Part of the life of a late-round draft pick is to find something that can make you stand out and have the coaches take notice. Sixth-round defensive back Deandre' Eiland comes to the Vikings with a chance to win a roster spot in the secondary, thanks to his versatility.
Eiland played every position in the secondary during his college career. With a solid blend of size, speed and strength, Eiland started 28 of 45 games – playing safety and corner. It was by his choice, but out of what was best for the team.
"They wanted me to play full-time cornerback (as a senior) and then full-time corner as a nickel," Eiland told VU. "I was going from nickel to corner. Then we had a little bit of trouble at the safety position, so they put there."
As a prospect, Eiland looks to have a chance to compete for a roster spot as a nickel back, which is what Vikings coaches told him they envision him to be. With his athletic tools, Eiland has all the physical gifts to be a corner or a safety, especially in terms of his speed – he was a high school hurdling champion. But his future is still up in the air and even Eiland isn't exactly sure where his future is with the Vikings.
"I feel comfortable on this inside – in the nickel position," Eiland said. "I like free safety too. It gives me a chance to use my speed in the open field. Free safety and (nickel) corner are about the same. It doesn't matter."
What does matter is starting the process of turning a raw college talent into a pro football prospect. That process begins today.
Eiland Brings Versatility To D-Backfield
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