First of all I love what the Minnesota Vikings have been trying to create this offseason. An ultra physical defense and an offense that will run you over then suddenly hit you over the top. We're seeing Rick Spielman's vision finally come to life, and it's giving him alot more credibility. Who would of thought his front office along with himself could make a "here's how it is" guy like Mike Zimmer feel SO comfertable and that they would agree on so much. When you hear from Mike Zimmer about how blown away he was by how organized the front office was and what an amazing amount of files they have with reports on every player you have alot more confidence in the direction they're steering the ship.
One move I love, signing Jerry Gray as the DB coach. You know that is a huge sign that Minnesota is going to stop with this soft pillow fighting D and create a level of physicality that will intimidate. Jerry Gray was the defensive coordinator for the Titans, a student of Gregg Williams that has gotten in trouble for some of things he's said in the past. Including ripping refs comparing them to the "Three Blind Mice" and suggesting players not worry about fines and "blow the guy up" to bring the "Gator Truck" onto the field, which is a nickname for the vehicle used to cart off injured players. While I don't advocate purposefully injuring players and ruining careers our DB's definitely need to up their level of physicality. With Smith and Rhodes in the backfield we're half way there. But one guy that could sure help is Stanley Jean-Baptiste.
Stanley Jean-Baptiste is a CB for Nebraska, standing 6'2 3/8ths weighing 215 lbs with 33" reach, he's a big guy. And Minnesota has spoken to that big guy twice since the beginning of the Senior Bowl. He's another long corner who likes to jam at the line and is commonly compared to Brandon Browner. We already have a guy like that and its worked out pretty well so far, but this defensive back isn't nearly as polished as Rhodes. He's projected as a 3rd round pick instead of a "possibly being a top 20 pick" like Rhodes was. That could be in part do to not being a very solid tackler, but with guys like Zimmer and Gray getting on his as* you know that would change. He has flashes of alot physicality though, like in the very first play of his game against Georgia he throws a lineman tryin to block him aside and makes the tackle on Georgia running back Gurley (yes the guys real name is Gurley, why he hasn't tried to change it idk). Or the hit in the Purdue game that got him thrown out. While they've only shown interest by meeting with him twice and nothing is certain, it's definitely a clue as to the direction which Minnesota is wishing to go. If your interested in seeing some tape on him check him out on Draftbreakdown.com, I think the Georgia game is a good example of what you would be getting. Shows some of his flaws but also alot of flashes of how good he could be. He also showed a very good ability to shed blocks, even shedding blocks from linemen twice in that game.