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Rookie Ballard Making Good 1st Impression

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(credit: Adam Bettcher /Getty Images)

(credit: Adam Bettcher /Getty Images)

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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings took a chance when they selected Iowa defensive tackle Christian Ballard in the fourth round of April’s draft.

The early returns have been nothing but favorable.

A failed drug test caused the talented defensive lineman to slide down the board on draft weekend, and the Vikings figured that pairing him on a line with veterans Kevin Williams and Jared Allen would help keep Ballard on the straight and narrow.

Ballard leads the team with two sacks in three preseason games. He’s also shown enough versatility to play both inside and outside that the Vikings are toying with moving end Everson Griffen to linebacker.

Ballard says he has a lot of work to do but is feeling more comfortable every day.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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