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Guard Colby Gossett

Height: 6-5
Weight: 311 pounds
Age: 22
Hometown: Cumming, Ga.
College: Appalachian St.
Drafted: 213th overall, as the 12th Appalachian State player drafted into the NFL since 2000.
Current jersey: No. 73

What we’ve learned

First impression
Gossett was home in Forsyth County, Ga., north of Atlanta, when the Vikings made him the county’s first-ever NFL Draft pick. A two-star recruit turned Appalachian State starter, Gossett was blunt when asked about his strengths. They’re, as he says, his strength and power. “Every time I step on the field,” Gossett said, “I want to be the baddest guy.” He proved it with 32 bench reps at the combine, enough for fourth among offensive line prospects (trailing a trio of first- or second-round picks). “Gossett looked pretty good out here to me today,” head coach Mike Zimmer said after one walkthrough last weekend. “But we were just kind of going three-quarter speed.”

At home at right guard
Gossett started three straight seasons on the right side of Appalachian State’s offensive line, bouncing between right guard and right tackle. He played mostly at right guard, where the Vikings could either have a competition or move Mike Remmers inside and start Rashod Hill at tackle. He’ll compete for roster spots with other right guards on the roster in Danny Isidora and Tom Compton. While he’s got experience at tackle, his NFL future is inside. “I would say right guard more than others,” Gossett said. “Just because I’m used to it.”

From ‘a smaller program’
Gossett said a motivation for him is being overlooked. He wasn’t highly recruited out of high school in Cumming, Ga., a town of about 6,000 people, despite having coveted traits that include massive hands (10 7/8″ measured at combine). “I was around 6-4, 290 pounds,” Gossett said. “I was a big guy coming from a smaller program in Georgia that didn’t get much recognition. It was something that just drove me through college.” The Vikings liked what they saw from Gossett at the Senior Bowl, where he was evaluated well against tougher competition.

What we’re watching for

Nimble?
Appalachian State deployed zone-blocking schemes that should help Gossett’s transition into a zone-heavy Vikings offense. He’s accustom to moving laterally at the snap, but can he keep pace with NFL-level athleticism? Gossett’s “weaknesses” identified by NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein included “heavy feet” and “leg tightness on the move.”

Pass protection
Still, he should initially fare best as a run blocker. Appalachian State ran about “70/30 run-pass” on offense, Gossett told FanRagSports at the Senior Bowl, and he told teams he has work to do as a pass protector. Like many rookie offensive linemen, he may face a steep learning curve defending NFL pass rushers.