Every UDFA Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Has Signed

Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings punter Ryan Wright. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

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.

NFL: Combine
Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo Mensah speaks to the press at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings punter Ryan Wright. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

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

PlayerPositionCollegeConferenceFinal Roster
Brown, MikeSafetyMiami (OH)MACNo
Brkic, GabeKickerOklahomaBig 12No
Hennigan, ThomasWide ReceiverAppalachian StateSun BeltNo
Koback, BryantRunning BackToledoMACNo
Kwenkeu, WilliamLinebackerTempleAmericanEventually
McCloud, ZachEdge RusherMiami (FL)ACCNo
Stevenson, TyariseDefensive TackleTulsaAmericanNo
Turner, TréWide ReceiverVirginia TechACCNo
Vilain, LuijiEdge RusherWake ForestACCYes
Wright, RyanPunterTulaneAmericanYes

The 2023 UDFA Class

PlayerPositionCollegeConferenceFinal Roster
Ali, AlanCenterTCUBig 12No
Avery, CalvinDefensive TackleIllinoisBig 10No
Beauplan, AbrahamLinebackerMarshallSun BeltNo
Carter II, AndreEdge RusherArmyCUSAYes
Chen, JackyOffensive TacklePace University NE10No
Coldon, C.J. CornerOklahomaBig 12No
Dykes, AaronRunning BackRichmond?No
Huber, WilsonLinebackerCincinnati Big 12No
Johnson, CephusWide ReceiverSouthern LouisianaSLCNo
Knowles, MalikWide ReceiverKansas StateBig 12No (injured)
Maag, GarrettWide ReceiverNorth DakotaMVFCNo
Ojile, ZachFullbackMinnesota-DuluthNSICNo
Pace Jr., IvanLinebackerCincinnatiBig 12Yes
Podlesny, JackKickerGeorgia SECNo
Sims, BenTight EndBaylorBig 12No
Thomas, ThayerWide ReceiverNorth Carolina St.ACCNo
Thompson, NaJeeCornerGeorgia SouthernSun BeltYes
Williams, JaylinCornerIndianaBig 10Eventually

The 2024 UDFA Class

PlayerPositionCollegeConferenceFinal Roster
Cindric, MattOffensive LineCaliforniaTBD
Cloyd, K.J. LinebackerMiami (FL)TBD
Flax, JeremyOffensive LineKentuckyTBD
Gant, DallasLinebackerToledoTBD
Harper, DevronWide ReceiverMercerTBD
James, TyWide ReceiverMercerTBD
Jones, JeshaunWide ReceiverMarylandTBD
Knox, TreyTight EndSouth CarolinaTBD
Manoa, TylerDefensive TackleArizonaTBD
Manuel, DonovanLinebackerFIUTBD
McGlothern, DwightCornerArkansasTBD
Murphy, GabrielEdge RusherUCLATBD
Nester, DougOffensive LineWest VirginiaTBD
Porter, OwenEdge RusherMarshallTBD
Richter, BoEdge RusherAir ForceTBD
Rolland, SpencerOffensive LineNorth CarolinaTBD
Taimani, TakiDefensive TackleOregonTBD
Read more on PurplePTSD

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. Credit to Craig Peters of Vikings.com for the info on Aaron Dykes.

Last updated on Monday, January 1st, 2024.

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