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Vikings select Penn State LBs Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti

gerald hodges getty Getty Images

The Vikings aren’t the first team to turn to Penn State for help at linebacker. And on the final day of the 2013 NFL Draft, Minnesota added a pair of Nittany Lions to its LB depth chart, choosing Gerald Hodges in Round Four and Michael Mauti in Round Seven.

The 6-1, 243-pound Hodges, who played outside linebacker in college, led Penn State in tackles (109) in 2012. He also broke up a team-best nine passes and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors.

On a conference call with media Saturday, Hodges indicated he was unsure whether the Vikings planned to play him outside or in the middle. Jasper Brinkley, the Vikings’ starting middle linebacker from a season ago, departed in free agency, signing with Arizona.

Mauti, a middle linebacker in college, is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee suffered in November. It was the second time he’s suffered an ACL tear in the same knee in the span of a little more than a year. Also, he suffered a right ACL tear in 2009.

Mauti (6-2, 243) had a productive 2012 season before the injury, notching 95 tackles, intercepting three passes and forcing three fumbles. He garnered first-team All-Big Ten honors and won the conference’s Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year Award.

Penn State has had a history of producing NFL talent at the position, with NaVorro Bowman, Sean Lee and Tamba Hali among the former Nittany Lions currently playing key roles for teams.

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18 Responses to “Vikings select Penn State LBs Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Apr 27, 2013 7:00 PM

    More LBers for Alfred Morris to run by later this season. #AlfbestRBinFootball

  2. Logicalvoice says: Apr 27, 2013 7:09 PM

    Doesn’t sound like this guy can stay healthy. Odds are he’s a wasted pick. Not many people recover from two much less three ACLU tears.

  3. pafinfan72 says: Apr 27, 2013 7:15 PM

    Congrats to Mauti…great leader…class guy and hard worker and Congrats to the Vikings for giving him a shot!!!

  4. theskolbandit says: Apr 27, 2013 7:17 PM

    Time will tell. Hopefully they can step in and play we need inside help big time
    BANDIT

  5. gdeli says: Apr 27, 2013 7:52 PM

    Forget this niceness crap they will both be Hall of Famer’s

  6. theytukrjobs says: Apr 27, 2013 8:17 PM

    GM’s always talk a big game about liking their roster and their depth. But the Vikings are walking the walk with this draft.

    They had 11 picks originally. They turned 4 of them picks into a 1st rounder to take Patterson. They used a 5th rounder on a punter despite having an average to above average punter on roster. Then they top it off by taking a flyer on a guy who by rights is a 2nd round type of talent but has 3 ACL tears, making him a hugely risky proposition.

    They would not have worked the draft this way if they didn’t feel very confident about their existing roster’s overall depth and quality.

  7. billobrienschindimple says: Apr 27, 2013 8:18 PM

    Tamba Hali was a DE at Penn State, not a LB.

  8. billobrienschindimple says: Apr 27, 2013 8:19 PM

    You also fail to mention Cameron Wake, who played at Penn State as Derek Wake.

  9. taintedsaints2009 says: Apr 27, 2013 8:29 PM

    i still think they blew off the need at LB. are they expecting a fourth round pick to start? it’s a nice pick for depth but to expect him to start is pushing it.

    remember when they took that gopher linebacker several years back in the fifth round, and cut him after training camp? #$@$@!!!! nice pick, childress.

  10. tatum064 says: Apr 27, 2013 8:36 PM

    Good player , but may have had too many injuries. Best LB you never heard of.

    Could be a brilliant pick up if he recovers…but recovering and playing football on that kind of injury on that field turf Minnesota plays on…i dont know.

  11. bostonbias says: Apr 27, 2013 8:48 PM

    Both are great picks by the Vikings. Mauti has one of the highest football IQs I have ever watched in a college game. He is an amazing leader. Vikings may put him on IR this year, and next year this guy is starting. Just look up some scouting reports by real scouts on this guy.

  12. doubleogator says: Apr 27, 2013 9:18 PM

    Watched him play in high school under my son who is their coach…pulling for him to recover from those injuries because he’s a player…

  13. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 27, 2013 9:53 PM

    How is this broken player supposed to help keep the Vikings from losing twice per season to the Packers, the way they have for the past 3 seasons?

  14. lnfinite says: Apr 27, 2013 9:55 PM

    Good projects but now the signs point toward signing Urlacher. Probably a one year deal.

  15. craigjosh says: Apr 27, 2013 11:03 PM

    I’m a huge Penn State fan, meaning I’m super overweight and love PSU, and these kids can play. If the kid recovers for the ACL issues, he’s one heck of a player. Good luck to both these kids and the Vikes for taking a chance on them.

  16. wludford says: Apr 28, 2013 2:23 PM

    I like both picks- good values in their respective rounds. I could see either one land a starting role- Hodges based on his cover skills and Mauri as a MLB if he gets healthy and can play at that level. Henderson and Cole will be competing as well. Could easily see the Vikings signing Urlacher too.

  17. ponderqb says: Apr 28, 2013 4:48 PM

    Tamba Hali was a Beast not a DE.

  18. bubbasmithguy says: Apr 28, 2013 8:17 PM

    filthymcnasty1 says:
    Apr 27, 2013 9:53 PM
    How is this broken player supposed to help keep the Vikings from losing twice per season to the Packers, the way they have for the past 3 seasons?

    Apparently you don’t watch football. The Vikings did beat the Packers last year and could have beaten them the first time they played. Again another packer fan with diarrhea mouth not knowing what they are saying.

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