Vikings' pick at No. 168: Arkansas offensive lineman DeMarcus Love
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings finally addressed offensive line depth in the sixth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, selecting Arkansas offensive lineman DeMarcus Love with the 168th overall pick.
Love (6-foot-4, 315 pounds) has played both tackle spots, as well as guard, and is known as a physical run blocker. In a conference call with Twin Cities reporters, Love said he feels more comfortable at tackle, since that was his primary position the past two seasons, but he views his versatility as a strength.
"I never had a chance to just really just lock in on a position and just master it, because I'm always flipping sides and I'm always, every series, I'm lined up on a different side in (Arkansas coach Bobby) Petrino's offense," Love said. "It helps versatility-wise, but at the same time, it gives me, myself an edge on knowing both positions."
A Texas native who grew up rooting for the Dallas Cowboys, Love redshirted at Arkansas in 2006, then played in 19 games over the next two seasons, making 11 starts at guard. In 2009, Love was named a team captain and started all 13 games at left tackle over his final two seasons, earning first-team all-Southeastern Conference honors as a senior.
A rocky performance at the Senior Bowl in January hurt Love's draft stock, confirming existing concerns about his athleticism, feet and balance that mostly show up in pass blocking. Love said he has "learned a lot from it, and I've been working on things to correct from all the stuff I made mistakes on and things like that."
In 37 games over his final three college seasons, Love graded out at 82.62% with 187 knockdown blocks and 26 touchdown-resulting blocks. He 10½ sacks but only two as a senior.
The pick originally belonged to the Denver Broncos and was acquired on Saturday, along with the 170th overall selection, for the Vikings' fifth-round pick (No. 150).
• 40-yard dash: 5.31 seconds.
• 10-yard dash: 1.87 seconds.
• 20-yard dash: 3.11 seconds.
• 20-yard shuttle: 4.84 seconds.
• 3-cone drill: 7.84 seconds.
• Vertical jump: 26½ inches.
• Broad jump: 8 feet, 1 inch.
• Bench press: 27 reps of 225 pounds.
• Arm length: 35¼ inches.
• Hand size: 9½ inches.
• Wingspan: 83½ inches.