NFL Draft Expert Believes Vikings’ Undrafted Free Agent Class is Elite

NCAA Football: Washington State at UCLA
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a few weeks since the conclusion of the 2024 NFL draft, and the Minnesota Vikings have made some notable moves. They selected their franchise quarterback, JJ McCarthy, in the first round, sparking excitement among fans. Additionally, the team traded up to secure Alabama star EDGE Dallas Turner at the 17th spot, adding further anticipation for the upcoming season.

However, what fans might not be aware of is the excitement surrounding the Vikings’ undrafted free agent signings. One top draft analyst is paying attention, though, and he ranked Minnesota’s 2024 UDFA class as one of the top three in the NFL, trailing only the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs.

Minnesota Vikings sign impressive UDFA class

Thor Nystrom, a draft analyst at fantasypros.com, recently unveiled his top picks and rankings for teams with the most impressive Undrafted Free Agent (UDFA) signings across the league. He ranked the Vikings’ class as the third best in the NFL.

The Vikings attacked the defensive side of the ball in UDFA. They pulled out two other defenders I had draftable grades on – LBs Bo Richter and Dallas Gant. Unless you count disappointing recent Round 2 pick Brian Asamoah, the Vikings have no depth at LB. I believe that either Richter and Gant – whoever performs better in camp – will make the Week 1 roster.

Thor Nystrom – FantasyPros

Vikings UDFA Signings:

  • Gabriel Murphy – UCLA
  • Dwight McGlothern – Arkansas
  • Bo Richter – Air Force
  • Dallas Gant – Toledo
  • Trey Knox – South Carolina
  • Jeshaun Jones – Maryland
  • Ty James – Mercer
  • Owen Porter – Marshall
  • Doug Nester – West Virginia
  • Jeremy Flax – Kentucky

Thor acknowledges the Vikings’ history of undrafted free agents (UDFAs), citing examples like Ivan Pace, NaJee Thompson, and Andre Carter from last season. He highlights Kwesi’s skill in post-draft assessment and recruiting top UDFAs to Minnesota.

Minnesota’s 2023 UDFA haul is a worthy follow-up to that class. The Vikings signed two of my top-10 overall UDFA – EDGE Gabriel Murphy and CB Dwight McGlothern – amongst a group that included four prospects with draftable grades on my board. In sum, Minnesota added 10 members of the Thor500 via UDFA.

Thor Loves EDGE Gabriel Murphy (UCLA) and CB Dwight McGlothern (Arkansas)

Nystrom highlights the potential impact of Gabriel Murphy from UCLA and cornerback Dwight McGlothern from Arkansas on Brian Flores’s defense. Murphy’s skill set is seen as a good fit for the defensive scheme, while McGlothern is considered a standout undrafted free agent. Nystrom expresses enthusiasm for these signings by the Vikings.

The Vikings showed an increased emphasis on the UDFA process last year, and it paid off in a huge way with an immediate starter (LB Ivan Pace), a special-teams ace (NaJee Thompson), and an intriguing developmental pass-rusher (Andre Carter II).

[In 2024] EDGE Murphy is a skilled pass-rusher who the NFL bypassed for seven rounds because of arm length. It would be stunning if he does not make the team. The last three seasons, Murphy posted PFF pass-rushing grades of 90.4, 87.0, and 87.6, respectively, over a combined 921 pass-rushing snaps, with 18 sacks. He’s a one-trick pony – UCLA only dropped him into coverage on 29 snaps the past two years – but that trick is pretty neat, and one that is valued in DC Brian Flores’ hyper-aggressive scheme.

CB McGlothern was having a breakout season last year before his campaign was derailed by turf toe. McGlothern lacks athleticism, but he started four years in the SEC and is blessed with both length and legitimate balls skills (eight career interceptions).

Thor Nystrom – FantasyPros

Hopefully, Thor is right and Kwesi cooked up something special in the undrafted free agent market. Nystrom’s evaluation, along with 1st round additions like JJ McCarthy and Dallas Turner, should leave fans with plenty of reasons to be optimistic as we approach the season and the next thrilling chapter of Vikings football.

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