The Minnesota Vikings added a lot to their roster with 11 draft picks, but before the draft even ended they were calling around working on signing more rookies that weren’t drafted.
About an hour after the draft had ended, they were mostly done reaching agreements with undrafted rookies, including several that had draftable grades, according to analysts, and some that were projected as high as the fifth or sixth rounds.
“We were very aggressive in signing college free agents and we probably spent the most, I think, probably the most money since I have been here and tried to get the best talent out there,” General Manager Rick Spielman said.
Here are many of the players the Vikings reportedly added, with an official list expected out later today.
Wes Lunt, QB, Illinois – At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, he has NFL quarterback size, but injuries have been a drawback to his career. He started five games at Oklahoma State before transferring to Illinois following injuries that cost him the starting job. Missed four games last year with a back injury, but over his three years with the Illini took good care of the football, throwing 36 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
R.J. Shelton, WR, Michigan State – The 5-foot-10, 200-pound receiver led the Spartan in receptions (53), receiving yards (789) and tied for touchdown catches with five. He had eight plays of 50 yards or more, according to NFLDraftScout.com, and has kick-return ability.
Josiah Price, TE, Michigan State – Just missed an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine after having a career-high 38 catches for 387 yards and five touchdowns as a senior. His 21 career touchdown catches were the most in Michigan State history for a tight end. The 6-foot-4, 249-pounder was considered a late-round prospect or high priority free agent.
Aviante Collins, OT, TCU – Dubbed a fifth- or sixth-round value by NFL.com, he played both right and left tackle for the Horned Frogs. A back injury derailed his junior season, but he started every game at right tackle in 2016. Is 6-foot-4, 295 pounds.
Tashawn Bower, DE, LSU – Would be light (250 pounds) if the Vikings want to keep him at defensive end or taller (6-5) than most if they move him to linebacker. He started only seven games over four seasons, but the Vikings turned Danielle Hunter into more in the NFL than he was at LSU, too. Three of his 5.5 sacks last year came in the final game, the Citrus Bowl against Louisville.
Dylan Bradley, DL, Southern Mississippi – At 6-foot-1, 265 pounds, he doesn’t have prototypical height to play defensive end in the NFL, but he played every position on the Southern Miss defensive line. NFL.com rated him as a sixth- or seventh-round prospect, saying toughness is his calling card.
Caleb Kidder, DL, Montana – He has NFL defensive end size at 6-foot-4 and 269 pounds and finished his career at Montana tied for 11th on the school’s career list of tackles for losses with 29½. Kidder had 55 total tackles in 2016, but had 92 in 2015 when playing defensive tackle.
Eric Wilson, LB, Cincinnati – The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder is considered an outside linebacker, posting double-digit tackles in eight games, including 16 against East Carolina. He had 100 tackles in back-to-back seasons.
Horace Richardson, CB, SMU – The 5-11, 199-pound cornerback has kickoff return ability and finished tied for third in the NCAA, led the American Athletic Conference with six interceptions and was tied for second in the NCAA with 215 interception return yards.
Austin Tennessee, DB, Stevenson – Coming from a Division III school, he will have plenty of adjusting to do with the speed of the NFL, but at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, he got plenty of interest from NFL teams and participated in the Baltimore Ravens’ local pro day. Earned numerous conference and Division III awards and played safety his final year after being at cornerback the previous three seasons.
Richie Sampson, S, Coastal Carolina – Has good size and speed for a defensive back at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, running a 4.48 at his pro day, along with intriguing numbers in the broad jump (10-foot-6) and vertical jump (39 inches).
Tommy Armstrong, QB/RB/WR, Nebraska
Terrell Newby, RB, Nebraska
Dylan Utter, C, Nebraska
Sam Hahn, OL, Nebraska
Dakota Cox, LB, New Mexico
Nik D'Avanzo, DL, New Mexico
Drew Wolitarsky, WR, Minnesota
Derrick Griffin, WR, Texas Southern
Jack Nelson, QB, Winona State
The Vikings have their rookie minicamp this weekend.