With the 2016 NFL Draft all wrapped up, the Minnesota Vikings will now look to sign some of the top players remaining as undrafted free agents. They have had luck signing these undrafted players in recent years, as quarterback Taylor Heinicke made the active roster out of training camp and safety Anthony Harris eventually started two games for them during the regular season last year.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman did say it has been more difficult for the them to sign some of the top-tier guys because of the depth they have on their roster this year. For that reason, you may see them try to focus more on specific positions than just the best available players. They also planned to leave a couple of open roster spots (the offseason limit is 90) for players brought in next weekend on a trial basis, so it is safe to assume some of these names listed will be attending the Vikings rookie minicamp as an invitee instead as an undrafted free agent already signed to a contract.
Here is a list of layers that have been reported as agreeing to terms with the Vikings (the team will confirm signings on Monday after ink has been put to paper):
Kyle Carter / TE / Penn State - sent out a tweet
Carter measures in at 6-foot-3, 244 pounds. He is a good athlete with enough speed to get down the middle of the field and beat middle linebackers. He also has the ability to go up and catch the ball at the highest point. Where he really seems to struggle, though, is bringing in contested catches. Carter has average hands at best and needs to get better at blocking if he hopes to make it in the NFL, according to draft analysts.
Jake Ganus / MLB / Georgia - sent out a tweet
Ganus measures in at 6-1, 231 pounds. He has been praised for his leadership qualities both on and off the field. The biggest limitation he faces is that he often tries to play as though he has a bigger body. He will often get smothered by interior offensive lineman as he does not have the size or strength to shed them.
Brandon Ross / RB / Maryland - as reported by NFL Draft Diamonds
Ross measures in at 5-10, 205 pounds. His small frame and shifty feet allow him to sneak through holes along the offensive line cleanly. He also has the ability to get by defenders in the open field as both a runner and a receiver. He likely went undrafted because he was underutilized last season at Maryland.
Jhurell Pressley / RB / New Mexico - as reported by NFL Draft Bible
Presley measures in at 5-10, 206 pounds. He averaged 7.8 yards a carry over his three-year career, which is rather spectacular. He has the speed and quickness to get by most defenders he comes across and rarely puts the ball on the ground. His biggest problem is his small stature makes it hard for him to break initial contacts and he looks to bounce plays outside too often.
Eric Rawls / CB / Kentucky State - as reported by NFL Draft Diamonds
Rawls measures in at 6-2, 195 pounds. His production dipped last season, which likely played a part in him going undrafted. Still, he recorded seven interceptions and 26 pass breakups over his 40-game career. He should also be able to contribute on special teams, if he makes the roster, as he recorded five blocked kicks in college.
Keith Baxter / CB / Marshall - as reported by The Herald-Dispatch
Baxter measures in at 5-11, 191 pounds. He plays as a free safety and has the speed to cover the middle of the field - recording a 4.39 40-yard dash at his pro day. He is a very athletic player that has shown the ability to attack the ball at its highest point, but going to a smaller school like Marshall he will need to get used to going up against NFL-caliber receivers.
Theiren Cockran / DE / Minnesota - as reported by Gopher Digest
Cockrun measures in at 6-4, 252 pounds. He has rushed the passer with a hand in the ground and standing up, but seems to be more productive when off the line. Has relatively long arms for his size. Uses a chop, combined with an inside spin move, as his most effective rush move.
Joel Stave / QB / Wisconsin - as reported by Fox Sports
Stave measures in at 6-5, 236 pounds. He has the size, arm and experience in a pro-style offense that NFL teams look for in a college quarterback. His biggest issue is inconsistent play and inaccurate throws, which led to only 19 touchdowns and 22 interceptions over the past two seasons.
Marken Michel / WR / Massachusetts - as reported by CanesInSight.com
Michel measures in at 5-11, 193 pounds. He is a player that shows good athleticism with average speed for his position - recorded a 4.57-second 40-yard dash at his pro day. Where his strength lies, though, is in his strength. He recorded 25 reps of the 225-pound bench press at his pro day. Michel is listed as a wide receiver but could also be moved to a number of positions.
Qujuan Floyd / S / Iowa State - as reported by All Cyclones
Floyd measures in at 5-11, 195 pounds. He really began to emerge for Iowa State during his senior season after arriving from a junior college the season before. He is a physical, hard-hitting safety who appeared to have a high football IQ. He was pretty durable, playing in 22 of the team’s 24 games the last two seasons.
Denzell Perine / OLB/DE / Florida International - tweeted out by his coach, Ron Turner
Perine measures in at 6-2, 246 pounds. He has the ability to play as both an outside linebacker and a defensive end. Last season he recorded 42 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks and also forced two fumbles. The biggest knock against him is his size, as his small stature could cause him to get swallowed up by some of the larger offensive linemen in the NFL.
Marshaun Coprich / RB / Illinois State - as reported by The Pentagraph
Coprich measures in at 5-8, 207 pounds. He posted a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, which was one of the top times for his position group. He may be lacking in height, but he makes up for that with a muscular frame and a willingness to grind away at defenses. He has the elusiveness necessary to make defenders miss and shows potential to be a part of the passing game, but he is more of an every-down back than a change-of-pace back.
Marquise Williams / QB / North Carolina - sent out a tweet saying he’s joining the Vikings
Williams measures in at 6-2, 216 pounds. He is a dynamic, dual-threat quarterback that dominated defenses at the college level. The biggest question surrounding him is whether or not he will be able to sit in the pocket, decipher what a defense is doing and then being able to take advantage of that through the air. If he is able to do that he could become a steal for the Vikings.
Rookie Minicamp Invitees
Joshua Gordon / DE / Minnesota State, Mankato - as reported by KTSP
Ben LeCompte / P / NDSU - as reported by KTSP