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Updated: April 28th, 2012 1:09pm
Vikings' pick at No. 139: Notre Dame cornerback Robert Blanton

Vikings' pick at No. 139: Notre Dame cornerback Robert Blanton

by Tom Pelissero and Judd Zulgad
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings continue to load up on former Notre Dame players.

They selected cornerback Robert Blanton in the fifth round (139th overall) in the NFL Draft on Saturday.

Blanton (6-foot-0¾, 208 pounds) played in 50 games (26 starts) over four seasons with the Fighting Irish, recording eight interceptions, 16 pass break-ups and 195 tackles (125 solo, 20½ for loss).

"It was amazing," Blanton said of getting the call from the Vikings. "I was relieved and extremely excited and happy to find out where I'll be playing football for the next few years."

On the draft sheet distributed by the Vikings, Blanton is listed as both a cornerback and safety. He wasn't willing to say Saturday where he sees himself being the best fit.

"I believe I can do both jobs, so wherever they need me I'll be more than happy to go out there and dominate," he said.

He did acknowledge that a few teams told him they were interested in him as a safety.

Blanton clearly does not lack confidence. Asked about his strengths, he said, "Just my versatility and being able to be a lockdown corner and being able to help on run support as well. Just being a count on me guy."

Blanton also said he got plenty of experience on special teams at Notre Dame. That should help him compete for a roster spot in Minnesota.

The Vikings' roster now include five former Notre Dame players, including safety Harrison Smith, whom the Vikings selected in the first round (29th overall) on Thursday. Blanton said he has exchanged text messages with Smith and is excited to remain his teammate.

The numbers

• 40-yard dash: 4.63 seconds.
• 10-yard dash: 1.58 seconds.
• 20-yard dash: 2.59 seconds.
• 20-yard shuttle: 3.97 seconds.
• 60-yard shuttle: 11.28 seconds.
• 3-cone drill: 6.71 seconds.
• Vertical jump: 34 inches.
• Broad jump: 9 feet, 8 inches.
• Bench press: 17 reps of 225 pounds.
• Arm length: 31¼ inches.
• Hand size: 9 1/8 inches.
• Wingspan: 76 1/8 inches.

The tape

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd