Of all the players who are going to be discussed over draft weekend, especially on the final day of the draft, German wide receiver Mortiz Boehringer has become something of a sensation over the last few weeks after posting some eye-popping numbers at a pro day workout he held at Florida Atlantic University.
While it doesn’t appear at the moment that Boehringer will be drafted, he may already have an inside track to being an undrafted free agent of the Minnesota Vikings.
Appearing on the NFL Network’s Move the Sticks 360 Series with hosts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks, Boehringer, who has been in the Unites States since Feb. 29, said his inspiration to start playing football came from watching YouTube videos of a familiar name to NFL fans.
“I’ve been playing football for five years,” Boehringer said. “It basically started with watching a highlight tape of Adrian Peterson on YouTube.”
He actually stumbled across the A.P. video. He was watching something else and, as is YouTube’s wont to do, it posted a series of other videos related to viewing habits. It was love at first sight seeing Peterson, but it was in no way intentional.
“I think it was a recommended video on the side,” Boehringer said. “I don’t know what I watched before, but I clicked on it and I liked it.”
What Boehringer admired most about Peterson is what NFL fans have known for years. His style of running, earning the hard yards and taking runs to the house when he gets a hole at the line, is what made a big impression on Boehringer and got him interested in playing the game himself.
“Just the way he runs with the ball – how violent and just his speed when he gets free,” Boehringer said of what seeing Peterson in action meant to him.
Boehringer’s journey to the NFL is unique to say the least. The first team he found in Germany only had seven players, so he didn’t last long there.
He made quick progress through smaller club leagues before making it to the GFL (German Football League).
He excelled to the point that he started garnering attention from NFL scouts. In his last season in the GFL, he had 70 receptions for 1,461 yards and 15 touchdowns – gaudy numbers regardless of the competition.
He is taking his opportunity seriously. He has been working out with veteran NFL wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Anquan Boldin, but it was his workout at FAU that put him on the map with NFL consumers.
If he wasn’t turning heads before, he did at the workout, running a 4.41 40 with a 39-inch vertical jump, a 10-11 broad jump and 17 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.
Boehringer has found himself a hot ticket recently, being asked to come in for visits with Kansas City, Minnesota, Green Bay, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Atlanta and Carolina. He played some tight end in Germany and said that Atlanta has been looking at him potentially to play that position.
His Vikings connection didn’t end there. He met Teddy Bridgewater, who was present when he was working out and introduced himself. He also said he wore number 84 in Germany because his favorite receiver ever is Randy Moss, another Vikings legend.
Given that he could be a long shot to get drafted, if he becomes an undrafted free agent, it would appear as though the table has already been set for the Vikings to have an inside track to land him, prompting Jeremiah to send out a rhetorical warning to the Vikings.
“Vikings don’t screw this up,” Jeremiah, the former NFL scout, said. “This is all on a tee for you here.”