Brandon Fusco, Slippery Rock, 6-4¼, 302 – Fifth-year senior who came to Slippery Rock as a 240-pound linebacker…Started all 44 games of his college career…Two-time team captain…As a senior won both the Division II Rimington Award (top center) and the Gene Upshaw Lineman of the Year award…Very athletic with good footwork…Good at blitz identification and pick-up…Is good at sealing and walling off defenders in the run game…Durable and a hard-working on-field leader…Doesn't use his hand punch effectively and allows defenders into his body…Doesn't always maintain or finish his blocks…Doesn't play with a mean streak…Plays a little too upright…Ran a 5.18 40 at the Combine with 26 reps of 225 pounds, a 28½-inch vertical jump and a 9-0 broad jump.
PROJECTION: Making the jump from college to the pros is difficult enough when you come from a major Division I school. The jump from Slippery Rock, given the lack of top competition, is even more difficult. Fusco has many of the prerequisites to be an NFL center, but because of his learning curve, it may take a year or two to get him up to speed, which translates into a late-round project pick.
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.
Get the in-depth profile on the Vikings' newest center, Brandon Fusco, who was a small-school…