Olisaemeka Udoh Jersey

Johnson’s father, Bode, is Nigerian; his mother, Traci, is from Iowa. But interestingly, Johnson’s birth name wasn’t given to him by his parents.

According to a 2017 article by the Coloradoan’s Kelly Lyell, Olabisi Johnson was named by Ola Fadeyi, an elder in Denver’s Nigerian community. Johnson wrote:

Johnson … is proud of his name, which means “to bring prosperity to your family,” and his Nigerian heritage. He traveled to the African nation several times as a child to visit his grandparents, aunts and uncles and their families.

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Johnson is one of five players on the Vikings roster — and two selected in 2019 (tackle Olisaemeka Udoh) — who are of Nigerian descent. Brothers Ifeadi and Tito Odenigbo, and 2018 draft pick Ade Aruna are the other three.This guy was impressive at the East West Shrine game. Olisaemeka Udoh has the size at 6’ 5” and 323 pounds and the physical ability to play tackle at the NFL level.

The Vikings traded up in the fourth round to take Oklahoma guard Dru Samia with the No. 114 pick. They added Elon tackle Olisaemeka Udoh in the sixth round with the No. 193 pick.

“We wanted to come in and try to improve that area,’’ Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said of the line. “I think the guys we drafted were very specific to what we were going to do from a schematic standpoint, and that’s what we wanted to do to make sure that we were matching up the traits of the players to the scheme we’re going to run.’’

The Vikings made six trades in the three-day draft and had 12 selections, their most since the NFL went to a seven-round draft in 1994.The Vikings entered the draft with two players on the roster of Nigerian descent in Odenigbo and defensive end Ade Aruna. They added two more in the draft.

The Vikings selected in the sixth round Elon guard Olisaemeka Udoh and in the seventh round Colorado State wide receiver Olabisi Johnson. Both have parents from Nigeria.

“I know both (Odenigbo and Aruna),’’ Udoh said. “Ade is with my agent’s group. … Ifeadi, I know him because I used to live in Ohio (where Odenigbo is from). … That’s pretty cool to be able to join the ranks with more Nigerian players.’’

Only one of the deals led to moving up. The Vikings really wanted Samia, so they sent the No. 120 pick in the fourth round and the No. 204 selection in the sixth round to Seattle to move up six spots in the fourth.

The Vikings made one other deal Saturday. They traded with New England to move down three spots from No. 159 to No. 162 in the fifth round and took USC linebacker Cameron Smith. They also got a seventh-round pick in the deal.Sixth Round: T Olisaemeka Udoh 193rd overall, Vikings

The plan for the Vikings was simple: protect Kirk Cousins. They drafted offensive line heavy, and it should work out.

Their sixth rounder, Udoh, is a player that could be boom or bust. He has the size of a lineman, but is he good enough? He will take a small jump after playing at the Division I-AA Elon University.

Marcus Epps Jersey

Jayron Kearse has taken a step forward the last few years and has become a key depth piece in the Minnesota Vikings defense and now it appears that they may be looking into the possibility of having him on the field more. Kearse has spent his career thus far as a safety and defensive back, but Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press said on Tuesday that the Vikings are looking at potentially moving him to linebacker.

“Sources say #Vikings looking this spring into moving Jayron Kearse from safety to weakside linebacker. The 6-4, 215-pound Kearse was a linebacker in high school. Vikings didn’t draft an outside backer & drafted a safety (Marcus Epps) & signed an undrafted safety (Micah Abernathy),” Tomasson tweeted.

What does this mean for the safeties and linebackers? If this is true, it could put Kearse in position to compete for the job on the weak side, which has been held down by Ben Gedeon the last two seasons. Generally speaking, that position is the first one off the field when the team goes into nickel and dime packages, so it is not like they get the same amount of snaps as Anthony Barr or Eric Kendricks would.

Mike Zimmer’s defense has had to adapt in the last few seasons as offenses have adapted around the league, so having a player like Kearse on the field more may be of interest to them and getting a better athlete on the field. It also could create a scenario where both Marcus Epps and Micah Abernathy have a shot to crack the active roster if they hold up their end of the bargain, making them the backups to Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris at the safety spots.

