Happy hump day everyone! Take that to mean whatever you will...
The Minnesota Vikings, who kinda sorta just might need a QB, skipped pro day workouts of top prospects Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett yesterday. Their plans instead? Why, they went to see the star-studded Minnesota Gopher pro day! Yep, anytime you can watch Adam Weber, Jeff Wills and the other Gopher seniros who didn't get invited to the NFL Draft Combine, and have little to no shot of being drafted, I mean, you have to be there, right? Vikes VP of Player Personel Rick Spielman certainly thought so. Even said Weber "looked good", which was so, so kind of him. Somehow the rest of the NFL didn't think quite as highly as the Gopher "pro" day, as only four other teams showed up- five if you count everyone's favorite Gopher head coaching candidate Marc Trestman of the CFL Montreal Alouettes. Now there's a place I could see Weber going to- although I'm pretty sure if you can't throw timing patterns on smaller college fields, you won't be able to do it on the larger CFL field. Stranger things have happened, though.
Maybe it's me, but I really wonder if Hayo! Carpenter was there yesterday? Or do you think he just went and stood on the sidelines and told NFL scouts "this was where I played all year, so I was just getting into position"?
Anyway, if you're a Vikings fan, as the article says, I doubt this means much of anything for the Vikes draft. HC Leslie Frazier, OC Bill Musgrave, and director of college scouting Scott Studwell were not at the Gopher pro day, so there's a good chance one of them was at either Arkansas or Auburn. And really, there's so much misinformation this time of year, it's hard to tell what any team is thinking or doing. They sometimes won't even interview or go see guys they like, but will see guys they don't. Who the heck knows? If I were the Vikes I'd trade back into the end of the first round and take a QB there or in the 2nd.
As for the Gophers, well hopefully this is their last sparsely attended pro day- and I say that realizing having NFL prospects doesn't necessarily equate to success in college, but it really can't hurt. Hell, Indiana had three guys invited to the Combine this year! The Gophs and Northwestern were the only two schools without a player invited, but with seniors-to-be like Da'Jon McKnight and Gary Tinsley, Minnesota should have at least a few guys on the NFL radar next year. The MN Daily has a good recap of the event.
Gopher hockey coach Don Lucia did not expect to see UAA again, but here they are as the first round opponent in the WCHA playoffs which start Friday (haven't heard if there were any single tickets available, but if there are, they go on sale today). We should get injury updates this afternoon on juniors Aaron Ness and Taylor Mattson, both of whom were hurt in last Friday's tie with BSU. It's suspected Ness has a back injury and Mattson a knee injury, but I'm sure Lucia will tag them with "upper" and "lower" body injuries. Or perhaps say "they hurt something somewhere on their body"? The more vague, the better right? Mattson provides good depth for the Gopher forwards, but Ness is a real key for Minnesota to make an NCAA tourney run. He's played an excellent two-way game this year, and is a key cog on the back end. Let's hope the injuries to both guys aren't too serious.