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2015 Minnesota Vikings: UDFA Tracker

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Stay tuned here while we track undrafted free agent signings and the latest from Winter Park

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Keep in mind, these undrafted free agent signings are built on rumors and half-cocked reports at times, and often people will do a poor job of distinguishing between undrafted free agent contracts and tryout invitations. We'll constantly update this page with scouting reports and rumors, hopefully distinguishing between the two and providing insight.

Just make sure to remember the weird Kenny Guiton fiasco and the questions about whether or not he was signed. For now, the best players on the Consensus Board that are still available are the following:

15. La'el Collins, OT LSU
75. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB Oregon (selected by the Browns)
96. Tre McBride, WR William & Mary (selected by the Titans)
106. Cody Prewitt, S Ole Miss (signed with the Titans)
111. Kevin White, CB TCU (signed with the Falcons)
117. Anthony Harris, S Virginia (signed by the Vikings!)
121. Gerod Holliman, S Louisville (selected by the Steelers)
131. Reese Dismukes, C Auburn (signed by the Steelers)
134. Kurtis Drummond, S Michigan State (signed by the Texans)
142. B.J. Finney, C Kansas State (signed by the Steelers)
144. Antwan Goodley, WR Baylor (signed by the Cowboys)
145. Josh Harper, WR Fresno State (signed by the Raiders)
148. Zach Hodges, EDGE Harvard (signed by the Patriots)
153. Jacoby Glenn, CB Central Florida (signed by the Bears)
154. Corey Robinson, OT South Carolina (selected by the Lions)

I'm naturally interested in all of them, but the Collins legal issues may force teams to hold off and Ekpre-Olomu has serious concerns with a "shredded" knee. McBride would be my top target in that case. I would not mind adding receiver Dezmin Lewis (not listed above) (drafted by the Buffalo Bills) from Central Arkansas as a big body as well.

Although Drummond has a history of play with Trae Waynes, the safety I'd prefer most is Anthony Harris (hooray!), though I like Cody Prewitt as well.

Kevin White may not meet the team's height standards at cornerback, but he is incredibly talented.

I like B.J. Finney a lot at center, and I think he as well as Greg Mancz from Toledo (not listed above) (signed with the Texans) are interesting competition for Zac Kerin (also from Toledo) who made the practice squad last year. The best guard/center in undrafted free agency may be Quinton Spain from West Virginia (signed with the Titans), though and I would love to see him compete with Austin Shepherd.

Corey Robinson from South Carolina, Laurence Gibson from Virginia Tech (drafted by the Cowboys), Rob Crisp from North Carolina State (signed with the Panthers) and Trenton Brown from Florida (drafted by the 49ers) are big tackles with underrated athleticism and enormous wingspans, but the Vikings have gone from weak to strong at the position (at least in terms of depth).

Marcus Rush (signed with the 49ers) is an edge rusher from Michigan State well worth a look, too.

We'll keep updating below who the Vikings have either signed or have been rumored to sign.


Taylor Heinicke, QB Old Dominion

Mike Loyko of New England Patriots Draft reports that Heinicke is signing with the Minnesota Vikings. I wrote about him earlier today, actually. Here it is:

With the other pick, the Vikings will want a developmental quarterback. A big arm is good, but the system may require a passer more attuned to a timing-oriented game. While we chose Brandon Bridge last time, hoping he could add accuracy and rhythm to his game. That could be too much to ask for, so we'll go in the opposite direction, because it may be easier to add arm strength in the NFL than accuracy.

Undersized Taylor Heinicke from Old Dominion fits the bill. He's got some pocket movement skills, but he won't run the ball very often. Instead, he wins with accuracy, a quick release and solid timing and anticipation—something you don't see often at his level of football.

That's not to say he's unathletic. In fact, his athletic profile is very similar to Teddy Bridgewater. Aside from the fact that both had size concerns (Heinicke is the exact same weight, 214 pounds), Heinicke's timed speed is within 0.01 seconds of Bridgewater in the 40-yard dash. He has quickness and vision as a runner, to boot.

Aside from size (he is only 6'0"), he has issues with pocket presence and arm strength—more so than Bridgewater. But he's a smart quarterback (even for quarterbacks) and a vocal leader who commanded the respect of the ODU locker room. His arm strength could be a liability in a way that Christian Ponder or Bridgewater's were not, making sideline throws difficult to throw and easy for defenses to key in on and anticipate.