Both sides of the ball would be addressed after the first four selections and they handled needs on the other side of the ball before the last day was all said and done with picks of linebacker Cameron Smith, defensive tackle Armon Watts, safety Marcus Epps and cornerback Kris Boyd. The Vikings closed out the event with long snapper Austin Cutting from Air Force. The Vikings added a trio of players on Saturday in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, bringing in two players in the trenches and one in the secondary.

Minnesota, which had three picks in a four-selection span, started off its run by taking Arkansas defensive tackle Armon Watts with the 190th overall pick.

The Vikings then went back-to-back, selecting Wyoming safety Marcus Epps at pick No. 191.

Minnesota finished off the flurry by adding Elon offensive tackle Olisaemeka Udoh with the 193rd overall pick in the draft.
Safety presents a whole new issue for the Vikings. Harrison Smith is one of the best in the league at the position, and he is a staple of the defense. After him, there aren’t any guarantees. Anthony Harris will be the frontrunner to start next to Smith at the start of camp. He showed tremendous growth while Sendejo missed time last season. The only other safety on the roster with any meaningful experience is Jayron Kearse. Kearse has been a stud on special teams in his career, but recent murmurings suggest he could move to linebacker next season.

2019 sixth-round pick Marcus Epps joins Derron Smith and Micah Abernathy in the competition for a backup spot. The Vikings lack depth on the back end of the defense, which is vital for their defense.Both sides of the ball would be addressed after the first four selections and they handled needs on the other side of the ball before the last day was all said and done with picks of linebacker Cameron Smith, defensive tackle Armon Watts, safety Marcus Epps and cornerback Kris Boyd. The Vikings closed out the event with long snapper Austin Cutting from Air Force.

Armon Watts Jersey

Mike Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings got back to work quickly after the conclusion of the 2019 NFL Draft and just a week later had their rookie class on the field for the first time as a group, which included picks, undrafted free agents and tryout players. There is still plenty of time to make decisions about trimming the roster down from 89 to 53 players and several key spots are up for grabs that could potentially be filled by first-year players.

In that regard, the Vikings succeeded in bringing in guys that can and will affect the team from the first day they set foot at TCO Performance Center in Eagan. This weekend marked that first step for them and Zimmer took to the podium to address some of the bigger storylines surrounding the rookie class, whether it be the draft picks and where first-round offensive lineman Garrett Bradbury will play, how Irv Smith Jr. fits into the offense on day one and how Alabama prepped him to play early, how Armon Watts can factor into the defensive tackle rotation early and what the team sees in UDFA quarterback Jake Browning.

“One of the bright spots on the Arkansas defense” is probably the best way to sum up Armon Watts’ 2018 season. The Razorbacks were an absolutely brutal 2-10 (0-8 in the SEC) last year, and there weren’t a lot of things to like about their season, but Watts was certainly one of them. Watts was a 3-star recruit from St. Louis, and was a bit of a late bloomer, not making much noise until his senior year. Given the opportunity to start in 2018, however, he took advantage of the role and led Arkansas with 7 sacks and three forced fumbles. What really caught my attention was – while researching picks for an SB Nation Fan Mock –

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coming across a quote by draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah mentioning Watts in the same breath as guys being discussed as first round picks: “When you look at tiers, in the first-round tier, Quinnen Williams, Christian Wilkins, Ed Oliver, Rashan Gary, who I think is more of an edge guy, Jeffery Simmons, and [Dexter] Lawrence could factor in there in the late 20s,” Jeremiah said. “Then, you get into that next tier for me, you start getting to Jerry Tillery from Notre Dame. I really like Armon Watts from Arkansas, who is just a real strong-handed guy and solid on tape.”

Safety Marcus Epps, a sixth-round pick out of Wyoming, said he has a laundry list of items he wants to learn from All-Pro safety Harrison Smith, who has been to four straight Pro Bowls.

“Man, there are just so many things. I can’t even say one thing,” Epps said. “I’m so excited to just pick his brain.

“He’s been one of the best safeties in the league for a long time now, so it’s great to have somebody like that to come in and learn from,” Epps added.

Sixth-round defensive tackle Armon Watts picked the biggest (and perhaps baddest) Viking in defensive tackle Linval Joseph.

But Watts had a bit of an inside look on Joseph stemming from his time working Vikings assistant defensive line coach Rob Rodriguez at the East-West Shrine Game in January.

