#57, Robert Francois, OLB (6023, 245, 4.53-4.68) Boston College
Notes: Born 5/14/85, the son of Susanne Gens and Griffin Francois; he has one older brother and one older sister. He attended Ross Sterling High School in Baytown, Texas, before moving on to Governor Dummer Academy, where he earned All-New England honors as a senior tight end and safety. He served as the 2003 team captain for head coach Mark Gerry. Also excelled in basketball and track, winning the New England Class C 100-meter title in 2003.
College: Redshirted in 2004. Played in all 12 games in 2005 and recorded 28 tackles and 2 tackles-for-loss. Started 7-of-13 games at weak-side linebacker for an injured Brian Toal in 2006; registered 52 tackles and 3.5 TFL. Played in 12-of-13 games (missed opener with sprained ankle) in 2007; had 39 tackles and 2.5 TFL. Played in all 14 games, starting the final 8 at WLB and collected 82 tackles, 9 TFL, 2 sacks, one pass breakup and one interception. Was enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences at B.C.
Pre-Draft: Posted 1.55 10-yard dash, 2.60 20-yard dash, 4.53-4.68 40-yard dash, 35 ½-inch vertical jump, 10'0" broad jump, 4.31 short shuttle, 7.10 three-cone drill and did 23 reps at 225 pounds in pre-draft workouts, including the Combine.
Pro: Signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent following the 2009 NFL Draft. Reportedly agreed with the Vikings over the Washington Redskins and received an $8,000 signing bonus.
Positives: Good measurables. Nice size and size potential. Has the strength to effectively take on blockers at the point of attack. Good straight-line speed and range. Works and plays hard. Hustles in pursuit. Very tough and competitive. Good body length. Disciplined and plays under control. Good character and intangibles. Should do well on special teams.
Negatives: Somewhat stiff and mechanical in his movements. Doesn't appear to be naturally instinctive or have great feel for the game. Needs technique development in taking on blockers. So-so depth on his pass drops. Doesn't play as fast as he times.
Summary: Francois will really need to make an impact on special teams to have a chance with the 53-man roster. Beyond that, he has good raw ability but needs to develop quickly under linebacker coach Fred Pagac, who has done a terrific job of getting the most out of young players with the Vikings.
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