The Minnesota Vikings were one of the 32 teams present at Michigan’s Pro Day, which took place on March 18. The two biggest names participating in the pro day were quarterback Jake Rudock and defensive tackle Willie Henry.
The Vikings are not in really in the market for a quarterback, especially taking one as early as Rudock will likely be drafted, but Henry is a player the team could target. They do have some very productive defensive tackles already on the roster, but last season proved that they could always use more depth.
Henry measured in at 6-foot-3, 297 pounds at his pro day and chose to sit on all the numbers he posted at the NFL Scouting Combine. He did, however, do a multitude of positional drills, which were primarily run by the Cincinnati Bengals defensive line coach.
It was reportedly a rigorous workout that really left Henry sweating, but he looked impressive throughout it and showed that he is very quick and sudden with all his movements. Henry is an interesting prospect at this point as draft experts cannot really agree on where he will be drafted. Some have said that he could go in the first round, but others have said that he could fall all the way to the fifth round.
The Vikings likely won’t draft a defensive tackle in the first round, but if Henry falls into one of the later rounds he could be a player the Vikings target. General manager Rick Spielman has talked about wanting to draft the best players available in order to create competition and that is exactly what Henry could provide the Vikings.
Another player participating in the Michigan Pro Day that the Vikings could target is center Graham Glasgow. The Vikings’ starting center, John Sullivan, is coming off two back surgeries and at the age of 30 there is a possibility that he won’t be able to bounce back and play the way he needs to.
Joe Berger did a nice job filling in for Sullivan last season, but at the age of 33 he probably will not be playing for many more years. The Vikings also have Nick Easton, whom they acquired in the Gerald Hodges trade, but he is still young and inexperienced. Since there are a lot of questions surrounding the team’s center spot, do not be surprised if the Vikings draft one in a later round in order to help provide depth, competition and a safety blanket in case Sullivan can’t bounce back.
Glasgow is expected to be drafted in the later rounds and the 6-6, 307-pound center could be one the Vikings target. He was put through positional drills by the Indianapolis Colts’ assistant offensive line coach at his pro day and it was made clear that his best position is center.
Another player that was present at the pro day whom the Vikings could end up targeting is Ferris State defensive tackle Justin Zimmer. He is 6-2, 302 pounds and posted times of 4.88 and 4.85 seconds when running the 40-yard dash. He also had a 32-inch vertical, 9-foot-9 broad jump, 4.4-second shuttle drill and a 7.01-second three-cone drill.
While the numbers he posted were good, the most impressive part of his workout was the bench press. He was able to put up the 225-pound bar 44 times, which was 10 more reps than the most done at the combine.
Justin Zimmer is not expected to be drafted this offseason, but his workout at the pro day showed that he could be a player multiple teams consider looking at as an undrafted free agent.