We’re still more than two months. . .more than two long, depressing, awful months. . .until the Minnesota Vikings report for their first-ever Training Camp at the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan. We’ve got plenty of time to speculate about things between now and then, but we do have a bit of a surprise pick for a member of the Vikings’ 2018 draft class that could contribute immediately.
Chris Trapasso from CBS Sports has gone through and identified one draftee from each team that could make an immediate contribution. For the Vikings, he has not selected cornerback Mike Hughes, offensive tackle Brian O’Neill, or even kicker Daniel Carlson. Instead, Trapasso does a bit of a deep dive and says that defensive lineman Ade Aruna, the Vikings’ sixth round pick from Tulane, could give the NFL’s best defense an immediate boost.
Going deep in the draft here with Aruna, a size/burst specimen at nearly 6-5 and 262 pounds who quietly ran 4.60 at the combine. Mike Zimmer will put Aruna in clearly defined, one-gap spots in sub-packages, and the former Tulane standout will be an important role player along the Vikings’ defensive line as a rookie.
Trapasso followed that up with further support for his pick on the Twitters:
Aruna needs to develop some pass-rushing moves, but he landed in a perfect situation with Mike Zimmer and the #Vikings. To me, he’s big, long, and explosive enough to make an instant impact in a one-gap sub-package role, which he very well could find himself in as a rookie.— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) May 9, 2018
I’ve got to be honest. . .to this point, I haven’t viewed Aruna as anything more than a long shot to make the team. The Vikings are plenty loaded on the defensive line already, and the Vikings have some guys they obviously like at the defensive end spots already, such as Tashawn Bower and Stephen Weatherly. Still, with some of the players that Trapasso cites when looking at Aruna’s workout numbers, it’s pretty intriguing to think what Zimmer could potentially do with someone with that much obvious athletic ability.
Aruna is an incredibly raw talent, as he came to America from Nigeria to play basketball and only played one season of high school football before heading to Tulane. That means he still has plenty of development room, and obviously Trapasso thinks that he could start developing sooner rather than later. If the Vikings could get a big contribution right away out of a guy they drafted in the sixth round, it would bring even more firepower to an already great defense.