (8-1)

Major injury concerns. Tore his ACL playing hoops January 2013. Hurt his ankle when he returned. Result: only played 3 games in 2013.

Has talent and the coaches like him.

6th rounder.

Andrew Sendejo/Jamarcia Sanford aren't locks at SS

In Exum's bio: "Very smart, well-spoken."

"Likes to do things his own way"

But I do like his Mr. Mankato chances. 




--Dominique Williams RB (10-1)

5'9, 205 (?!)

Small school factor (Wagner)

"Human Highlight Film II"?

Will win fans as "plucky lil dude"

Powerful little runner. Isn't that the model Mr Mankato?


--Jabari Price CB (12-1)

7th rounder, last draft pick

Not enough sizzle to get noticed?

In his bio: "Not a playmaker"

"Has some maturing to do"

"Fairly nondescript CB"

"Does not excel in man or zone"

Could just quietly be cut, which would not be enough to earn this prestigious award.


--Rodney Smith WR (15-1)

6'5" receiver

Went practice squad to 53-man last year

Dressed 4 times last yea but only played special teams

Zero receptions in his 4 games.

Dude is lanky. He can go up and get balls. If paired vs right (wrong) DB's, he could make a Mankato highlight reel.




--Jerick McKinnon RB (18-1)

Played "QB" in college and beat Florida (with 0 passes).

He beat Adrian Peterson's college records...the other Adrian Peterson.

Looks the part of a Mr. Mankato. Will have the 'wow' factor. Could he become Darren Sproles?


--Mike Zimmer LB (20-1)

   I mean, the name is enough right?


--Shaun Prater CB (25-1, if eligible)

He was with Mike Zimmer in Cincinnati.

But he was IR'ed in 2012. More potential "feel good story."

He cannot be shipped to the practice squad. He'll either make the roster or be cut.


--Scott Crichton DE (35-1)

Flexibility (DE/DT) = exposure!

Had some Top-50 draft grades

3rd round pick

He will be viewed as a super-sub in all likelihood.

Only on the watch list to offset the abundance of DBs/RBs/WRs.

Longest shot on our board


--"The Field" (10-1)


====Honorable Mentions====


--Kendall James DB

6th round pick

5-10, 180 = tiny

Benched 225 nine times at combine, which was the lowest among DB's

He may simply be too small.


--Robert Steeples CB

Played 3 games last year


--Tyler Scott DE

6'4, 250

Named team MVP at Northwestern.

Will be noticed at camp



--Christian Ponder QB

Won't get enough reps w 1/2's

Fan sentiment needs to be considered as a Mr. Mankato factor.

This ship sailed last year.

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for His previous stops include and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore