• Pro Football Focus showed why Kirk Cousins might thrive with the Vikings: The team led the NFL in contested pass receptions last season. The Vikings brought in 53.5 percent of their attempts. The next best was the Lions at 51.6 percent. ... On the other side of the ball the Vikings defense ranked second in the league in fewest yards after catch by opposing teams at 4.47 yards, trailing only the Seahawks.
• Defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson is in a good spot with the Vikings. He’ll benefit from playing with Linval Joseph, who had a run defense grade of 89.0 from PFF, fifth best in the NFL last season.
• Blanchard, Okla., receiver Jamie Nance has offers from Oklahoma, Nebraska and TCU, but after a visit here with Gophers coach P.J. Fleck he said that “Minnesota is looking elite.” That is the kind of player that Fleck is bringing in, and the Gophers have the 19th-ranked recruiting class in 2019 and fourth in the Big Ten behind Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State, according to 247Sports.com.
• Reid Travis, the DeLaSalle standout who recently left Stanford as a grad transfer, is visiting Kentucky next week and is a cinch to become a Wildcat because of the great set-up they have with getting players drafted high in the NBA. Incidentally, give Travis some credit for current DeLaSalle point guard Tyrell Terry picking Stanford over the Gophers.
• Keita Bates-Diop, who many think the Timberwolves could draft at No. 20 this week, scored 17 points to go along with 12 rebounds and two blocks when Ohio State beat the Gophers 67-49 last season.
• The Gophers’ lack of point guards could be solved with the transfer of Geno Crandall from North Dakota. The two-time All-Big Sky Conference guard averaged 16.6 points, 3.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game last season and shot 41 percent on three-pointers.