Vikings Add 16 Undrafted Rookies

The Vikings' early conclusion to the NFL draft had them ahead of the game in signing undrafted rookie free agents.

The Vikings concluded the NFL draft hours before most teams Sunday afternoon, as trades last season and during the draft left them without a sixth- or seventh-round pick this year.

That allowed the team to organize their plan of attack for signing undrafted rookie free agents, and about two hours after the draft had concluded they had signed 16 rookie free agents.

The Vikings originally said they had signed North Carolina State middle linebacker Oliver Hoyte, but his agent confirmed that he had signed with the Dallas Cowboys.

Defensively, the team signed Kansas cornerback Charles Gordon, Massachusetts cornerback Robert Cobb, Minnesota linebacker Kyle McKenzie, Mississippi defensive end Jayme Mitchell and Washington defensive tackle Manase Hopoi.

On offense, the team added Clemson fullback Steven Jackson, Fresno State halfback Wendell Mathis, Texas Tech halfback Taurean Henderson, Southwest Texas State wide receiver Barrick Nealy, Youngstown State wide receiver Kyle Smith, Texas A&M wide receiver Jason Carter, New Mexico wide receiver Hank Baskett, Jackson State offensive tackle Albert Stinson, Wisconsin center/guard Jason Palermo, Utah State offensive tackle Donald Penn.

As insurance for punter Chris Kluwe, who is recovering from knee surgery, the Vikings also signed Colorado punter John Torp.

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