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Vikings sign...UDFA

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Many draft analysts felt former Texas cornerback Holton Hill was at least a late-round pick, even though the 6-foot-2 talent was suspended for his final month with the Longhorns and reportedly failed a drug test at the combine in February. The Vikings didn’t feel Hill was worth a draft pick, but pursued and signed him in undrafted free agency on Monday. After Hill’s first walkthrough with the Vikings, head coach Mike Zimmer defended the decision to bring him onto the roster.

Zimmer:  “We spent a lot of time with him. He was here on a top 30 pre-draft visit. We met him in Indianapolis. He’s a good football player: big fast, tough, good tackler. So we’ve had a lot of conversations with him. I’m excited. He’s got a chance. If he comes in here and does what we ask him to do, he’s got a chance. We’ve done our due diligence, we’ve talked with every one of his coaches he’s had in his entire life, I think. We’ve talked to a lot of people down at the University of Texas. We feel comfortable with the situation. But you know it’s an opportunity and what he does with his opportunity is up to him.”

Hill joins a crowded Vikings secondary, one that said attracted him to sign with Minnesota after getting “five or six” offers from teams. He was projected as a fourth or fifth-round pick by NFL Media entering the draft, but reports of a failed drug test just two months prior likely didn’t help his cause.

Hill: “You make mistakes in the past, but you move on. Build and go from there.”.

http://www.startribune.com/mike-zimmer-on-talented-and-troubled-cb-holton-hill-what-he-does-with-his-opportunity-is-up-to-him/481765851/

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I know it's extremely early but the way Zimmer has talked about Hill. Hill is somebody Zim really wanted but Speilman wasn't going to draft. With Newman ability to play Safety in a pinched I won't be surprised Hill makes the team barring he stay out of trouble. 

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Mata’afa:  “I chose the Vikings because they’re the best defense in the league and I want to be able to prove myself that I can compete with the best. If I’m competing with the best at practice, I can compete with the best across the league.”

Mata’afa fell out the draft because, at 6-foot-1, 252 pounds, he was an undersized defensive lineman at Washington State. Way too small for the NFL. But maybe just the right size for a linebacker. Mata’afa led the NCAA in negative plays the past two seasons.

Zimmer:  “That will be the biggest adjustment for him. There has been several guys that have gone from defensive line to linebacker. Teddy Bruschi is a great example. Now, I’m not saying he’s Teddy Bruschi. Just that there are guys that have done that in the past.”

https://www.twincities.com/2018/05/05/hawaii-native-hercules-mataafa-trying-to-live-up-to-his-name-with-vikings/

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Do we know if Mata'afa now being listed at DE is an actual indication of them playing/trying him out as DE.

2 different things, but we surely need help at the DE spot, especially if we move on from Robison since he was a non-factor in playoffs aside from being a snap eater.

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4 minutes ago, CriminalMind said:

Do we know if Mata'afa now being listed at DE is an actual indication of them playing/trying him out as DE.

2 different things, but we surely need help at the DE spot, especially if we move on from Robison since he was a non-factor in playoffs aside from being a snap eater.

Personally, I think they tried  him out at multiple spots during rookie minicamp. The original roster listed him at LB, I think because it was the default listing for his NFL profile for whoever drafted him. The team did start him out at SAM (that was the plan, per Rick), so I'm guessing a change on the roster page would be indicative of an actual change. Just like how Jalyn Holmes is listed at DT now, unlike his default listing at DE.

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Holton Hill was an obvious target but I doubt many of us would've picked Korey Robertson and Garret Dooley as the 2nd and 3rd highest priority UDFAs. 

Compare that to 2017: http://www.espn.com/blog/minnesota-vikings/post/_/id/22827/vikings-gave-85k-in-bonuses-107-5k-in-guaranteed-salary-to-udfas

  • Bower $45K
  • Bradley $35K
  • Collins $35K
  • Richardson $22,500
  • Wilson $20K
Quote

LSU defensive end Tashawn Bower got the most guaranteed money, in the form of a $15,000 signing bonus and $30,000 guarantee. Southern Mississippi defensive tackle Dylan Bradley got a $15,000 bonus and $25,000 guaranteed.

According to Spotrac.com, Bower and Bradley ranked fourth and sixth, respectively, in total guaranteed money given to a 2017 rookie free agent. The Patriots, 49ers and Vikings were the only teams to guarantee $40,000 or more to a rookie free agent, with both teams giving at least that much to two players apiece...

TCU tackle Aviante Collins got a $15,000 bonus and $20,000 in guaranteed salary, while Cincinnati linebacker Eric Wilson got $10,000 in both a signing bonus and base-salary guarantee. SMU cornerback Horace Richardson got a $7,500 bonus and $15,000 base-salary guarantee, and Montana defensive end Caleb Kidder paired a $7,500 salary guarantee with a $2,500 bonus.

 

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Surprised Herecules only got 19k. I figured he would be in high demand.

 

Korey Robertson makes sense. If he tested better he would have went in the late middle rounds as his game tape is solid.

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Of last year's top 5 Vikings UDFAs with the biggest guarantees, 3 made the active roster (Bower, Collins, Wilson) and the other 2 the practice squad (Bradley, Richardson). The UDFAs who made the team beat out some draft picks along the way (Collins kept over 2016 pick Willie Beavers, Wilson over 2017 pick Elijah Lee). 

This year's they paid 8 UDFAs ~$20K or more instead of 5 last year. Looking at them by position: 

  • WR: Robertson, Badet (note both given more guaranteed than Wieneke). Competing with Coley, Zylstra, Tavarres King and Cayleb Jones. 
  • RB: Thomas (note given more guaranteed than Boone). Competing with Ham, Mack. 
  • DL: Cothran, Mata'afa. Competing with Bower, Weatherly, Odenigbo, Bradley
  • LB: Dooley. Competing with Brothers, Wilson and Davante Downs
  • DB: Hill, Matthews. Competing with Sherels, Richardson and Kearse.

Easy to imagine 4 of those higher paid UDFAs making the roster, and several more ending up on the PS. 

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