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Minnesota Vikings 2011 NFL Draft: Vikings Select South Florida Safety Mistral Raymond

Continuing along in the 2011 National Football League Draft, the Vikings have used their second of four sixth-round picks, the 170th selection overall, to tab safety Mistral Raymond from the University of South Florida.

Raymond is a taller safety, measuring in at 6'2" and weighing in at around 190 pounds. The scouting report on him says that he's aggressive on the field, but isn't quite as polished or fluid as you might like. Of course, those are things that can be worked on at the NFL level, it didn't stop him from being a second-team all-Big East selection as a senior.

Raymond met with tragedy as a youngster, as this story details. Raymond's cousin had killed someone in self-defense, and the friends of that victim said they were going to get revenge. They did so by firebombing Raymond's childhood home, and shooting at the people that were inside as they tried to escape, which included Raymond's mother, his older sister, and his younger sister (who was pregnant at the time). His older sister was killed, having been shot four times, and his mother died six months afterwards from a lung issue that may or may not have been a result of the fire.

He seems to have done an outstanding job of overcoming this tragedy thus far, and hopefully he can continue doing so as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

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