DeMarcus Van Dyke: "I'm here for a reason"

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- If DeMarcus Van Dyke makes the roster, he'll play against all three of his former teams this season. 

His second outing against some familiar faces will come on Saturday against the Oakland Raiders, when the Vikings welcome ex-purple like Bill Musgrave, Christian Ponder, Mike Tice, Jack Del Rio and even J'Marcus Webb. Van Dyke said there's no hard feelings for the team that drafted him in the third round (81st overall) in 2011, just 69 selections after the Vikings took Ponder with the 12th-overall pick. 

"I don't have any type of juices going on," Van Dyke said. "It's just another game out there against guys I kind of know. [Cornerback] Chimdi Chekwa, [running back] Taiwan Jones, [assistant DBs] coach [Rod] Woodson is still over there." 

Van Dyke, 26, was one of the final picks made by the Raiders' late owner/general manager Al Davis before his passing in October 2011. Van Dyke didn't last long under the new general manager, Reggie McKenzie. He landed with Pittsburgh before he parted ways in August 2013 with an injury settlement, the same outcome he had with the Kansas City Chiefs last season.

He signed a one-year, veteran minimum deal with the Vikings in January to mark his fourth team in five years. 

Continued NFL chances come for Van Dyke, a college track standout at the University of Miami who posted the fastest 40-yard dash time at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine with a 4.28. That raw talent lifted him up to a third-round pick despite starting just three games for the Hurricanes as a senior in 2010. He finished his 'U' career with 21 starts in 51 games. 

"He can really run," defensive coordinator George Edwards said. "He can line up and run with the best of them, but understanding what we need to get out of him by call, fundamental technique is the biggest thing." 

Now under a respected defensive coach in Mike Zimmer, Van Dyke is still adjusting to the coach's techniques while trying to find a place to dig in as a NFL cornerback. The Vikings looked to get longer and more athletic at cornerback, which is where Van Dyke (6-1, 187) comes in. With second-year cornerback Jabari Price suspended for the first two regular season games and fourth-year cornerback Josh Robinson held back with a partially torn pectoral muscle, the window for Van Dyke, who highlighted his training camp with a two-interception outing this month, appears open. 

"This is my fifth year in the league," Van Dyke said. "I want to show them I'm here for a reason, I can play cornerback."

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