Seventh-round pick Jamarca Sanford inked a deal with the Vikings last week, becoming the first player in the team's 2009 draft class to sign -- and now, we have another player to add to that list. The team announced today that fifth-round pick Jasper Brinkley, a linebacker, has reached a contract agreement:
The Vikings thought enough of Brinkley that they traded a fifth- and seventh-round pick to Washington in order to move up in the fifth round and grab him. The Vikings project Brinkley as the backup to E.J. Henderson at middle linebacker, a position they had to scramble to fill last season after Henderson was lost early in the season because of injury. Brinkley also should play a significant role on special teams this season.
If he can contribute on special teams this season, it'd be fair to call the selection of Brinkley a good one in my book. As you may recall, he went down with a devastating knee injury in 2007 -- he returned to the field in 2008 but wasn't quite up to par with his pre-injury level of performance. Here's hoping his rebound from the injury continues this season, because if it does, Brinkley could turn out to be an excellent value from the fifth round.
Based on the pattern so far -- starting with the seventh-round pick and working backwards -- Asher Allen would logically be the next member of the draft class to sign. We'll have to wait and see if that ends up being the case.