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Like Kaepernick and Reid, they need to be willing to

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Like Kaepernick and Reid, they need to be willing to

Messagepar douhua2233 » Jeu 11 Oct 2018 04:25

As he maneuvered through the NFL draft on Saturday James Bradberry Jersey , Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman certainly had his eye on filling team needs.

Trusting his coaches to develop players, Spielman also had a specific focus on athleticism.

Minnesota, after trading out of the third round and holding the second pick in the fourth round, selected Ohio State defensive lineman Jalyn Holmes to start Saturday’s third day of the draft. Later, the team added two former basketball players as part of a six-player, final day haul.

”Sticking with the athletic traits we’re looking for and relying on this coaching staff to develop a lot of this young talent,” Spielman said. ”A lot of the traits that they have, you can’t teach, you can’t coach, but you can sure develop them.”

Spielman continued to move around the board on Saturday. The Vikings then made a pair of trades with the New York Jets, adding tight end Tyler Conklin from Central Michigan and the first kicker taken in the draft in Auburn’s Daniel Carlson in the fifth round.

Minnesota added guard Colby Gossett from Appalachian State, Tulane defensive end Ade Aruna and California linebacker Devante Downs.

Holmes, a 270-pound defensive end at Ohio State, likely will play inside for the Vikings. He ran 4.82 in the 40-yard dash at the combine, sixth among defensive ends.

Conklin and Aruna were both former basketball players.

Conklin left behind a scholarship at Northwood University as a basketball player to walk on to the football team at Central Michigan. Aruna came to the United States from Nigeria to play high school basketball before switching to football prior to his senior season.

Conklin had the second-best mark among tight ends in the vertical jump and 60-yard shuttle at the combine.

Aruna also flashed his traits at the combine. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound end was second among all defensive lineman in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.60 seconds and had the top vertical jump and broad jump.

”We’ll have a hell of an intramural team,” Spielman joked. ”All these guys are long. All these guys can jump out of the gym. All these guys can run. When you have those traits, to me and to this coaching staff Jean-Gabriel Pageau Jersey , our philosophy if we can get athletes in like that, it gives you a chance to hit on some guys that can be pretty special.”

Spielman referenced the team’s selection of defensive end Danielle Hunter in the third round in 2015 after Hunter had 1 sacks as a senior. He’s developed into a starting end and has 25 sacks in three seasons.

Aruna’s basketball background even included a matchup with NBA forward Andrew Wiggins where Aruna was responsible for defending the eventual Minnesota Timberwolves player.

”As soon as we got down to the stadium to play that game, my coach told me, `Hey, I want you to guard Andrew Wiggins. He’s going to be your assignment tonight,”’ Aruna said. ”I told him, `No problem, if that’s how you want it I will get it done, just like that.’ I gave him one of the lowest scoring games of his high school career, that night.”

EXTRA POINTS: Carlson could replace Kai Forbath as Minnesota’s kicker after hearing his name selected in the fifth round. Carlson was a three-time finalist for the Lou Groza Award, given to the best kicker in college football, and was a second-team All-American the past two seasons.

Forbath re-signed with the Vikings in March on a one-year contract after an inconsistent season in which he led the NFL with five missed extra-point attempts and hit just 84.2 percent of his field-goal attempts.

In four years at Auburn, Carlson was perfect on 198 extra-point attempts.

”At this next level, extra points are backed up a little so it is going to take that much more focus and hopefully that can continue to keep that streak alive and take pride in making sure I am mentally locked in,” Carlson said.

He hit 80.7 percent of his field-goal attempts, including an 87.5 percent mark in 2016 before hitting 23 of 31 (74.2 percent) last season.

Spielman said Carlson and Forbath will compete for the job during the summer.

CURLING FOR PICKS: Minnesota’s fourth-round pick was delivered via the St. Paul Curling Club from the U.S. Olympic men’s gold medal-winning curling team. The team led by captain John Schuster, a Minnesota native, announced the pick of Holmes.

Holmes was selected 102nd overall Cheap Customized Denver Broncos Jerseys , which was the same pick Washington used to get quarterback Kirk Cousins in 2012. In his first chance at free agency, Cousins signed a three-year contract worth $84 million in March.

STILL NEED: Minnesota went for need during the three days of the draft, hitting the most important spots along the lines and at cornerback. Perhaps more work is needed after the Vikings weren’t able to come away with an expected immediate starter on the right side of the offensive line.

