It's Senior Bowl day, everybody! No, the Senior Bowl isn't Manute's father or a place where those over 65 can attempt to rack up strikes. It's the last big college "all-star" game before the NFL's Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February. The game kicks off at about 3 PM Central time on the NFL Network, and you can see it either on television or on NFL.com. That's my understanding on the streaming, anyway. I believe that it's accurate.
If you're looking for some coverage of the Senior Bowl for this week's game, we've got some stuff from around the SB Nation Network of websites to give you. The first is from SB Nation NFL Draft guru Dan Kadar, who has his big overview of the entire week of practice in Mobile for your reading pleasure. To go along with that, Mocking the Draft has their first "Big Board" of the year up and ready to go.
So, who are some of the guys to keep an eye on in this one if you're a Vikings fan? Let's give you three guys from each side.
Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin, #44 - We know that the Vikings have major issues at the linebacker position, and that we still don't know if they have the answer at the middle linebacker spot (or spots, if they go to a 3-4 defense). Borland draws a lot of comparisons to Zach Thomas, as he measures in at about 5'11", but has the ability to make plays all over the field.
Cyril Richardson, G, Baylor, #68 - Yes, a player from a team in Waco, Texas finds himself on the North squad. Anyway, Richardson is a big guy (6'5", 335), but so far that isn't translating in Mobile. In fact, Dan Kadar says that Richardson has had a pretty bad week, citing issues with his stance being too narrow. As it stands now, Richardson is #40 on the big board that we linked to above, and if he can get his technique down could be a guy the Vikings could target in the early going of this year's draft.
Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois, #15 - Safety might not be a huge "need" position for the Vikings in this year's draft, but Ward (according to Kadar) has the versatility to be either a safety or a corner. He's not the biggest guy in the defensive backfield (5'11", 192), but has had a pretty good week
Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State, #4 - Reports are that the Vikings have met this week with Eastern Illinois' signal caller Jimmy Garappolo, but a lot of the reports are saying that Carr has been the best quarterback in Mobile this week by a significant margin. For some reason, people want to dismiss Carr because his brother was a flop in the NFL. This is like Quincy Jones declaring that he knew Michael Jackson was going to be horrible because Tito couldn't sing a lick. If the Vikings are going to be in the market for a quarterback with their first pick, there's a good chance that Carr is going to be the guy.
Keith McGill, CB, Utah, #1 - The Vikings need someone reliable across from Xavier Rhodes in the secondary. Whether that person is already on the roster (please let Josh Robinson play on the outside next year and not in the slot) or in this year's draft remains to be seen. McGill is a big corner, measuring in at 6'3". Paired up with Rhodes in a new and (hopefully) more aggressive Mike Zimmer-led defense, a duo like that could potentially start to shore up an area of the Minnesota defense that has been an issue for years.
Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee, #98 - You like-a the big guys? This here is-a the big guy in Mobile. At 6'8" and 351 pounds, McCullers is a man that someone with a greater command of the English language than myself might refer to as "friggin' huge." Regardless of what defensive scheme the Vikings go with in 2014, they could use a big guy like McCullers on the inside. Can his big size translate into big ability at the next level?
Who are you going to be watching in this year's Senior Bowl? If you're going to be watching, go ahead and talk about it here