The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 26, 2009

Loadholt joins Peterson in Minnesota

Vikings take OU tackle in the second round

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings made Oklahoma offensive tackle Phil Loadholt their second-round pick, filling a need on the right side of the line with one of the biggest players available in the draft.

With the 54th overall selection, the Vikings took the 6-foot-7, 332-pound Loadholt as a comparable bookend — size-wise — to hulking left tackle Bryant McKinnie.

After passing on Michael Oher of Mississippi with the No. 22 pick in the first round to take Florida speedster Percy Harvin, the Vikings were glad to get Loadholt where they did.

Vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said “four or five” teams were trying to trade into their spot in the second round, deals they would have considered accepting had Loadholt already been off the board. Without many lower picks to use as ammunition to move up, the Vikings anxiously waited for their turn.

“We kind of had our fingers crossed that he would be there,” coach Brad Childress said.

Loadholt was a two-time junior college All-American at Garden City Community College in Kansas before transferring to Oklahoma for his final two seasons. He started all 14 games at left tackle in 2007 and 13 games in 2008, earning first team All-Big 12 honors last year; he was suspended for one game for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Loadholt’s strength is as a run blocker, and his size helps him properly finish each play. The Vikings, though, defended his ability as a pass protector — though acknowledging he’s not as nimble as McKinnie.

Loadholt has a huge wingspan, measured at 361⁄2 inches.

“He’s such a massive human being,” Spielman said. “He does have good feet — don’t get me wrong. ”

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