Certainly, he's worth a flier.

Davaris Daniels, WR Notre Dame

His nickname is Toot. His father was a defensive end for the Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins. He's had issues with academic eligibility while there and is rumored to have entitlement issues, but is athletically gifted outside of his speed (which showed up in his 40-yard dash, 4.53 seconds—average for a 200-pound receiver). He ranks as the 21st-most athletic receiver by the Nike SPARQ metric and has a 7.0 rating in my combine metrics for receivers, putting him in the 87th percentile.

He is helped in big part by an astounding vertical leap (39.5 inches), and a killer broad jump (11'1") with functional agility (4.35-second shuttle and 6.81-second three-cone). His ten-yard split (1.54) seconds is pretty good as well.

Daniels does have the game to beat the jam at the line of scrimmage, rare for college receivers coming out. When he catches the ball he secures it on contact, but he is inconsistent at pulling it in, with small hands as well as focus issues plaguing him. He doesn't really have deep-threat capability and won't run by cornerbacks, especially in the NFL, but shows great field awareness, solid technique and great jump-ball skills. He can be a very poor man's Jaelen Strong.

Anthony Harris, S Virginia

His nickname is Ant. I wrote about him as a Vikings target a week ago:

The best safeties on the board were either Cody Prewitt from Ole Miss or Anthony Harris from Virginia, and it was easier to go with the player the Vikings have shown interest in, as they hosted the young safety at Winter Park, per Matt Vensel at the Star Tribune.

Harris may be the better choice either way, as he shows a more physical style of play despite weighing 20 pounds less than Prewitt. Another team captain, Harris has developed a reputation for unselfish play and leadership in the locker room.

Aside from that, he's perhaps the most intelligent safety in the draft, lining up the defense on every play and very often in position (though he has had some issues with play-action passes). His football IQ allows him to jump underneath routes and be a playmaker on the defense.

Having played both strong safety and free safety at Virginia, he could have some versatility, but his extremely thin frame (6'1", 183 lbs) make him an unlikely strong safety at the next level. That prevents his physicality from turning into big hits, and he does struggle with tackling at times.

Jordan Leslie, WR BYU

Fast and sort of big, Leslie comes in with a backup plan—an engineering degree and a 3.7 GPA to go with it. At 6'1 3/8" he has receiver height and 4.44 speed helps him use it. Very good pro day scores in general recommend him well (36" vertical leap, 10'10" broad jump, 4.04-second short shuttle).

Leslie adds to his length with long arms (32") and uses the well, instinctively knowing how to catch away from his body and adding to his overall catch radius, helping quarterbacks out. He is explosive, but is inconsistent about it on the field, and needs to work on unifying his feet and his hands.

His hands are strong, but he doesn't always work with the best technique tracking it in the air—though there is some sophistication, like throwing them up late. Coaches called him the "smartest and most competitive" player on their team. He still needs to learn route-running specifics, but he does have basic deception capability.

His athletic talent is worth investing in.

Justin Coleman, CB Tennessee

Barely passing the height requirement for Mike Zimmer, Justin Coleman comes in at 5'10" 185 pounds. He's relatively slow for a corner, especially one of his weight (the average corner runs a 4.47, he ran a 4.53 and it shows on field), he makes up for it with intelligence and awareness.

Coleman, though thin-framed and lightweight is much stronger than he looks and uses that strength throughout routes and in press situations. He also likes hitting over the middle and in off coverage situations, tackling with pop.

He's good in zone coverage reading the quarterback and he closes reasonably well on the ball, with good ball skills to match it—turning pass deflections into turnovers.

Coleman has issues translating some of his more impressive athletic talents into on-field success. Despite phenomenal explosion scores (37" vertical, 10'4" broad jump) and a decent 10-yard split (1.54 seconds), he doesn't have recovery speed or a second gear to close in when opening the gate too early.

He should have much, much more quickness on the field given his agility scores (astounding - 3.98-second short shuttle, 6.61 three-cone) and if the issue is footwork, he should be able to turn into a premier slot cornerback with enough technique coaching. His excellent demeanor, intelligence and offensive recognition would make him valuable there despite the lack of long speed.

