Vikings' pick at No. 214: North Carolina offensive lineman Travis Bond
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings addresed their offensive line again in the seventh round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, selecting North Carolina guard Travis Bond at No. 214 overall.
Nicknamed "Tree Top", Bond (6-foot-6, 329 pounds) is an unusually large interior player and has had issues with his weight, reaching 375 pounds after his first year as a starter in 2011.
He dropped to 330 as a senior, when he earned honorable mention All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors at right guard, and said in a conference call on Saturday he's now at 327.
According to Bond, the problem was he's "a Southern boy" and lived only 3 hours from home, where his mother and grandmother loved to cook for him -- so he had to stop going there.
"Fried chicken, bar-b-Q, corn bread, macaroni and cheese, pork chops -- all of that," Bond said.
He also gave up riding scooters after he was hit by a truck on his way to study hall in February 2012, leaving him with a broken wrist that didn't show up on an X-ray. He didn't know the extent of the injury until he felt pain bench-pressing a couple of weeks later and underwent an MRI.
"I just laughed about it and went into study hall and I explained to my tutor why I was late," said Bond, who was encouraged to go to the hospital once his friends realized he wasn't joking.
Vikings offensive line coach Jeff Davidson flew to Chapel Hill, N.C., the afternoon before Bond's pro day to meet with him privately.