Mike Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings got back to work quickly after the conclusion of the 2019 NFL Draft and just a week later had their rookie class on the field for the first time as a group, which included picks, undrafted free agents and tryout players. There is still plenty of time to make decisions about trimming the roster down from 89 to 53 players and several key spots are up for grabs that could potentially be filled by first-year players.

In that regard, the Vikings succeeded in bringing in guys that can and will affect the team from the first day they set foot at TCO Performance Center in Eagan. This weekend marked that first step for them and Zimmer took to the podium to address some of the bigger storylines surrounding the rookie class, whether it be the draft picks and where first-round offensive lineman Garrett Bradbury will play, how Irv Smith Jr. fits into the offense on day one and how Alabama prepped him to play early, how Armon Watts can factor into the defensive tackle rotation early and what the team sees in UDFA quarterback Jake Browning.

Cameron Smith Jersey

With the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft beginning on Thursday, the Tennessee Titans have all but made their final preparations for their upcoming selections.

While the names they add to the team in the early rounds are important, the players the Titans acquire in the later rounds are just as significant.As Tennessee looks to further bolster positions on the defensive side of the ball, one player they should consider is USC linebacker Cameron Smith.

Smith could provide the depth the Titans are looking for as a developmental prospect, and could also prove efficient on special teams.Smith’s most valuable trait is probably his football IQ, which helped the Trojans in third-down situations. He’s a solid tackler with quick reflexes who opposing offenses have a difficult time fooling.

Smith was a force for USC in 2018, racking up 81 tackles with 7.5 for a loss, one sack and four passes defensed.

On his college career, the 6-foot-2, 250-pounder recorded 354 tackles with 26.5 for a loss, 3.5 sacks, four passes defensed, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and a touchdown.Cronulla captain Paul Gallen believes cracks may be starting to appear at Melbourne after they uncharacteristically blew up at each other while under pressure during their loss to the Sharks on Friday night.

Gallen claims he overheard Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster engage in a verbal exchange with skipper Cameron Smith in the final stages of the game as they attempted to overcome an eight-point deficit after a dominant second-half Sharks display.In the final play of the game, Munster surrendered himself in a tackle in Melbourne’s final attacking chance, which led to some criticism from his teammates.

“The last play of the game I was concerned … there was a penalty given away, I don’t know why we gave a penalty away 20 metres out of our try-line but we did,” Gallen told Channel Nine.

“They tapped the ball, passed the ball to Munster and I was in front of Munster, thought ‘what’s he going to do here?’, and he almost just took a hit-up. I just grabbed him and held onto the ball.

“I heard them, Munster started arguing, Munster went straight back at Cam Smith and they all started arguing among each other.In college football today, it is rare to have a player who stays during all four years of eligibility. However, it is ever more rare that a player is a four-year starter. Cameron Smith, born and bred in California, did not go far when choosing a college. At USC, Smith found the field quickly and was the heart of that defense for all four years. Smith started in 35 out of a possible 37 games. In his career, he racked up 273 tackles, where 19 of those were for losses. Additionally, he had 2.5 sacks, 10 pass deflections, three fumble recoveries, and added four interceptions even turning one of them into a pick-six.

Former NSW coach Laurie Daley says the Queensland Rugby League should be offering Cameron Smith an additional $50,000 per game to make his representative comeback during this year’s State of Origin series.

It comes as Queensland coach Kevin Walters again declared he will not be asking Smith to make his Queensland comeback this year “at the moment” despite Smith dramatically declaring he could not rule it out during an appearance on Fox League’s The Matty Johns Show on Sunday night.

Daley’s comments to offer Smith up to $150,000 for the three-game series would be on top of the $30,0000 match payment given to State of Origin stars as negotiated under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

It means Smith would pocket up to $240,000 for the three Origin appearances — on top of his Melbourne Storm salary.Cameron Smith has emphatically ruled out a dramatic State of Origin comeback for Queensland.

Maroons fans had been hoping their inspirational former captain would make an Allan Langer-style return in 2019 following the huge drain of experience from the squad over the past two years.

But the veteran hooker insists his time in the Origin arena is over and that he won’t be reversing his representative retirement after pulling the pin on the eve of last year’s series.

