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Tashawn Bower, Eric Wilson Make PFF Preseason Week 1 Team Of The Week

It’s a thing, so we’ll make it a thing

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NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills
That’s Eric Wilson making the tackle. At least that’s what the photo search tells me.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

A couple of undrafted free agents that are fighting for spots on the Minnesota Vikings’ roster were highlighted by the folks from Pro Football Focus, getting named to their Preseason Week 1 Team Of The Week.

Defensive end Tashawn Bower and linebacker Eric Wilson, both of whom had very good games in the Vikings’ 17-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills, received the honor from the analytics website.

We’ll start with Bower, a defensive end out of Louisiana State who was actually talked into signing with the Vikings by his former college teammate, Danielle Hunter. Bower was all over the place on Thursday night, collecting a sack and playing very well against the run.

Bower finished his day with a sack, a hit, three hurries and a batted pass in a productive pass-rushing effort at Buffalo in which he played 47-of-74 possible snaps. Bower also had two run stops on 10 run snaps for a 20.0 run stop percentage.

Wilson who was undrafted out of Cincinnati, also had his name called numerous times on Thursday night.

Wilson earned the highest overall game grade of all linebackers this week with an 87.2. He allowed just one reception for seven yards on three passes thrown into his coverage. Wilson was used to rush the passer just five times on his 36 snaps, but successfully generated pressure on three of those snaps, two of which being quarterback hits, for a massive pass-rush productivity mark of 45.0.

It speaks a lot to the talent of both of these players that they appear to be making a push to make the squad despite the Vikings being loaded at both of the positions they play at. Wilson is battling a myriad of players for a spot at linebacker, including draftees Ben Gedeon and Elijah Lee. Bower is trying to find a spot on a Minnesota defensive line that is loaded with talent up and down, but thus far has shown the sort of raw ability that Mike Zimmer and Andre Patterson probably feel they can work with.

It will be interesting to see if Bower and Wilson can keep the momentum going when the team heads to the West Coast to take on the Seattle Seahawks on Friday night.