Ham makes home at fullback in Vikings camp
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Duluthian C.J. Ham used last weekend's Minnesota Vikings rookie camp to work on a new position: fullback. The Duluth Denfeld graduate dabbled at fullback during the 2016 season on the Vikings' practice squad, but lined up a...
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Duluthian C.J. Ham used last weekend's Minnesota Vikings rookie camp to work on a new position: fullback.
The Duluth Denfeld graduate dabbled at fullback during the 2016 season on the Vikings' practice squad, but lined up ahead of second-round draft pick Dalvin Cook full-time during the three-day rookie camp, according to the Vikings team website.
"I'm kind of playing a new position now," Ham told the website. "(I want to show the coaches) that I can learn it and be accountable."
Ham, 23, was promoted to the active roster for the final two weeks of the regular season but didn't play. This year, with the loss of Zach Line, he has a chance to make the roster as a starter.
"Last year at rookie minicamp, I did running back and fullback," the 5-foot-11, 235-pound Ham told the website. "This year not having a fullback on the roster, they told me it was possibly a position I could play.
"It's still fairly new to me, but I have to be an athlete and just roll with the punches a little bit. If you make mistakes, learn from them and try to do it better the next time."
To get a feel for the position, Ham said he studied tape of Minnesota's offense in 2016.
"Going back and watching film definitely helped me out," he said.
Ham led Minnesota with 44 carries for 140 yards and two scores during the 2016 preseason. He likely won't see as many carries this preseason. Instead, he'll be the one leading the way for those at his former position.
Vikings want to host draft
The NFL is moving the draft around the country and Minnesota wants in on the action.
Vikings executive vice president Lester Bagley said Monday the team has applied to host the draft in 2022 or 2023. The application was submitted in October.
The Vikings want to stage the three-day event at U.S. Bank Stadium and at the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan, the new practice facility that Bagley said is on schedule to open March 1, 2018.
"We think, obviously, we have a great community, great hospitality, great hotels, restaurants," Bagley said. "We think it would be an ideal spot to host an NFL draft."
After holding the draft in New York from 1965-2014, the NFL announced plans to move it around. Chicago was the host in 2015 and 2016, and it was in Philadelphia last month.
The site has not been selected for 2018, but Philadelphia could host it again. The NFL announced that a record of more than 250,000 fans attended last month's draft week.
The application is for 2022 at the earliest because U.S. Bank Stadium is the site of Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4, 2018.
Bagley said he has been told by an NFL official that the league is still working through how it determines draft sites.
"There is great brand value and economic impact for being a host city for the NFL draft,'' Bagley said. "There's also an opportunity to put together a unique Minnesota experience for the draft if it were to come to this market."
Ex-WR moves to CBS
Former Vikings wide receiver Nate Burleson as hired by CBS on Monday to join the network's "NFL Today" pregame show, replacing Bart Scott.
Burleson will become the second newcomer to the Sunday program after Phil Simms moved from the broadcast booth to the studio.
Burleson joins the retooled "NFL Today" team of host James Brown, Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason and Simms, who replaced Tony Gonzalez after he announced his departure in March.
Burleson played 11 NFL seasons for the Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions. He has been the co-host of "Good Morning Football" on NFL Network and will remain in that role in addition to his work at CBS.