“My thoughts on Origin now haven’t changed from the day I decided to finish up,” Smith told News Corp on Thursday night.

Dru Samia Jersey

Another one of the Oklahoma Sooners’ vaunted offensive lineman is up for grabs this April in the 2019 NFL Draft. All but one of Bill Bedenbaugh’s starting hogmollies are expected to be drafted, and that includes 2018 Joe Moore Award winner Dru Samia. One could say that Samia’s stock has been going up since he was a freshman, winning out during his senior year by earning second-team All-American from the AP in addition to first-team All-Big 12 honors. Samia originally started his career at right tackle after replacing a less than stellar Josiah St. John after the Red River Rivalry, but he later moved inside to right guard where his talents were better served.

Just like several of the offensive linemen at Oklahoma, the results for draft projections are not entirely consistent. Scouts gave Samia a rating of 5.60, labeling him at a chance to become an NFL starter with the right team and scheme/blocking philosophy. Walter Football has rated Samia as the No. 18 offensive lineman as well as CBS Sports rated Samia has the 27th-best OL. That being said, it should be no surprise if Samia is taken between rounds 4-7, but it may not accurately reflect each evaluation placed on the Joe Moore Award Winners for 2018. If you’d like to see more on evaluation on Dru Samia from NFL Scouts,

Vikings fans wanted offensive line help in free agency but did not get the big spending like some of them had hoped for. Instead, they settled on Kline, who they brought in as the probable starter at right guard to fill another spot up front in the trenches. They really just need Kline to be serviceable and a calming presence at the right guard spot as opposed to the be all, end all solution. His job feels guaranteed at this point, but he could get pushed by rookie fourth-round pick Dru Samia if should he somehow lose out on that job, it means that Samia was just that much better. Kline feels like an alright starter and a known commodity but has to be more of a Joe Berger presence in his spot as opposed to what Mike Remmers was there last year.

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The Vikings spent two of their first four picks in the 2019 NFL Draft on offensive linemen, snagging center Garrett Bradbury in the first round and guard Dru Samia in the fourth round.

The duo lined up next to each other at the majority of practice Friday, with Bradbury at center and Samia to his right. Both players impressed in solo drills and as a tandem.

Bradbury showed quickness and athleticism off the ball, and moved well in practicing Minnesota’s zone-blocking scheme. At one point, Vikings offensive line coach Rick Dennison exclaimed, ‘That’s it!’ to Bradbury after the rookie finished off a block.Samia, meanwhile, showed power on many blocks and worked well with his fellow rookie.

Producing successive Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks and likely consecutive number one NFL draft picks is no easy feat, but it helps if you have one of the best offensive lines around.

In 2017, Baker Mayfield played behind an Oklahoma Sooners O-Line that featured Orlando Brown – a third-round selection by the Baltimore Ravens in 2018 – Dru Samia, Ben Powers and Bobby Evans en route to winning the Heisman and becoming the top pick for the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Samia, Powers and Evans all returned last year when the Sooners allowed just 19 sacks, providing the foundation for Kyler Murray to win college football’s highest individual honour and become the favourite for the first overall pick.Former Sooner offensive guards Dru Samia and Ben Powers were both taken in the NFL Draft’s fourth round Sautrday. Samia went No. 114 overall to the Minnesota Vikings, while Powers was picked No. 123 by the Baltimore Ravens.

Dru Samia was a four-year starter for the Sooners, and he definitely peaked at the right time. Samia was named Big 12 Co-Offensive Lineman of the Year for his work in 2018, just a year after he struggled mightily vs. Georgia in the Rose Bowl. Similar to Powers, his floor is likely a solid backup, but he could become a starter in the right situation.Samia, Powers, Cody Ford, Bobby Evans and Creed Humphrey won the Joe Moore Award last fall for college football’s best offensive line, helping OU become the first FBS team to produce a 4,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard rushers and two 1,000-yard receivers in a season.

The Buffalo Bills moved up two spots in the second round to grab Ford, and Bobby Evans went No. 97 overall to the Los Angeles Rams.

Humphrey isn’t draft eligible, but is projected as a top talent for 2020. “We’ll hear another one in the first round next year — their center,” ESPN analyst Todd McShay said during Saturday’s broadcast.