Getting to Know John Carlson



As is common knowledge at this point, the Vikings signed free agent Tight End John Carlson yesterday to a 5-year $25 Million deal with $11 Million in guaranteed money. A Litchfield, MN native, Carlson was a high school standout, and Vikings fan growing up, even having attended Vikings training camps in Mankato. A Notre Dame alum, Carlson rejoins his past college roommate John Sullivan and hooks up with another Notre Dame TE, Kyle Rudolph. Mike Wobschall gives us a more intimate look in his interview with John Carlson over at Check out more after the jump.

Carlson was selected 38th overall by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2008 draft and was the 2nd Tight End taken after Dustin Keller in that draft. had this to say about John Carlson back in 2007 where they had him ranked as the 4th best TE in the draft:

Draft Scout Snapshot: DS Rating on 08/12/07: #1 TE, #36/750 Overall, Projected: Rnd 1-2
2007: Finalist for the Draddy Award, the academic equivalent of the Heisman Trophy…Maxwell Award Watch List member and served as one of four team captains…West-wood One/State Farm Student-Athlete of the Year for the second straight year and was recipient of the Nick Pietrosante Award, given to the Notre Dame student-athlete who best exemplified the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and pride of the late Irish All-American fullback…Started all twelve games, leading the team with 40 receptions for 372 yards (9.3 avg) and three touchdowns…Also excelled on the special team coverage units, recording six tackles (4 solos). 11 GP; 11 GS; Rec: 47-634-13.5-4; Missed 2 games w/knee injury in '06. 12 GP; 6 GS; Rec: 7-56-8-1 in '05. 12 GP; 2 GS; Rec: 6-31-5.2-0 in '04. Did not see action as a tight end during his rookie season in '03. had this to say about him before the 2008 draft:

Height: 6-4. Weight: 255.
Projected 40 Time: 4.90.
Combine 40 Time: 4.89.
Benchx225: 20. Vertical: 30.5.
Projected Round: 4.

John Carlson's draft stock took a hit in the wake of his 4.89 40. I don't get why people liked Carlson in the first place. Every time I watched him I never came away thinking, "Wow, this guy is going to be a great tight end." scouted him thusly:

John Carlson, TE, Notre Dame

Carlson began his career at Notre Dame in 2003 with the school's basketball team. For this reason, the university granted him an additional year of eligibility. He played in twelve games in 2004 and 2005 as tight end and special team contributor. The 2006 season marked his ascent as one of the nation's best TE. He started eleven games, had 47 receptions for 634 yards and four TDs, with a career long 62-yard TD reception. He was named to's 2006 All American team. He played in all of Notre Dame's games this past season, amounting for 37 receptions for 343 yards and three TDs. The slip in production was attributed to the lack of production out of the quarterback position. A very bright individual, Carlson was an Academic All American in 2006. He is an experienced three year starter and is more quick than fast. He times up at a range of 4.72 to 4.87 in the 40s and he is a very good athlete. He has a smooth release off the line and is a disciplined route runner who has the ability to find the open area in zone coverage. Carlson knows how to setup defenders and has good body control. He likes to play in the middle of the field and will his extend hand to catch a ball thrown away from his body, so he seldom drop passes. Carson will adjust well once the ball is in the air. He is also a willing downfield blocker, but is more of a receiver than a blocker at this time. He needs to add bulk, because he can be pushed around. In-line blocking needs improvement; his blocking techniques are OK, but not great. He Lacks the speed to blow by defensive backs and he can be caught from behind. Carlson was an overrated prospect following the 2006 season. He certainly has what it takes to make it in the NFL, but needs to add bulk and strength to compensate for his relative lack of straight line speed. He is a great and willing receiver. He needs to impress scouts at the Combine and the Pro Day in order to elevate his stock. As of today, he is projected to be a 4th rounder.

He exceeded scouts expectations and made a big impact during his first three years with Seattle putting up the following numbers:

































His rookie year in 2008, the Seahawks were a bad team, and they were dealing with injuries at the wide receiver position. Carlson stepped up and was the team leader in receptions and yards that year. Carlson had a career game in the 2010 playoffs versus Saints where he caught 2 touchdowns; however he suffered a severe concussion in the following game against the Bears and had to be carted off the field. He missed the entire 2011 season when he injured his shoulder in training camp practice. He had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder in September, 2011.

In this fan's opinion, John Carlson is a great fit for the Minnesota Vikings, being a native of Minnesota, a Vikings fan, and having connections to several of the players on the team: John Sullivan and Kyle Rudolph. While he has dealt with several injuries in recent years, he came out of Notre Dame with a lot of potential, and realized that potential during his first 3 years in Seattle. With Kyle Rudolph expected to take over Shiancoe’s old role as the #1 TE, John Carlson will give Ponder another reliable pass catching option. His size will present mismatch opportunities for Musgrave to exploit in his two TE-set playcalling, and if can return to his early form, will be a great signing by the Vikings. While the contract numbers are quite hefty for a #2 tight end with an injury history, only time will tell if we truly "overpaid" or not.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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