Scout's Notebook: S Mike Doss

The Vikings signed unrestricted free agent Mike Doss from the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts during the offseason. If healthy, the Vikings might have gotten a bargain with a one-year, $1 million contract. Here's a complete scouting report...

#21, Mike Doss, S
(5101, 207, 4.45-4.58) Ohio State

Personal:  Born Michael Allen Doss, March 24, 1981, in Canton, Ohio.  Attended McKinley High School where he helped his team win state titles his final two years.  Rushed for 143 yards and 4 touchdowns in the title game as a senior.  He had 1,454 yards and 22 TDs with 111 tackles and 3 INTs as a senior.  Finished his prep career with 14 interceptions and was a USA Today All-America Honorable Mention.

College:  Played in every game as an 18-year-old true freshman in 1999, with 43 tackles and 2 pass breakups.  Became a starter late in the season his freshman year with the Buckeyes.  Posted 94 tackles, 13 tackles-for-loss, 6 PBU, 3 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries returned for touchdowns in 2000.  Recorded 87 tackles, 10 TFL, 4 PBU, 3 INT and 4 FR, one returned for a TD, and 2 blocked punts in 2001.  Finished his college career with 107 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 INT and one FR in 2002.  Was the Big-10 Defensive Player of the Year, a consensus All-American and a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.

Vital Statistics:  Coming out of college, Doss measured 5101, 207 pounds and ran 40 times between 4.45-4.58.  He measured 32-inch arms with 10-inch hands.  He recorded a 39½-inch vertical jump, an 11’-5” broad jump and a 3.97 short shuttle time.

Pro:  Second-round draft choice (No. 58 overall) by the Indianapolis Colts in 2003.  Despite a brief holdout in training camp, he started and played in 15 games as a rookie, posting 101 tackles, 1 interception, 3 pass breakups, 4 forced fumbles and 13 tackles on special teams.  He was slowed by hamstring and groin injuries in 2004, but played in 10 games, recording 49 tackles, 1 sack, 2 INT, 1 PBU, 3 FF and 2 tackles on special teams.  In May 2005, Doss was charged with a felony weapons charge and three misdemeanor charges in Akron, Ohio after police estimated hearing five to six gunshots outside a local restaurant.  He was sentenced to 40 hours of community service and a $1,036 fine after pleading no contest to the charges.  He was also given a suspended 180-day jail sentence for the deadly weapon charge and a suspended 60-day jail sentence for the discharge count.  According to the clerk's office, charges of inducing panic and obstructing official business were dismissed.  Doss was initially suspended by the league for two games as a result of this incident, but it was reduced to one game following an appeal contingent on Doss meeting unspecified conditions imposed by the league.  Despite struggling with shoulder problems, he came back to start 14-of-15 games, with 97 tackles, 2 INT, 3 PBU and 3 tackles on special teams in 2005.  He ended up receiving $87,220 through the NFL’s performance-based pay system that season.  In 2006, he was slowed with a calf injury throughout the preseason, then suffered a knee injury (ACL) in week 7.  Playing in just 6 games, he recorded 31 tackles, 2 INT, 3 PBU and 5 tackles on special teams.  An unrestricted free agent this past offseason, he drew interest from the Eagles, Bengals, Bucs and Vikings, ultimately opting to sign a one-year, $1 million contract with Minnesota where he was reunited with new defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who also coached him with the Colts.

Positives:  Tough, well-built, hard-nosed competitor.  Explosive hitter with excellent football intelligence and instincts.  Is quick to read and react.  Seems to always get a good jump on the ball.  Very good on run support and a solid open-field tackler.  Shows good feel in zone coverage and is able to line up and cover the slot receiver.  Has a knack for making plays.  Team leader-type player.

Negatives:  Inconsistent when isolated in man-to-man coverage.  Will guess wrong and get burned at times.  A little on the shorter side for a safety.  Is coming off a knee injury and has been often nicked up, missing a fair amount of practice time as a pro.

Summary:  Heady, instinctive, productive player who is a very nice fit for the team’s Cover-2 scheme, which he understands from playing for defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier in Indy.  Doss can be a real playmaker if he’s healthy.

What they said: 

“Doss quickly became a competent starter with the Colts and had a few big plays, [but] what stood out throughout most of his career were the frustrating concentration lapses and the infuriating missed tackles.  Then in 2006, Doss rewarded them with some outstanding play.  He showed a marked improvement in both zone and man coverage, tackled better and showed what appeared to be a much better understanding of how offenses worked.  It was like the light went on for him and it couldn't have come at a better time - Bob Sanders, the Colts' top safety, was out with a knee injury.  During the first six games of the 2006 season, Doss not only showed excellent safety play, but also leadership and an enviable work ethic.” – Jerry Langton,

“Mike Doss is smallish, but he has good instincts and tackles like a linebacker.” – Pro Football Weekly

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