Well, I was going to use this final installment of our Dead Tree Media Draft Review to highlight all of the players that the Minnesota Vikings picked up in the post-draft signing frenzy that were highlighted in our two pre-draft preview guides from Lindy’s Football and Athlon Sports.
Unfortunately, after further review. . .of all the Vikings’ UDFAs, only one of them appears in either of our guides, and he only appears in one guide at that. That player is Louisiana State defensive end Tashawn Bower, who had a 6th/7th round grade placed on him by the Lindy’s Football guide. I thought a couple of the other players the Vikings got in undrafted free agency would appear in the guides (particularly offensive lineman Aviante Collins), but that is not the case. So, this final installment is only going to be focused on one player after all. Let’s take a look at what the guide has to say.
In Our View: Bower is a very good run defender with limited pass-rush ability, but room to develop in this area. He plays smart and shows very good awareness, is always in good position, and understands his responsibilities on each play, regardless of where he’s lining up. He will greatly benefit from finding a home position and focusing on his game at that one position.
Strengths: Bower is tall with long arms, a lean muscular build and a strong upper and lower body. His athletic ability includes good balance, agility, acceleration, quickness, explosiveness and change of direction. On predetermined pass-rush plays, he shows much better burst off the line, converting his speed to power with a solid bull rush and power inside rip move that has an average rate to put pressure on the quarterback and occasionally get him on the ground.
Weaknesses: Bower lacks the burst, body flexibility, and natural bend to cleanly capture the edge and utilize a dependable speed rush. Still developing as a pass rusher, Bower would greatly benefit from developing counter pass-rush moves and a predetermined game plan for when his initial pass-rush move is unsuccessful. He has below average pursuit ability in space, and is typically the second or third defender to the ballcarrier.
The reports were that Bower was actually talked into coming to Minnesota by his former college teammate, Danielle Hunter. Bower sounds a bit like Hunter in that the scouting report talks about his outstanding athletic ability, but focuses on his limitations as a pass rusher. Remember, in his last year at LSU, Hunter only had 1.5 sacks, but he’s developed pretty nicely thus far. Maybe Bower can follow the same trajectory.
With that, it appears that our Dead Tree Media Draft Review has come to an end. In order to sort of stretch things out through the offseason, we’re going to see if we can’t partner up with some of our college sites and get some more insight into the Minnesota Vikings’ draft class of 2017. Keep an eye out for those as we move through the long, dark tea time of the offseason.