The Vikings were able to sign two of the more noteworthy undrafted players after the draft was over- LB Ivan Pace Jr. and ED Andre Carter II.
It’s now been reported by Tom Pelissero that the Vikings doled out one of the largest financial commitments to a UDFA player to secure the services of Andre Carter II. The deal with Carter included both a $40K signing bonus and a $300K salary guarantee.
One of the biggest commitments ever to an undrafted free agent: The #Vikings signed former Army edge Andre Carter II to a deal that includes a $40,000 signing bonus and $300K base salary guarantee. A sign they believe Carter can make the active roster.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 2, 2023
While this is small change in the context of the overall salary cap, the Vikings’ willingness to make a relatively large financial commitment to a UDFA suggests they intend on keeping him- or at least feel he has a good chance to make the roster.
Carter was extremely productive two years ago at Army, so much so that opposing teams made sure to double-team him consistently last year, causing his production to drop. He was also the 101st ranked player on the consensus board.
The issue with Carter is that while he’s 6’7”, he weighs only 256 pounds. That lankiness makes him a liability in run defense and also takes away his ability to bull rush effectively against NFL tackles. Of course there is a relatively easy remedy for this problem consisting of a back and forth regimen between weight room and cafeteria at TCO Performance Center- likely an upgrade from Carter’s previous facilities. It may take a while for Carter to see results- he could use to add 30 pounds at his height- but once accomplished, he could turn into a productive edge rusher for the Vikings.
Adding thirty pounds of muscle to Carter’s big frame would improve most areas of his athletic testing were he scored poorly.
Carter also has good NFL bloodlines. His father was also an edge rusher and a first-round draft pick in the 2001 draft (7th overall) and went on to have a 13-year career in the NFL including one Pro-Bowl season. He was also more recently the LSU defensive line coach in 2021- when Vikings defensive backs coach Daronte Jones was defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach at LSU. So, that’s another Vikings’ acquisition that has (sort of) an LSU connection, or at least a Daronte Jones connection.
We’ll see how things pan out with Carter II. I would be surprised if he got much playing time until he is sufficiently bulked up, but clearly there is potential there- enough for the Vikings to make a relatively big commitment to him as a UDFA.