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The Hunt for the Next Star Player for the Vikings

Don’t miss “The Real Forno Show” for an insider’s look at the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Host Tyler Forness takes you behind the scenes, discussing standout performances and examining the potential of Bo Nix and others. He also dives into the excitement surrounding Darius Robinson. This comprehensive coverage will keep you updated on the search for the Minnesota Vikings’ next star. SKOL!

The Real Forno Show, hosted by the managing editor of USA Today’s Vikings Wire, Tyler Forness, is a treasure trove of insights for football enthusiasts. In the recent episode, Tyler, alongside his producer Dave, dived into an in-depth analysis of potential future stars for the Minnesota Vikings. The discussion took place live from Mobile, Alabama, at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, an event known for showcasing promising talents.

An Overview of the Potential Players

Tyler examined several players who they believe have the potential to shine in the NFL, and specifically for the Vikings. From quarterbacks to wide receivers, they dissected the strengths and weaknesses of each player, providing an informed perspective on their potential role in the Vikings’ lineup.

Bo Nix, QB Oregon

Bo Nix, a seasoned quarterback from Oregon, was one of the main focuses of their conversation. Nix has had a substantial amount of playing time in college football, with 61 starts under his belt. However, despite his experience and having played in five different offenses, Tyler expressed concerns about Nix’s consistency and handling of interior pressure.

Expounding on his performance at the Senior Bowl, Tyler was candid about his disappointment. He noted that Nix’s play had been largely lackluster, and he did not see Nix as a viable selection in the first or second rounds of the draft. Tyler concluded that Nix would be better suited for a backup quarterback role, as he has not shown significant development or consistency over his college career.

Jamari Thrash, WR Louisville

On a more positive note, Tyler was highly impressed with Louisville wide receiver, Jamari Thrash. Thrash’s impressive performances, his ability to dominate after the catch, and nuanced route running were points of praise. Despite being a more slender player, Thrash demonstrated significant physicality in his play, particularly when going for deep balls.

Tyler predicted that Thrash could be selected in the high third round based on his performance. He identified Thrash as a potential standout in the draft, thanks to his speed, physicality, and impressive route running.

Michael Penix Jr, QB Washington

The evaluation of Washington’s Michael Penix Jr was slightly more mixed. While Tyler acknowledged that Penix Jr was throwing the ball better than most at the Senior Bowl, he also pointed out significant issues. Penix Jr’s struggle to handle interior pressure and inconsistent accuracy were concerning factors that Tyler believes could impact his draft stock.

Penix Jr’s draft stock, according to Tyler, had not significantly changed following the Senior Bowl. However, he emphasized that Penix Jr’s future in the NFL would depend heavily on his ability to improve his handling of pressure and increase his accuracy.

Austin Booker, ED Kansas

Austin Booker, an edge from Kansas, was another player who caught Tyler’s eye. Despite having only about 540 snaps of film to his name in college, Booker’s performance at the Senior Bowl was commendable. His varied moves, length, and power were all standout features.

Booker’s performance, according to Tyler, displayed his potential for growth and versatility on the field. Tyler suggested that with the right training and development, Booker could become a key player in the NFL.

Dylan Laube, RB New Hampshire

New Hampshire running back, Dylan Laube, was another highlight of their conversation. Laube’s speed and ability to develop into a wide receiver were major positives. Tyler compared Laube’s use in New Hampshire to how Christian McCaffrey is utilized as a wide receiver, highlighting his impressive adaptability and skill set.

Roman Wilson, WR Michigan

Roman Wilson, a Michigan wide receiver, was described as the best-performing receiver at the Senior Bowl. Wilson’s ability to constantly get open, catch everything that came his way and his overall body control was highlighted. Tyler suggested that Wilson could sneak into the top 50 based on his performance.

Johnny Wilson, WR Florida State

Tyler also discussed Johnny Wilson, a Florida State wide receiver. However, he was unsure about Wilson’s fit in the NFL. At almost 6’7” and 225 pounds, Wilson was considered too big to be a wide receiver and too small to be a tight end. Wilson also earned the funniest descriptor in the whole show. Listen and find out what it was!

Devontez Walker, WR North Carolina

Devontez Walker also finds his place in Tyler’s discussion. Although some analysts have graded Walker as a first-round pick, Tyler begs to differ. He notes Walker’s lack of agility, likening his turning speed to that of a cruise ship. Walker’s impressive physical abilities are undeniable, with his ability to run on over routes and fly patterns. However, Walker lacks the complete skillset demanded of a receiver, limiting his potential. Despite this, Tyler acknowledges the aspects Walker excels in, especially his prowess in downfield plays and mid-air catches.

Darius Robinson, ED Missouri

Tyler Forness brings into limelight a player named Darius Robinson hailing from Missouri. His admiration for Robinson is quite evident as he describes him as a player who truly loves football. After seeing his reps and then going back and looking at the film, Forness noticed Robinson’s standout performance and later on Wednesday, had a conversation with him where Robinson’s passion for the sport was palpable.

Tyler emphasizes Robinson’s versatility as a key strength, stating that he can play multiple positions on the alignment. Robinson can play as a three technique, which involves shading inside, outside the guard; as a 4i shading inside the tackle, shading outside of the tackle; as a five technique, positioned right over the tackle; or even wider as a true edge. Tyler asserts that Robinson can be placed almost anywhere on the line, and he believes Robinson would still find success.

Tyler elaborates on Robinson’s position versatility, citing statistics from his career. When Robinson has lined up as a three technique or 4i, he has a pass rush win rate of 13%. When he’s in the position of a five technique or a six technique, his win rate goes up to 18.8%. Anything wider than that, and his win rate increases even further to 19.1%.

Robinson’s physical attributes are also impressive. He weighs 295 pounds and has over 35-inch arms. Tyler draws a comparison between Robinson and J.J. Watt, who had a similar profile. While Tyler is not directly comparing Robinson to Watt, he does suggest that if you’re looking for a player who can be versatile, attack in multiple ways, and be explosive as an athlete, Darius Robinson fits the bill.

Towards the end of his analysis, Tyler indicates that he wouldn’t be surprised if Robinson ends up in round one as he has heard a few murmurs about this possibility. However, he believes that Robinson is more likely to be a firm round two guy. He likens the situation to that of Keion White from the previous year. Tyler expresses his admiration for Robinson and his anticipation to dive deeper into his performance tapes, especially his performance at Mobile, as he believes Robinson is making himself a significant amount of money with his performances.

Audience Questions and Discussions

Tyler takes the time to engage with his audience, answering questions about various prospects such as Spencer Rattler, T’Vondre Sweat, and more. He shares valuable insights into their performances and skills, providing listeners with a comprehensive understanding of these potential stars.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, The Real Forno Show provided a detailed analysis of potential star players for the Vikings. From discussing the players’ performances to predicting their potential draft positions, Tyler offered an informed and comprehensive perspective on the forthcoming NFL draft. As the draft approaches, all eyes will be on these players as they strive to make their mark in the NFL.




Tyler Forness @TheRealForno of Vikings 1st & SKOL @Vikings1stSKOL and the Vikings Wire @TheVikingsWire and Dave Stefano @Luft_Krigare producing this Vikings 1st & SKOL production, on the @RealFornoShow. Podcasts partnered with Fans First Sports Network @FansFirstSN and Fans First Sports Network’s NFL feed @FFSN_NFL.