One spot Minnesota didn’t address was safety, where it returns All-Pro Harrison Smith along with starter Andrew Sendejo. The top backups are Anthony Harris and Jayron Kearse.

As NFL training camps opened this week, complete with interminable speculation about position battles, rookies who might make an impact and what players can or can’t do while ”The Star-Spangled Banner” is playing, let’s remember two players who aren’t suiting up.

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are good enough to be playing for someone.

That much is beyond debate.

But the league has decided to make an example of them, a clear warning to its employees that only so much social activism will be tolerated even while it feigns a sense of respecting their desire to protest during the national anthem.

If the NFL were really concerned about its players, it wouldn’t be denying these two their well-earned right to make a living.

Rest assured, history won’t be kind when it looks back on the way Kaepernick and Reid were treated by the NFL.

”Both of those guys are NFL talents. Both of them are quality players that can contribute to a roster and contribute to a team winning. They’ve proven it,” New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson said. ”I do think that 100 percent of the reason why they’re not on a roster is the other stuff that they’re standing for is outweighing the risk a team wants to take to put them on a roster.”

Kaepernick and Reid are following the same path as social warriors who came before them.

Muhammad Ali, who was stripped of his heavyweight boxing title and barred from the ring for more than three years after he refused induction into the military during the Vietnam War.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who defiantly stood with their fists in the air on the medal podium at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics to protest the way black people were – and still are – being treated in America.

Ali, Smith and Carlos were vilified at the time.

Now, they’re viewed at heroes – but only after making huge personal, professional and financial sacrifices to stand up for what they believed.

Kaepernick and Reid are making those same sacrifices.

”I do think it’s sad and I want those guys to be on teams because I know they’re good enough to play,” Watson said. ”I hate to see them not be employed in the National Football League, where they should be Youth Mike White Jersey , simply because they decided to protest and bring attention to systemic oppression, police brutality, injustice – all the things they stated over and over again, which I think are things that we all should be concerned about.”

As of Friday, Kaepernick has gone 572 days since his last snap in the NFL. Tellingly enough, he turned in one of his better performances in what might go down as his final game.

On New Year’s Day 2017, playing behind a leaky offensive line that left him running for his life (he was sacked five times), Kaepernick completed 17 of 22 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown in San Francisco’s 25-23 loss to Seattle. His 122.3 rating was the seventh highest of his 69 career games.

But the NFL would have you believe he’s not good enough to play in a league that will employ just under 100 quarterbacks this season, many of them older than Kaepernick (who is still more than three months shy of his 31st birthday, presumably just entering what should be his prime years) and lacking a resume that includes leading his team to the Super Bowl.

Of course, we all know the real reason Kaepernick has effectively been blacklisted from the league – his decision to first sit, then kneel during the national anthem throughout the 2016 season, sparking a debate that carried all the way to the White House.

Reid bravely joined Kaepernick in his stoic, symbolic gesture, and carried on the kneeling when his former teammate was sidelined for the entire 2016 season.

For that, he’s now paying the price.

Despite being beyond qualified for a spot in the NFL – 26 years old, a former first-round pick, a starter in 69 of 70 games over five years with the 49ers Taron Johnson Jersey , 10 career interceptions, an average of 65 tackles per season, a Pro Bowler in 2013 – Reid has been deemed unworthy of employment by each and every one of the league’s 32 teams.

What makes the treatment of Kaepernick and Reid even more perplexing: The owners and their non-blacklisted players continue to be locked in a back-and-forth squabble over whether protesting during the anthem is a legitimate way to address social injustice in this country.

(Spoiler alert: It is.)

The issue remains a thorn in the league’s side, even after Kaepernick and Reid were cast aside.

”Nothing lasts forever, and this is coming close to lasting way too long,” Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown groaned.

Before there’s any more discussion about sitting or kneeling or staying in the locker room, the players – all of them, black and white – should demand justice for Kaepernick and Reid.

While both have filed collusion grievances, the NFL has lots of highly paid lawyers who will surely try to drag this thing out as long as possible, soaking up prime seasons they’ll never get back.

But all those players who are lucky enough to have a job, some of whom were just as visible and vocal in their calls for social justice, should be pondering what they can do to help get Kaepernick and Reid back on the field.

Maybe a one-day sickout during training camp. Or kneeling en masse before the first game. Perhaps, as a last resort, they should consider an actual strike.

Like Kaepernick and Reid, they need to be willing to make some huge sacrifices.

After all, they could be next.

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