Vikings Land Another Prospect for Rookie Mini-Camp

The Minnesota Vikings have their rookie mini-camp later this month, and on Tuesday afternoon, it was reported by James Crepea of The Oregonian that former Oregon Ducks long-snapper Karsten Battles has accepted an invite to the mini-camp.

Battles spent five years with the Ducks and was the long-snapper for all five years. He played all 61 games in those five years from 2018-2022, and in the 2022 season, he was named a first-team All-PAC-12 and was also an All-American honorable mention.

Oct 8, 2022; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Oregon Ducks long snapper Karsten Battles (45) against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While long-snapper isn’t always the most notable position, it is a very important one to make sure field goals and punts go smoothly. It is one of those positions where it is better to never be noticed rather than to draw attention.

The Vikings have been fortunate to have one of the very best long-snappers of the past few years in Andrew DePaola. DePaola joined the Vikings in 2020 on their practice squad and appeared in seven games during that season.

NFL: International Series-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings long snapper Andrew DePaola (42) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Since then, DePaola has been the full-time long-snapper in both 2021 and 2022, playing all 17 games in each season. In 2022, the Vikings long-snapper was named to the Pro Bowl and selected as a first-team All-Pro member for his contributions on the special teams.

While he has been ultra consistent over the past two years, the simple fact is that DePaola is getting older. He will turn 36 in July, and perhaps bringing on Battles to compete at the rookie mini-camp is the first step towards the Vikings finding their long-snapper of the future.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.