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A Look At Undrafted Free Agency

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 25, 2011 – 6:09 pm

There is a ton of business for teams to take care of beginning tonight and continuing throughout the next several days. Basically an entire offseason’s worth of work – from signing draft picks, to re-signing free agents, to pursuing unrestricted free agents – must be done in just a few days before teams report to training camps.

The first item on the list is undrafted free agency, as teams are permitted to recruit and negotiate with undrafted players tonight and then sign those players beginning at 9:00 a.m. CT tomorrow. So, let’s take a look at a few undrafted free agents who will be on most teams radars but who also might be particularly good fits here in Minnesota.

Defense

CB Kendric Burney (UNC): On the football field, Burney was certainly deserving of selection in the draft. But he was one of several UNC players suspended this past season, that likely contributed to him being undrafted. He’s a bit undersized (5-9, 186 pounds) for the Vikings scheme and he’s also not a great press CB, so I’m not sure he’s a good fit in Minnesota. But he is a good athlete and made plays at UNC, so he’ll get plenty of attention on the open market.

LB Mark Herzlich (Boston College): I was really rooting for Herzlich to be drafted this year, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. He was at one time a 1st-round prospect, but then he was diagnosed with cancer. Herzlich won that battle and now he’ll work his way onto an NFL roster. My money is on him making a 53-man roster and having a productive NFL career in some capacity. This guy is a winner.

S DeAndre McDaniel (Clemson): An aggressive and big safety (6-0, 217 pounds), McDaniel looks the part of an NFL defender. His scouting report on NFL.com indicates he’ll be a good player against the run and as a blitzer from the line of scrimmage. But the report also says an off-field incident and problems in coverage may have caused him to slip a little bit. But he slipped out of the entire draft, and some team might get a good value by adding him to the roster and seeing if he can win a training camp battle.

DB Deunta Williams (UNC): To be honest I’m not sure what led to Williams going undrafted. From what I can glean, he’s got the size (6-2, 205 pounds) that many NFL teams like and his NFL.com scouting report says he “is a supremely confident safety who has the speed and cover skills to eventually develop into a starter at the next level. He puts in time in the film room and always appears to be in position to make a play in coverage.” Perhaps there are character or medical concerns with Williams. Or maybe NFL teams consider him to be a tweener. I’m not sure, but it looks like Williams has a chance to be pretty good.

DT Ian Williams (Notre Dame): There are a few things to concede in supporting Williams. First, he’s coming off an MCL injury this past season and he’s probably just a two-down player (running downs only). But, scouts say his compact body (6-1, 319 pounds) makes him a tough defender to block and move. His scouting report also credits him for his tireless motor and relentlessness in defending the run.

 

Offense

QB Ben Chappell (Indiana): Chappell was a part of our QB Collection and could be a good option for a team in search of a young QB. He completed 62.6% of his passes as a junior in 2009 and then 62.5% of his passes during his senior season in 2010; he also had a career 45-28 TD/INT ratio. I’m not sure if there will be room for him in Minnesota, but some team will give him a shot during training camp.

RB Noel Devine (West Virginia): A very productive player for West Virginia, Devine was hurt by his smaller frame (5-8, 179 pounds) and possibly by the fact that he absorbed so many touches throughout his 4-year career with the Mountaineers. But he’s quick as a whip and could be a great 3rd-down back for some team. He might even have return capabilities.

QB Pat Devlin (Delaware): Another guy in the QB Collection, Devlin played at the same school as Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco. I’m not sure why he went undrafted, perhaps it was the level of play he faced for most of his career. But consider this: Devlin was the Colonial Athletic Association’s Player of the Year for the 2010 season as he led the nation in completion percentage (67.9%) while throwing for 3,032 yards and posting a TD/INT ratio of 22-3.

WR Dane Sanzenbacher (Ohio State): Here in Big 10 country, we got to see quite a bit of Sanzenbacher on TV, and I came away impressed after his career. He doesn’t have great size nor does he have excellent speed or quickness. But what he lacks in those areas I think he more than makes up for in competitiveness, catching ability and grit. He makes difficult catches look easy, he’s fundamentally sound and his NFL.com scouting report raves about his route-running ability and his ability to fool defensive backs with double-moves. He plays the same position as Percy Harvin (slot receiver), but why not give this guy a shot?

