Vikings' pick at No. 214: Penn State tight end Mickey Shuler
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The picks are flying now, and the Minnesota Vikings have selected Penn State tight end Mickey Shuler with the first of their seventh-round picks (No. 214 overall).
Shuler (6-4, 251) is the son of former Penn State and NFL tight end Mickey Shuler Sr., who played 14 seasons with the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles.
The younger Shuler primarily was used as a blocker at Penn State, making him a logical player to develop behind Jim Kleinsasser, who isn't getting younger.
UPDATE, 3:05 p.m.: Some quick facts and figures on Shuler ...
* He reported to campus at 214 pounds, redshirted and only played in two games in 2006. Over his last three seasons, he played in 39 games (13 starts), catching 27 passes for 300 yards and four touchdowns.
* At his campus workout, he ran the 40 in 4.81 seconds, had a 32-inch vertical and benched 225 pounds 20 times.
* He graduated in December with a degree in kinesiology and earned academic all-conference honors with a 3.44 GPA.
UPDATE, 3:23 p.m.: In his conference call, Shuler disputed the notion he's a blocking tight end.
"At Penn State, I wasn't used to my strengths as much as I should have been as far as receiving," he said. "But I came a long way in the blocking end up at Penn State, and the receiving end is kind of more natural to me. That's one part of my game that I'm comfortable with and blocking's also a strength. So, I'm kind of that tight end -- that old-school tight end kind like my dad that can do both."
Asked if how the Vikings use their tight ends will suit his skills, Shuler said, "Yeah. I really couldn't have picked a much better situation than to go in here. They've got a couple good tight ends in Shiancoe ... but they definitely do their tight ends a lot and open up the offense, and when you have a running back like Adrian Peterson, that really makes the defense play honest and that opens up your passing game."