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The Minnesota Vikings reeled in 15 undrafted free agents along with their draft class, and some could easily pop out and make contributions on the team.
North Carolina alum Erik Highsmith will compete with local boy Adam Thielen from Minnesota State-Mankato for either a spot on the practice squad or the opportunity to supplant a player like Stephen Burton. With a thin receiver corps, it's well within the realm of possibility for the surprising Thielen (who had arrived at minicamp as a tryout without a contract) or the relatively refined Highsmith.
On the other side of the ball, Roderick Williams from Alcorn State will hope to follow in Leslie Frazier's footsteps. Frazier arrived in Chicago as an undrafted free agent from the same school and could have a soft spot for the CFL All-Star.
Along with him in the secondary are safeties Brandan Bishop from North Carolina State and Darius Eubanks from Georgia Southern. Eubanks is a linebacker convert who hits with power, while Bishop is a cerebral safety who could play alongside the more explosive David Amerson and Earl Wolff.
Marquis Jackson from Portland State and Collins Ukwu from Kentucky will both have to fight for very limited space on a talented defensive end corps, although they might have a better opportunity to make the practice squad in case the Vikings feel like there is instability at the position—their three best defensive ends are entering free agency next year, after all.
The lone defensive tackle free agent, Anthony McCloud from Florida State, has spent time playing alongside Everett Dawkins and could have a leg up on other defensive tackles, given his projection to play at the nose—a particular area of weakness for the Vikings at the moment.
More difficult will be the jobs of Jerodis Williams and Bradley Randle, running backs from Furman and Nevada-Las Vegas, respectively. While Matt Asiata's spot on the roster isn't secure by any means, he was impressive enough to make the decision easy last year. Between Asiata and Banyard, the two of them will have quite a lot to work through in order to make the roster.
James Vandenberg, the quarterback from Iowa, has a different challenge ahead of him. Instead of competing with four players for one spot, he might only have to compete with one other player to earn a shot at making the roster. The Vikings traditionally carry three quarterbacks, and Vandenberg's best chance to make the roster will be to beat out the strong-armed McLeod Bethel-Thompson, formerly of Sacramento State and the Sacramento Mountain Lions.
That leaves Camden Wentz, who will hope to make the roster as a center, but will likely need to prove his worth as a swing guard as well. Also from NC State, Wentz won't hurt for company, but will find himself looking to compete for limited space against the drafted Jeff Baca and Travis Bond.
Alongside those two are proven journeyman Joe Berger and the struggling Tyler Holmes. Troy Kropog also looks to get into the mix as a potential player in the interior, and Seth Olsen will make life difficult for the relatively undersized Wentz. Nevertheless, with three or four backup linemen spots available, Wentz could slide on to the roster.