QB Adam Weber (Minnesota): Another guy who was a part of the QB Collection, Weber is actually a guy I’d like to see have a shot with the Vikings. I believe his true potential was masked because of the poor Gophers football program that existed during Weber’s time on campus, and I also believe Weber is a gritty athlete who loves to compete. Maybe my instincts are completely off on this one, but I think he deserves a shot somewhere and I think he’ll make the most of that shot.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 33 Comments »


33 Responses to “A Look At Undrafted Free Agency”

  1. By Carl Brodin on Jul 25, 2011 | Reply

    We could probably use Deunta Williams DB we should also look at Ricardo Lacocette from Fort Wayne WR he looks like he has some skills. We need to stock up our WR corps if Sidney Rice leaves.

  2. By BleedingPurpleinAlaska! on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    We need to focus on Michael Huff, Dawan Landry, and Sidney Rice in FA then we can live with what we got!

  3. By Carl K on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    Carl Brodin – Ricardo Lockette is from Fort Valley State. He went undrafted because of inconsistent hands and multiple transfers. Ricardo has great size and he is a track guy with great speed. He ran a 4.37 40 at the combine.

    I like him because he can return punts and kickoffs. He has some red flags but has some big upside as well.

    With that said, the Vikings selected Stephen Burton instead of Ricardo Lockette late in the draft, so my guess is the Vikings aren’t interested.

  4. By Carl K on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    The Vikings are usually very good at getting good undrafted rookies signed. I would not be suprised to see a few of these guys signed today.
    Of course Mark Herzlich is at the top of my wish list. Deunta Williams or Deandre McDaniels would be cool too.

  5. By Spanky8 on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    anyone know how much money the vikes have to spend?

  6. By OLD SCHOOL on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    GOOD-BYE SIDNEY RICE! The Vikes should have signed you before last year to a new contract!

    Have fun catching amazing touch-downs for the Bears!

  7. By jakez1994 on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    We need to sign Ric that is the first thing w need to do second find vet QB till Ponder is Ready

  8. By jakez1994 on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    We need to sign Rice and maybe another QB plus Herzlich

  9. By gingerbreadcop on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    Rice needs to be top of the list. Then, I think McNabb would be a great fit for the Vikings.

  10. By Jeffbleedspurple on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    Will we can forget about Herzlich, he just signed with the Giants.

  11. By animal26 on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    here are some of the undrafted free agents the vikes have signed.

    Devon Torrence CB
    Andre Holmes WR
    Matt Asiata RB
    Byron Isom G
    Conan Amituanai G
    Chris Adingupu CB
    Dominique Johnson WR
    Allen Reisner TE.

    These are the guys the Vikings have gotten so far.

  12. By Carl K on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    I think they also got RB Derrick Locke from Kentucky.
    I really like the Andre Holmes kid – 6’4 and can run 4.45. Set Hillsdale school records for receiving with 104 receptions and 1,368 yrds last year.

  13. By animal26 on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    Ryan Hill CB another sign by the vikes

  14. By Jim on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    Please God,
    Don’t Pick up McNabb… It will be a mistake!

  15. By DRS on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    Welcome back OLD SCHOOL.

  16. By Carl K on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    animal26 – I think you can add kicker Nate Whitaker to your list of new Vikings.

  17. By animal26 on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    I just ask the Vikes don’t trade for McNabb. He’s a good QB and everything, but we have 2 QB’s that have great potential. We already have 2 that can lead the Vikes week on in Ponder and Webb. Just have those 2 compete, and whoever wins, let him lead week one and allow him to grow and gain experience.

  18. By animal26 on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    I hope the Vikes*

  19. By animal26 on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    week one*

  20. By Randy on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    All the guys that say ‘DONT GET MCNABB, I agree with them 100%. I remember when he was a good QB. The key word being “WAS” a good QB. McNabb doesn’t have it anymore. Once in while he pulls off a good play, but for the most part he simply isn’t that good anymore. I know we have a lot of gaps to fill, but I think we’ve got some pretty good weapons on offence, and I truly believe that McNabb would hinder things more than he would help. I agree with Jim who said it would be a mistake to pick up McNabb. I know the QBs we have now are young, and I’m not saying don’t explore the idea of getting a verteran QB, but don’t let it be McNabb. He WAS a good QB, but he’s not anymore. Please don’t get McNabb.

