Post-Draft Outlook: A closer look at the Vikings' picks: Round 5/167 -- Nate Triplett, LB, 6-3, 250 pounds, Minnesota: Triplett was drafted more for his abilities on special teams than anything. He will have to fight to make the 53-man roster. - by The Sports Xchange
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NATE TRIPLETT Outside Linebacker Minnesota Golden Gophers #32 6:03.0-240-4.77 Maple Plain, MN Delano High School
One of the few former walk-ons to receive an invitation to this year's combine, Triplett's career as a Gopher slowly built until he was given the chance to start every game as a senior. He took full advantage, making 105 tackles, five for loss, two interceptions and five pass breakups.
Triplett played in only one game (five plays in the regular-season finale against Iowa) in his redshirt freshman season. In 2007, he was named the team's best special teams player, making nine stops, then earned more playing time as a junior (31 tackles, one start in 13 games).
He's a hard-working, strong linebacker with a chance to be a solid reserve strong-side presence as a run-stopper and in pass coverage.
Positives: Versatile linebacker who could play inside in the 3-4 or SAM in the 4-3. Instinctual, and a better athlete than expected. Tough vs. the run; stacks and sheds, also runs through trash inside to make plays. Solid tackler who wraps in space and doesn't let go. Good in coverage, as well, getting to running backs and tight ends. Will contribute on special teams because of his aggressive nature.
Negatives: Not great at any one thing; not ultra-strong, an elite athlete or speedster. A bit stiff in the hips; NFL tight ends and backs will run by him and out-quick him in space if matched up one-on-one. Needs to work on maintaining knee bend when dropping or else he'll lose targets in coverage.
Triplett finished 2nd on the team with 105 total tackles/60 solo. He had 5.0 tackles for loss, 0 sacks, 2 interceptions, 5 passes broken up and 2 fumble recoveries in 2009.
Earned playing time in all 13 games with one start totaled 31 tackles, two pass breakups, one tackle for loss and a fumble recovery also blocked a kick earned second letter. Game-by-Game: recorded three unassisted tackles in the season opener vs. Northern Illinois (8/30) credited with three total tackles and a pass breakup at Bowling Green (9/6) made a solo stop and blocked a field goal against Montana State (9/13) made three solo tackles vs. Florida Atlantic (9/20) credited with a solo tackle and assisted on another at Ohio State (9/27) assisted on a tackle vs. Indiana (10/4) came off the bench to record three total tackles and a pass breakup at Illinois (10/11) came off the bench to assist on a tackle and recover a fumble at Purdue (10/25) collected three total tackles vs. Northwestern (11/1) collected a solo tackle against Michigan (11/8) came off the bench to recorded a career-high seven tackles (three solo) at Wisconsin (11/15) made his first career start vs. Iowa (11/22), recording two total tackles tallied one solo stop for a loss of two yards vs. Kansas (12/31).
Saw action as a reserve linebacker and on special teams in all 12 games totaled nine tackles (six solo) on the season earned the Bobby Bell Award as the teams top special teams player.
Saw the first action of his college career in the regular season finale against Iowa (11/18) participated in five plays against the Hawkeyes.
A 2005 graduate of Delano High School high school coach was Merrill Pavlovich selected to the SuperPrep Midwest Team, ranked as the 13th-best defensive lineman named to the PrepStar All-Midwest Region Team ranked as the 86th-best overall linebacker by Scout.com named to the KARE-11 and Star Tribune All-Metro teams in 2004 was a second-team all-state choice by the Associated Press two-time all-conference selection totaled 127 tackles with 22 tackles-for-loss, four sacks and four interceptions in 2004 Honor Roll student.
Plans to major in civil engineering son of Keith and Sara Triplett born March 15, 1987.
Draft Scout Player News
08/02/12 - LB Nate Triplett left the team and the Buccaneers were granted a roster exemption.
07/28/12 - LB Nate Triplett was signed by yhe Buccaneers.