Travis Bond—The "Tree Top" Hit By a Truck—Shows Vikings Emphasis on Run Game

Travis Bond, nicknamed "Tree Top" by teammates, could show a heavy preference for the run game as the Vikings begin to round out the seventh round.

Massive for even a large offensive line in North Carolina, Travis Bond stands out at 6'7" and 327 pounds. Earlier, in his junior year, Travis Bond weighed in at 375 pounds. In order to cut weight and hit 320 pounds, Bond eliminated "southern foods" from his diet and lost 50 pounds in time to start his senior year. He kept that weight and currently weighs less than Phil Loadholt, who is listed at 354 pounds.

Bond isn't limited to guard, his drafted position. Like Jeff Baca, Bond has spent significant time playing both tackle and guard, but stayed at guard his senior year because of the missing depth on the interior line at North Carolina. His strength serves him well and he is a fantastic run blocker—a trait he himself identified as his best asset. He has an explosive punch that knocks defenders back and he can create huge holes for running backs. He doesn't always drive through his blocks however, and may rely on his size more than anything else—a mistake at the NFL level.

Athletically limited, Bond doesn't have the quickness of an edge blocker, although his footwork is getting better. He's clearly not the prospect that teammate Jonathan Cooper is, but still has talent. His movement has improved as his weight dropped, but it still needs work.

As a pass protector he needs more work. He doesn't use his hands correctly and will allow defenders to gain leverage by working underneath him. He doesn't kick slide very well, which may limit his ability to swing at tackle, although his long arms (35.5 inches!) should give him some leverage, much like with Baca. Nevertheless, he has the potential to improve as he's displayed quick feet in short space after his weight loss.

He is extremely powerful when he plays with balance and simply eats up opposing linebackers and defensive linemen. He's a hard blocker to shed and his long arms speak to his ability to keep his defender contained.

As a pass protector, he can mirror pass rushers and knows that he should play with a wide base, although he's still developing balance from that stance. His specific technical footwork is still very poor, however. He will get a little lost with complex blitzes and doesn't display the awareness you want in a professional guard. Defenders know the way to beat him is to beat him off the snap, and that's not something that has been extraordinarily difficult.

By the way, he got hit by a truck and wasn't phased. In fact, he didn't even plan on going to the hospital. After an SUV hit him at 20 miles per hour, he got up and saw that the SUV was dented. He continued on his way to study hall, but his friends forced him to go to the hospital, where an x-ray revealed no issues whatsoever.

It wasn't until two weeks later when lifting weights did he discover there was any injury at all, with a dislocated wrist that was reported from some discomfort. Once more, the Vikings select a player who has more attitude than anything else, as Bond is known to consistently play until the whistle in order to push the pile. They love their mean streaks.

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