The Minnesota Vikings released their official list of undrafted free agents on Monday. It includes 10 total players, including 6-foot-5 Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said that is was a little more difficult to bring in some of the top-tier undrafted free agents this offseason because of the depth that they have on their roster.
Even though these players go undrafted, they still have a chance of making a team’s official roster so they often look at what situation gives them the best opportunity. The Vikings have a history of signing undrafted free agents that make their 53-man roster, as both Taylor Heinicke and Anthony Harris found themselves in that position a year ago.
Here is a break down of the 10 newest Vikings:
Joel Stave / QB / Wisconsin
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.
Keith Baxter / CB / Marshall
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.
Kyle Carter / TE / Penn State
Carter measures in at 6-3, 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.
Theiren Cockran / DE / Minnesota
Cockran measures in at 6-4, 252 pounds. He has rushed the passer with a hand on the ground and standing up, but seems to be more productive when off the line. Has relatively long arms for his size. He uses a chop, combined with inside spin move, as his most effective rush move.
Jake Ganus / MLB / Georgia
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 linemen, as he does not have the size or strength to shed them.
Marken Michel / WR / Massachusetts
Michel measures in at 5-11, 193 pounds. He is a player that shows good athleticism with average speed for his position - recording a 4.57-second 40-yard dash at his pro day. Where he is 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.
Denzell Perine/ OLB/DE / Florida International
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.
Jhurell Pressley / RB / New Mexico
Presley measures in at 5-10, 206 pounds. He averaged 7.8 yards a carry over his three-year carrier, 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
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.
Brandon Ross / RB / Maryland
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.