All 32 teams were represented at the Boise State Pro Day last week. There were four players participating who could see their names get called at some point during the draft. The Minnesota Vikings could have interest in all of them, but two of the players were offensive linemen and the Vikings already did a lot of work in free agency to shore up their line.
The biggest name at the Boise State Pro Day was defensive end Kamalei Correa, whom the Vikings interviewed at the NFL Scouting Combine. The NFL Draft Advisory Board originally gave Correa a second-round grade after he had a great 2015 season. It seems they might have miscalculated, though.
He was one of the top performers for his position grouping at the combine and his stock has been on the rise ever since. He decided to stand on the 4.69-second 40-yard dash time and 21 reps of the 225-pound bench press he recorded in Indianapolis but participated in the other drills at his pro day.
The vertical jump and the broad jump were the only other drills Correa did at the combine and he chose to redo them at his pro day, improving both. He recorded a 34-inch vertical (one inch higher than at the combine) and a 9-foot-9 broad (nine inches farther than at the combine).
He also participated in the 20-yard short shuttle (4.18 seconds) and the three-cone drill (6.96 seconds). He reportedly wowed scouts in his positional drills and is really proving to be a gifted pass rusher with a lot of upside. After an outstanding offseason, Correa has almost surely secured a spot in the first round or early second.
That means if the Vikings would want to take him they might have to do so at No. 23 overall. They have taken a defensive end in the third round each of the two years since Mike Zimmer has taken over as head coach. He once said that a talented pass rusher might be the most valuable player on a team, apart from a quarterback, so it makes sense he continues to bring them in.
The Vikings currently have seven defensive ends on their roster, so it’s not likely they will take one in the first round, but it is possible. They could be looking for a player to help pressure the quarterback and provide Everson Griffen and Brian Robison with extra rest, especially with the amount of passing done in today’s game.
The other player that the Vikings were probably looking forward to seeing was safety Darian Thompson. He is a prospect that NFL draft experts have said the Vikings could target after the first round – he’s projected to go in the third – if they are looking for a safety.
At 6-3, 243 pounds, he has great size to play in the NFL. He also showed the ability to turn the ball over on numerous occasions throughout his career, coming down with 19 total interceptions, and the Vikings need to improve in that area. The biggest concerns for Thompson is below-average man cover skills and a lack of awareness in zone coverage, but if anyone can help him improve in these areas it would be Zimmer.
Thompson was suffering from an illness at the combine, so his performance there may have been hindered. The only two drills he chose to redo were the 40-yard dash and the bench press. He improved on both his posted numbers, recording a 40 time of 4.60 seconds and doing 13 reps of the bench press.
The safety also looked good in his positional drills and scouts were reportedly impressed by the way he was able to track and catch the ball.
Center Marcus Henry and guard Rees Odhiambo are the two offensive linemen from Boise State who could see their names called. Odhiambo had surgery on both his ankles a year ago and is still working on getting back to 100 percent; reports from the pro day are that he looked average in the drills. Henry, on the other hand, looked good during the workouts and likely saw his stock move up a little bit because of it.
While Correa is the most intriguing prospect coming out of Boise State this year, Thompson is probably the one who fits what the Vikings’ merging of need and draft position the most. They are still looking for a player to fill in next to Harrison Smith for the long term on the backside of the defense and Thompson’s ability to create turnovers could make him a strong candidate.