Scout's Notebook: WR Joel Filani

The Vikings liked him better than some receivers they had watched throughout training camp. Find out why. Here's a full scouting report...

#17, Joel Filani, WR
(6021, 216, 4.52-4.57) Texas Tech

Notes:  Born Joel O. Filani, 12/8/83, in Tempe, Ariz.  Parents are David and Esther Filani.  Has three older siblings:  Pearl, Joseph and Joshua.  First-Team All-Arizona selection at Paradise Valley High School in Phoenix, Ariz.  He was coached by Donnie Yantis.  He caught 40 passes for 653 yards and 8 touchdowns, rushed for 559 yards on 62 attempts and 5 TDs, and had 4 kickoff returns for touchdowns.  Was also recruited heavily by Washington State and Colorado State.

College:  Redshirted in 2002.  Played in all 13 games, finishing with one catch for 9 yards and 2 carries for 7 yards in 2003.  Started 5-of-12 games in 2004, catching 18-310-2 (17.2 avg.) and rushing 2-7.  Led the Big 12 with 89.2 yards per game in 2005 and caught 65-1,048-8 (16.1 avg.) and rushed 6-54.  Finished his college career with 91-1,300-13 (14.3 avg.) and rushed 4-34 in 2006, earning All-Big 12 honors for the second straight season.  Joined Wes Welker (Patriots) to be the only receiver in school history to record 1,000 yards receiving in two different seasons.  Majored in business.

Measured 6021, 211 at the combine prior to the draft.  Posted a 1.53 10-yard dash, 2.62 20-yard dash, 4.55 40-yard dash, 32 ½-inch vertical jump, 9’9” broad jump, 4.10 20-yard shuttle and 6.81 three-cone drill time.  Did 17 reps at 225 pounds.

Pro:  Originally drafted in the sixth-round (188th overall) by the Tennessee Titans in 2007.  Caught just one pass for 5 yards during the preseason with the Titans.  He was released on the final roster cuts.  Filani was waived in favor of Eric Moulds, Brandon Jones, Justin Gage, Roydell Williams and David Givens (PUP) by the Titans.  Signed by the Vikings to their practice squad 9/2/07.

Positives:  Tall, rangy receiver with good hands and speed.  Can pluck the ball.  Big, strong and aggressive, he will make the acrobatic catch.  Good productivity as a receiver.  Hard worker.  Tough and competitive.  Runs well after the catch; strong enough to break tackles and pick up positive yardage.  Knows how to use his size and body against defenders to compete for the ball.  Can create mismatches against smaller defensive backs.  Good field awareness and has a knack for locating the open areas against zone coverage.  Effective downfield blocker.  Can contribute on kick coverage on special teams.

Negatives:  Does not have top-end speed and suddenness.  Is not a true deep threat.  A lot of his catches are contested.  Needs to tighten up his pass routes.  Occasionally drops some easy ones and does some unnecessary body-catching at times.  Productivity in college is somewhat inflated by the Texas Tech system.

Summary:  The Vikings obviously feel Filani has some things to offer that Chandler Williams and Jason Carter did not.  He presents a bigger target in the passing game and might be able to contribute on kick coverage, which would be an added bonus from a backup receiver on game day.


“Productive possession receiver who benefited from playing in a wide-open spread attack.  Has the makeup to make a living on special teams and play a role at receiver.” – Nolan Nawrocki, Pro Football Weekly

“After dropping a lot of balls early in his career, Filani became more consistent as his college years moved on.  He has good size, but he’s not real fast and doesn’t get separation, so he has to play like a power forward and shield the defender with his body, but he’s good in that area.  Because of the offense at Texas Tech, which is so wide open all of the time, it’s hard to project how Filani will do when he has to line up and run precise routes in a more balanced offensive scheme.” – Mel Kiper, Jr.

“Filani is a productive collegiate receiver with good size, strength and aggressiveness. He displays impressive athleticism for his size and he has the potential to contribute in multiple areas on special teams in the NFL.” – Scouts, Inc.

“Consistent on the college level, Filani nicely projects as a third wideout at the next level.  Should be very effective as a red-zone target and on third-down situations.” –

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