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Minnesota Vikings 2011 NFL Draft: Vikings Select Iowa DT Christian Ballard

The Minnesota Vikings addressed another need in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, as they selected Iowa defensive tackle Christian Ballard with the 106th overall pick.

Ballard, a converted tight end, moved to defense as a freshman for the Hawkeyes, and was an Honorable Mention for the All-Big Ten team in 2010. He stands at 6'4" and weighs in at around 285 pounds. At the combine, he ran a 4.70 40-yard dash, which is awfully impressive for a guy that size.

Ballard has a chance to make an immediate impact for the Vikings, as it is highly unlikely that Pat Williams will not be back and Kevin Williams will almost certainly be suspended for the first four games of the 2011 NFL season now that there are no more legal remedies for him in the StarCaps case.

Ballard was also NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock's best player available going into the draft's third day. Mayock said that Ballard is a second-round talent that slid into Round Four because of an undisclosed off-field issue.

Seems like another solid pick for the Minnesota Vikings to me.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.