Seventh-round draft choices have experienced a long weekend hoping and praying that their names will get called and they will be part of the annual NFL draft. They know the odds are stacked against them to make a 53-man roster and that their football future is cloudy at best.
But Vikings seventh-round defensive end D'Aundre Reed was a popular guy in the minutes leading up to the Vikings making him the 215th selection. He was going to go at some point in the seventh round, but he wasn't sure it was going to be Minnesota.
"Miami called me, St. Louis called me and the Redskins said that they were going to try and get me," Reed said. "I was crossing my fingers for those and then the Vikings called me and they were the next pick. My heart dropped when they said they were going to pick me up."
Reed's selection didn't come easy. He played in a rotation system at Arizona, playing third fiddle to starters Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore. He made just seven starts in 34 career games and didn't have a chance to truly showcase his talents. He had to make the most of a part-time situation, but said he feels good about what he has accomplished.
"It was a pretty good rotation," Reed said. "But I knew what I could do in my heart. I knew I just had to keep working hard and put in on tape and people could see what I could do on tape. The tape doesn't lie. That's what I wanted to focus on – just keep working hard and put it out on tape."
His most likely chance of making the team initially will be as a special-teams player. He has a wealth of experience on special teams and he sees that as being a huge benefit in trying to hook on with the Vikings.
"I played everything on special teams," Reed said. "Toward the end of the (2010) season, I just picked kickoff cover and punt, as well as PAT. But throughout my career (at Arizona), I did everything."
Despite not being a full-time starter, Reed believes he has enough potential for the Vikings to give him a long look and, in the end, Reed believes the best is yet to come.
"I think it's just the tip of the iceberg," Reed said of his potential. "I have so much more to show. That's another reason why I am excited to go to the next level and show what else I can do."
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Reed: Part-time player to NFL prospect
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