Minnesota Vikings first round pick Trae Waynes is really excited to work with his defensive-minded head coach.
Can you blame him?
"I'm so excited. It was a great feeling. I can't wait to get to Minnesota and start working," Waynes exclaimed. He should already be a little used to working for Mike Zimmer, because Waynes was definitely put to the test during his workouts before the draft. "He was definitely putting me to the test. I know he's trying to make me a better player and you know I'm all for it."
Waynes explained that he hasn't watched a lot of the Vikings defense yet because he was focusing on school and working on his own future in the days leading up to the draft. But he did have a good idea that the Vikings liked him. "The coaches were great and I got along with them great. I know they're about that business. Actually it was my first visit so it was just a good feeling all around."
After a bad injury in high school led him to become a lightly touted two-star recruit coming into college, Waynes never let his setbacks make him stray from the pursuit of his dreams. "I never stopped believing. I just love to compete and I keep pushing forward and staying positive."
Waynes explained how Zimmer worked with some of the technical aspects of his game during their time together before the draft. "Yeah, we worked on some of the little stuff like coming out of my breaks and a couple other things...[Zimmer]'s a DB guru. That's the one thing I said about him. He's a good coach and he know's what he's talking about...the way he plays his corners, I can press and play bump and run. I feel like I can play off if I need to; I feel like I'm pretty versatile and I'll be able to play however he wants me to."
Although his pro career is only hours old, Waynes is already handling loaded questions from the media with veteran savvy. When the Kenosha, WI native was asked about whether he was a Packers fan growing up, he calmly explained how he was more a fan of certain players than particular teams. (Well played, Trae.) And just like Zimmer stated in his press conference earlier, Waynes said that he expects to compete for a starting job from day one.
Regardless of where you stand on Waynes' game, it's hard to argue that there's a better situation out there for him than with the Vikings' coaching staff. It will be very exciting to see the first rounder develop and hopefully compete for a starting gig leading into the 2015 season.