Vikings abuzz with personnel possibilities

Kurt Coleman (Drew Hallowell/Getty)

The Vikings hosted free-agent safety Kurt Coleman and continue to investigate and work out numerous draft prospects as they look to upgrade their roster.

The Vikings haven't made any roster moves in recent days, but there remains a flurry of activity at Winter Park as the draft continues to draw near.

Safety Kurt Coleman, a seventh-round draft pick of the Eagles who made 29 starts in his four seasons with Philadelphia, was in town Thursday to visit the Vikings, but he left without signing a contract.

Coleman, who was backup last season under new head coach Chip Kelly and his regime, had 170 tackles, seven interceptions and two forced fumbles in his Eagles career. The Vikings have been looking to upgrade at safety opposite Harrison Smith and add depth. While Jamarca Sanford currently remains atop the depth chart at safety, he had to restructure his deal in order to avoid potentially being cut, and Coleman, if signed, would likely be in immediate competition for a starting job.

The Vikings also have a pair of rookie linebackers visit scheduled for Monday and Tuesday as part of their top 30 rookie event – UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr and Louisville linebacker Preston Brown, according to the Star Tribune. Barr is expected to be a top 10 pick in next month's draft and, if the Vikings don't go with a quarterback with their first-round pick, Barr is believed to be a top consideration. Brown is rated as a likely Day 3 prospect.

Also expected to be part of the event will be Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater will likely be the only high-profile quarterback at the rookie event. The Vikings have already met with Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, and Derek Carr, and they are working out Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo Friday, according to ESPN. The Vikings have attended the pro days for all of the top quarterbacks.

The Vikings are also scheduled to meet with Towson running back Terrence West at some point prior to the draft, according to the Star Tribune. West is another mid-round prospect who, at 5-foot-9, 225 pounds, would be a power back that would help fill the void left by the free agent loss of Toby Gerhart.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer returned to work at Winter Park Thursday after attending the LSU pro day Wednesday. The Vikings were one of the teams that had a private meeting with LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, whose stock of late appears to be on the rise as one of the options for the Vikings if they decide to pass on QB in the first round.

The Vikings also concluded their first week of the team's offseason conditioning program, which has given the new coaching staff a chance to meet with their players that are under contract. The Vikings were able to start their offseason program Monday, two weeks before the majority of the league can start their offseason conditioning programs. A clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement allows teams that hired new head coaches after the end of the 2013 season to start their offseason programs two weeks early.

While it may seem like a slow news time for Minnesota, Winter Park is starting to pick up a little buzz as the first steps toward the start of the 2014 season are well underway.


John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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