The Minnesota Vikings have shown in the past that they like drafting athletic prospects that still might be raw, and that they can mold them into the type of player they want. They did it last year with defensive end Danielle Hunter and it seems they might be trying to do it again this year with Montana defensive end Tyrone Holmes.
The Vikings sent defensive line coach Andre Patterson out to Holmes’ pro day workout to get a better look at him and it was also reported that the defensive end was in town for the Vikings top-30 visit. Holmes even sent out a tweet about riding on a plane, first class, around the time the team was having their visitors in.
He never specified where his destination was, but there is a good chance that he was on his way to Minnesota to meet with the Vikings.
Vikings’ needs: The team is not in dire need of a defensive end. Everson Griffen is one of the top defensive ends in the NFL and Brian Robison is a solid player on the other side of the line. They have also spent a third-round pick in each of the last two drafts on defensive end - Hunter and Scott Crichton.
The selection of Holmes, if it were to happen, would be one to provide depth and prepare for the future. He is not a player that would be ready to start Day 1 of the regular season, but he is a player that shows a lot of potential and a defense can never have too many talented pass rushers in today’s NFL.
Measurables: Holmes measures in at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds and just looks like an NFL player. He did not receive an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine, but still looked good at his pro day. He recorded a 4.60-second 40-yard dash, 37.5-inch vertical, 9-foot-5 broad jump, 4.28-second 20-yard short shuttle, 7.10-second three-cone drill and 28 reps of the 225-pound bench press.
Analysis: Holmes has the ability to line up and rush with his hand in the ground or from a standing position. That versatility has some speculating where he will fit best in the NFL and his draft profile on NFL.com actually has him listed as an outside linebacker. But the fact that the Vikings sent their defensive line coach out to his pro day makes it fairly safe to assume they see him as a defensive end.
He has shown to have a quick first step and the ability to get low in order to get around offensive tackles and then use leverage to finish the job. However, if his initial move gets blocked, he starts to try to just out-effort his opponents instead of trying to counter their block with another move.
He also needs to improve his playiing strength as he looked overmatched at times against better competition at the Shrine Game. Montana is an FCS school, so he wasn’t necessarily playing against the best competition week in and week out. That is what makes evaluating him tricky. Still, he led all FCS defenders with 18 sacks last season..
Holmes will likely be a seventh-round selection come draft day or maybe even a priority free agent. His future will greatly depend on how he does in training camp and the preseason against tougher competition, and he could very well spend the first couple years of his career on a practice squad.