Highly Touted WR Among Vikings' Visits

The Vikings hosted one of the top receivers in the draft for a visit last week, but they aren't alone in their pursuit to learn more about him. See what he had to say about the predraft process and comparisons to a familiar NFL wide receiver.

Florida wide receiver Andre Caldwell was among more than a dozen players who visited Winter Park last Wednesday and Thursday as part of the team's annual draft visits.

Caldwell is scheduled to meet with the Buccaneers today and also had a visit scheduled with the St. Louis Rams, according to Matthew Postins of BucsBlitz.com on the Scout.com network.

The Vikings have also had visits with Michigan State wide receiver Devin Thomas and Oklahoma wide receiver Malcolm Kelly.

Caldwell, the younger brother of NFL wide receiver Reche Caldwell, scored the winning touchdown in the Senior Bowl college all-star game in January and continued to increase his draft stock among NFL teams when he ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. Interestingly, he said before running it that he thought 40 times can be overrated when analyzing draft prospects.

"I think it's emphasized a little too much. I think it's a lot of what you do on the football field," Caldwell said. "A lot of people play fast but don't run as fast in the 40. I think it's something good to look at, to know what kind of athlete you're dealing with."

The 6-foot-2, 204-pound receiver is the third-ranked wide receiver behind Thomas and Kelly, according to former NFL scout Tom Marino.

"Go-to receiver who has regained the foot speed he had prior to his knee surgery," Marino wrote in his evaluation of Caldwell for Scout.com. "Has size, experience and has been a very productive player. Works underneath effectively. Solid run-after-catch skills. Impressive getting in and out of a breaks on speed cuts. Gets head around and locates the ball. I really liked his work at the Senior Bowl, where he showed his skills and savvy. Bigger, faster and more powerfully built than what I remembered."

Marino projects Caldwell as a mid second-round pick, which is just where the Vikings are selecting in that round.

Caldwell set the Florida Gators school record with 185 career receptions, which ranked ninth overall in Southeastern Conference history. He finished his career with 2,349 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. As a senior, he had 56 catches for 761 yards, despite missing most of September with a sprained medial collateral ligament.

He continues to lean on his brother, Reche, for advice during his past few months of trying to impress NFL scouts.

"He's helped me from day one," Andre said of Reche. "What to look for and some of the things to prepare for. I think I've got a head start on most athletes out here because I know what to look for and how to prepare for certain things. I talk to him four times a day and know what's going to be going on out here (at the NFL Combine). He keeps me updated.

"I think (being compared to Reche) helps me a little bit. I think I'm a better player than he is. He's going to say he's the better player. He's a great athlete, so being compared to someone like him – he went high in the draft, in the second round, and I think I'm better – that should put me above him."

Exactly what value the Vikings have placed on Caldwell isn't known yet, but they had reason to learn more last week with his predraft visit.


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