  21. By daniel august on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    from a true fan*
    we need cornerbacks an safeties people if we get a top corner in free agency an a top safety we goin bac too the NFC championship game an thats a fact>

  22. By Bob on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    Don’t trade for Mcnabb let Washington cut him then sign him to a one year deal, which is about all he
    has left, let’s not do another Farve thing that was
    pitiful to watch

  23. By sandiamond on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    No time to waste with these undrafted college players. forget the darn press coverage and get to work Frazier!!! Herzlich already gone we need grab any of these we can: S McDaniel CB D. Wiliams WR Sanzenbacher

    plus they are cheap!

  24. By sandiamond on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    Free agency doesn’t open up until Friday. for pete’s sake this is a somewhat poor list of undrafted rookies. The Giants must have already talked with Herzlich legally or not

  25. By Maya on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    Trade Adrian (modern day slavery) Peterson to Cincinnati for the next five years worth of first-round draft picks…remember the Herschel Walker trade with Dallas? They can throw in Bryant McKinnie and Percy “half-season” Harvin for a couple second-round picks!

  26. By Pro 1 on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    Pick up Seattle’s QB Haselbach he’s afree agent. You finally dumped Jackson great move. Need to improve on your Safety position and right side Defense position
    As long as the injusry bug leaves you alone, there’s still good life in the Vikes.

  27. By sandiamond on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    @Maya comment uncalled for dude

  28. By TeddyUK on Jul 27, 2011 | Reply

    To be perfectly honest, i can see the pro’s and con’s for McNabb. However i still feel whoever it is, we need a veteran QB for the next couple of seasons. For two reasons.

    1. For him to get Ponder ready. He’s a very solid rookie QB, however we cant afford to “re-build” at this time. Because:-

    2. The most valuable players on the roster are in their “golden era”. We cant afford to waste these players prime years with a “getting ready” the QB for a few seasons. By that point our D-line will be even more depleted, most of our WR roster will be gone along with our O-line.

    If were going to put up a serious challenge as superbowl contenders, we need to do it in the next few seasons.

    Which veteran QB? well although it doesn’t look likely, i’d want carson palmer. I dont feel theres much between Kolb, McNAbb, Hasselbeck.

  29. By Nick on Jul 27, 2011 | Reply

    Some of these guys mentioned above have been signed by other teams already. Could have used DeAndre McDaniel (S) but he’s gone to the Saints. However, Ian Williams could be a useful addition on the D-Line and possibly a successor to Pat Williams soon. Hey, we could still call it the Williams’ wall!

    Would have liked a shot at Pat Devlin but given our present QB situation we do need a vet, but wait for McNabb to be waived first.

  30. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2011 | Reply

    NFL Network, ESPN and FOXSports are reporting that Redskins QB Donovan McNabb will be traded to the Vikings if he agrees to restructure a contract scheduled to pay him north of eight figures in 2011. Washington would likely get two draft picks in return, including a sixth rounder in 2012 and another conditional pick per the reports.

    wake up folks this is a sweet deal by not giving up much with draft picks. If Mcnabb falters then we have an ace in the hole with Ponder

  31. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2011 | Reply

    Only one player left(qb) off of Mike’s list. Oh well wishing thinking anyway…

    Bleacher report’s top 5 teams for undrafted free agents:

    Colts
    Eagles
    Panthers
    Giants
    Steelers

  32. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2011 | Reply

    wow! nice report from Yahoo sports saying Vikings had a good haul focusing on these players:

    Derrick Locke RB
    Devon Torrence CB
    Andre Holmes WR
    Ryan Hill CB
    Dominique Johnson WR

  33. By sandiamond on Jul 27, 2011 | Reply

    Safety update: all the top undrafted free agents gone and signed with other teams

    Joe Lefeged rutgers
    Jeron Johnson boise state
    Mario Butler georgia tech
    Will Hill florida

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