Every UDFA Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Has Signed
Another day, another entry into Section 121. The hope is certainly that at least a few of you guys have benefited from the Vikings archive.
The next step involves bringing together every UDFA Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has signed.
For our purposes, the UDFAs who qualify are the ones who originally entered the NFL as a result of the Vikings. So, an UDFA who was signed elsewhere but then scooped up by Minnesota doesn’t count. Sam Schlueter is an example. He was with the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets last year, so he doesn’t find his name among the UDFAs. RB Abram Smith is a more recent example who isn’t being included since he was originally with the Saints.
Instead, we’re taking on players who got their initial shot in the NFL via a contract with the Vikings.
The best UDFA from the last year was Ryan Wright, the monstrous punter who has been nicknamed “Mr. Wright” and “The Stallion” by special teams coordinator Matt Daniels. The large lad can punt the ball a country mile and look like an NFL linebacker as he pursues down the field.
As always, I send along a humble request for correction if an error is spotted. My personal misgivings aside, I’m still on Twitter. Feel free to toss over a word of correction on there if you spot anything that needs fixing up.
Every UDFA Kwesi Has Signed
The 2022 UDFA Class
|Brown, Mike||Safety||Miami (OH)||MAC||No|
|Brkic, Gabe||Kicker||Oklahoma||Big 12||No|
|Hennigan, Thomas||Wide Receiver||Appalachian State||Sun Belt||No|
|Koback, Bryant||Running Back||Toledo||MAC||No|
|McCloud, Zach||Edge Rusher||Miami (FL)||ACC||No|
|Stevenson, Tyarise||Defensive Tackle||Tulsa||American||No|
|Turner, Tré||Wide Receiver||Virginia Tech||ACC||No|
|Vilain, Luiji||Edge Rusher||Wake Forest||ACC||Yes|
The 2023 UDFA Class
|Ali, Alan||Center||TCU||Big 12||No|
|Avery, Calvin||Defensive Tackle||Illinois||Big 10||No|
|Beauplan, Abraham||Linebacker||Marshall||Sun Belt||No|
|Carter II, Andre||Edge Rusher||Army||CUSA||Yes|
|Chen, Jacky||Offensive Tackle||Pace University||NE10||No|
|Coldon, C.J.||Corner||Oklahoma||Big 12||No|
|Huber, Wilson||Linebacker||Cincinnati||Big 12||No|
|Johnson, Cephus||Wide Receiver||Southern Louisiana||SLC||No|
|Knowles, Malik||Wide Receiver||Kansas State||Big 12||No (injured)|
|Maag, Garrett||Wide Receiver||North Dakota||MVFC||No|
|Pace Jr., Ivan||Linebacker||Cincinnati||Big 12||Yes|
|Sims, Ben||Tight End||Baylor||Big 12||No|
|Thomas, Thayer||Wide Receiver||North Carolina St.||ACC||No|
|Thompson, NaJee||Corner||Georgia Southern||Sun Belt||Yes|
|Williams, Jaylin||Corner||Indiana||Big 10||No|
Scattered Thoughts and Takeaways
1) During consecutive UDFA groups, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has handed out large deals to bring in upside edge rushers. Last year, the deals were for Luiji Vilian and Zach McCloud (with the Canadian ending up on the roster). More recently, Adofo-Mensah pursued a similar path when he agreed to a deal with Andre Carter. I’m expecting the Army edge rusher to be on the team (and so is Mr. Frey).
2) Minnesota’s GM has yet to draft a specialist, but he has been quite aggressive when signing them as UDFAs. Things didn’t work out with Gabe Brkic, but Ryan Wright had an impressive rookie season. Georgia’s Jack Podlesny, a kicker, is the latest example of Kwesi beefing up the special teams competition. We’ll see if the young fella can unseat Greg Joseph, the journeyman who is simultaneously clutch and inconsistent.
3) A ton of optimism surrounds Ivan Pace Jr. Not too long ago, Dustin Baker of Vikings Territory even referred to the linebacker as “the most fascinating player at training camp.” Not particularly large, Pace looks like a modern linebacker. Provided he doesn’t get demolished by NFL guards, Pace may find his footing in the NFL. He has been seeing some work with the 1s (shout out to Alec Lewis of The Athletic).
4) The Vikings’ GM is more willing to dip into smaller schools and conferences among UDFAs than he is with draft picks. Just compare the schools/conferences for his picks and then what you’re seeing up above. Pretty notable difference.
5) The lack of emphasis on the OL for 2023 is fairly surprising. Not a single pick used on OL and then just Alan Ali alongside Jacky Chen added among the UDFAs. Clearly, there’s some confidence about the talent already on the roster.
Editor’s Note: Shout out to Sports Reference CFB for helping fill-in gaps in my knowledge for college ball. Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped. The Vikings’ website was similarly important. Josh Frey, managing editor of PurplePTSD, also offered some great guidance.
Last updated on Wednesday, August 30, 2023.