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Bleacher Report – Vikings

What we’ve learned about the rookies: WR Moritz Böhringer

By Andrew Krammer

This week, the Vikings begin Organized Team Activities to kickstart the home stretch of the NFL offseason.

Easing into the organization, eight drafted rookies and more undrafted rookies spent the past couple weeks assimilating into the meeting rooms, on-field drills and strength programs. Competition will ramp up starting with the month-long ‘phase three’ of the offseason, which allows full team drills, but no live contact. The Vikings begin the first OTA on Tuesday.

Before that, let’s set the stage for some of the rookies with what we knew, what we’ve learned so far and what we’re watching for this summer.

Previously:

WR Laquon Treadwell
CB Mackensie Alexander
OL Willie Beavers
LB Kentrell Brothers

WR Moritz Boehringer

What we knew

Height: 6’4?

Weight: 227 pounds

Age: 22

Position: Receiver

Hometown: Aalen, Germany

College: N/A

Drafted: 180th, becoming the first international player to be drafted straight out of a European football league

What we’ve learned

First impression

By the time Moritz Böhringer arrived in Minnesota, he’d already risen to a certain level of celebrity. A strong workout at Florida Atlantic’s pro day, including a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, ignited interest in him. Eight teams, including the Vikings, eventually scheduled visits to bring in Böhringer, who did not play competitively until 2013. His first real dive into American football came at age 17, through watching Adrian Peterson highlights on YouTube. Five years later, the Vikings relied on Böhringer’s YouTube clips to see his play in the German Football League.

Böhringer’s first day at rookie minicamp could indicate a long road ahead to continue his improbable story. When asked about the biggest adjustment so far, he noted meetings. Hours later, with the temperature over 90 degrees, Böhringer took to the sideline during practice to vomit.

“The offense is new to everyone,” Böhringer said of the rookies. “So that’s kind of good for me.”

A unique project

Shortly after drafting Böhringer, general manager Rick Spielman stood at the podium and spoke with both confidence and uneasiness about their sixth-round pick. They’d gotten an early lead on him, Spielman said, after the scouting combine, which is deep into the evaluation of college prospects. But it was still a month before the pro day that brought more competition for Böhringer. A Vikings scout had dinner with him the night before. Böhringer eventually came to Minnesota on a pre-draft visit. Though the most pressing questions can’t be answered until after using a late-round pick, one that already comes with relatively low expectations.

Unlike a NFL team taking on player projects from this continent, whether they be Canadian or players changing positions, there was no real barometer for Böhringer’s readiness. The recruiting process began after the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game took place. He had never competed at an American collegiate or professional level prior to being drafted.

“It’s kind of hard because you can’t really measure it against anything,” Spielman said. “You can’t even measure it against any all-star games he was in.”

A good read

Off the field, the Vikings felt they got a good read. Spielman lauded Böhringer’s intellegence, calling him “extremely smart” and “off the charts.” The true test will be his ability to adapt to NFL concepts and a playbook after Böhringer said his German Football League had only 70 or so plays at their disposal.

“From what I saw today, he’s a pretty good athlete,” head coach Mike Zimmer said earlier this month. “Obviously he’s going to have to learn – the biggest thing for these guys is learning terminology. That’s hard right from the start, but that’s not any different from him or anybody else.”

What we’re watching for

Level of competition

Going up against even the most inexperienced rookies could prove difficult for Böhringer or he could surprise in his first deep dive against NFL competition this week. Organized Team Activities, which introduce 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, begin on Tuesday. The first session open to the media is Wednesday, when we’ll see veterans and rookies competing against each other for the first time this offseason.

Böhringer may start off against cornerbacks such as Keith Baxter and Tre Roberson. Though it’ll be worth watching how long it takes to get reps against some of the Vikings’ top corners.

Window of opportunity

A rare combination of size and speed give Vikings receivers coach George Stewart some coveted tools to work with. Though Böhringer’s development should be kept in perspective given his lack of experience and draft position. The first-round pick of Laquon Treadwell is the expected boost for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. They kept six receivers on last year’s 53-man roster and return them all save for Treadwell effectively taking Mike Wallace’s spot.

Böhringer could carve out a role on special teams should he make the roster. Or he could land on the practice squad for a developmental year. Either way, his age and talents may keep his window of opportunity open for a while.

The post What we’ve learned about the rookies: WR Moritz Böhringer appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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