Tom Farniok, OL Iowa State

A vocal leader on the offensive line, Farniok wasn't expected to ever start for the Cyclones. Instead, he became one of their best players by his senior year, using his mobility and intelligence to establish himself on the line. Farniok is natural getting out of his stance and can target linebackers on the second level with decent agility and solid positioning. He'll combo-block often to get up to the second level and was also a pulling center for them.

He doesn't generate much push in the run game, unfortunately, both  a combination of natural strength and leverage issues, playing too high to win at the snap. He does deteriorate at the end of games and is more likely to be grabby.

The offense couldn't run without Farniok, whose presence on the line correlated immensely with their performance—Iowa State missed him significantly after he suffered an MCL sprain. Farniok wouldn't just call protections, but draw up plays.

The Vikings have made a living with "undersized" but reasonably athletic centers like John Sullivan and Brandon Fusco, and Farniok could be next in line.

Gavin Lutman, WR Pittsburg State

6'2" 206 pounds with a 4.46 40-yard dash and even better workout numbers in other events, Lutman's natural athleticism would normally draw attention.10'6" broad jump and 36.5" vertical are good, but the 4.07 short shuttle and 6.65 three-cone are great, especially at his height.

Lutman is purported to be a natural catcher who catches the ball away from his frame. His speed was enough to create separation at the Division II level, but won't be enough in the NFL. He should still present as a deep threat with a big frame, and his ability to track the deep ball will be an asset, as will his adjustment capability. His after-catch ability has less to do with his agility (though he certainly tested well in that area) and more power.

In order to really be that kind of deep threat, however, he'll need to improve his release off the line of scrimmage and will allow cornerbacks to disrupt his timing. His route-running will need to improve as his agility testing numbers don't show up on the field very much at all, and he seems slow coming out of breaks, while too deliberate when executing fakes.

The former teammate of Cardinals receiver John Brown has injury issues in his history, with a 2010 leg injury that took away games and a medical redshirt for 2011.


Blake Renaud, FB Boise State

Renaud was a linebacker for Boise State and will be a fullback with the Minnesota Vikings—something he marketed himself as at the urging of his agent. Renaud (6'2" 246 pounds) has, of course, the ideal build for a fullback and will be difficult to scout in the role of a fullback. As a linebacker, he was a productive player for Boise State, but never a standout.

The former linebacker was considered a special-teams pickup by many teams, and it won't matter which side of the ball he's on when it comes to scrimmage play for him to make an impact there. What he did best as a linebacker was play with solid instincts and decent speed (he timed at 4.91—not good at all—but was consistently used as a quarterback spy for their defense).

His understanding of how to meet the running back in the hole and anticipate the gap the runner will choose may translate well on the other side of the ball, where he'll have to use a distinct kind of vision, but something relatively similar.

Bobby Vardaro OL Boston College

Considered one of the top guards entering the 2014 season, Vadaro fell a off the radar because of a September leg injury. Before then, he was considered for his toughness and physicality, though less for his athleticism. Quick upp-body movement doesn't match slow lower body movement and despite winning at the point of attack with strength, hands technique and heavy hands, he didn't consistently create movement. On the second level, Vardaro didn't identify players and attack them, though in fairness, this was not something he was asked to do often. Captain of the team.

Jack Sherlock, EDGE South Dakota State

There's not much known about Sherlock, though he's not an ideal weight for an edge rusher at 240 pounds. Ranking 63rd in SPARQ among edge players. He is athletically average among pass-rushers, and his three-cone recommends him best, but for a UDFA that's alright.

Richard Ross, Basketball Player, ODU has a minicamp/tryout invite, but negotiating with other teams.

No scouting report. He played basketball. He is 6'5" 236, and the Vikings reportedly tested him at 4.60 at his pro day, which is pretty awesome for a tight end. As a forward, he averaged 25.2 minutes per game, 8.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG (second on the team),  and an astounding 1.5 blocks per game (1.0 in conference play, 6th in Conference-USA).

Adam Keller, Kicker, NDSU has a minicamp/tryout invite and will attend one with the Vikings and the Saints.

He is a kicker.

He was 29/34 in the FCS. 3/4 from 0-19, 10/10 from 20-29, 5/6 from 30-39, 10/12 from 40-49, and 1/2 from 50+. All of those are pretty good, except for a blocked kick from 19 yards against Western Illinois.

That seems like pretty good kicking to me.

More to come.