Rookie Brinkley Could Be a Sleeper for the Vikings in 2009

SCarolina Brinkleys Return Football
Amid all this “Lord Favre” controversy was a nicely hidden article on gamecockcentral.com that provided further insight into new back-up middle linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings, Jasper Brinkley. Although initial scouting of Brinkley had coaches cautious about his surgically repaired knee and his ability to produce in pass coverage, he seems to have left last weekend’s rookie mini camp feeling confident about his abilities and potential to contribute to an NFL team. In fact, the article quotes him as saying that the defensive preparation required in the SEC and in the NFL are “basically the same … They [both] want to see you chase the ball and finish.”

While essentially true (I think even a pee wee linebacker could understand that football insight), it will be interesting to see what type of rookie shock Brinkley will encounter during training camp when he has to face Adrian Peterson barreling at him full speed. Although coaches laud his panache for “running through” offensive players, you can’t help but wonder if there will be a little trepidation for a rookie facing an MVP candidate in training camp, let alone grizzled veterans on game day. Reality will truck him soon enough, I suppose.

Regardless, the article gives Vikings fans great encouragement about their 5th round pick in the 2009 draft. More often than not, players chosen in the later rounds feel more like throw away picks to the fans with little hope of significant contributions during their rookie campaign.

This feeling is most likely attributed to simply not knowing who the heck these players even are, but that’s why most of us are fans and not GMs. Yet it seems as if the Vikings’ GMs did their homework, and if Brinkley finds his knee healed and his transition to the NFL amiable, then he may be a reliable asset in 2009. If anything, he sure won’t be hurting for confidence. “

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