McLaughlin bounced around last year, appearing in games for the Colts, Chargers, and 49ers. He started off the 2019 season with the Vikings’ practice squad, and they’re bringing him back in 2020 to serve as extra insurance for Dan Bailey. Earlier this summer, he lost out on the Colts’ kicking job when Chris Ballard & Co. chose rookie Rodrigo Blankenship.
Minnesota’s rookie contingent reported to camp recently. Players must test negative for the coronavirus three times before entering teams’ facilities. During an offseason that has already featured major developmental hurdles placed in rookies’ paths, Jefferson and Co. will now see their timetables pushed back.
The reserve/COVID-19 designation is for players who have tested positive for the coronavirus or are in quarantine for potential exposure. In turn, these players are removed from the roster and allowed to return after three weeks.
It is not certain if Jefferson and the three other rookies have contracted the virus. Players must be placed on the COVID-19/reserve list if they test positive or have come in contact with an infected person. The Vikings announced earlier Monday their infection control officer, Eric Sugarman, tested positive for the coronavirus. Members of Sugarman’s family did as well.
The Vikings used one of their two first-round picks on Jefferson, who will be expected to fill the role Stefon Diggs occupied for years opposite Adam Thielen. Jefferson is coming off a dominant senior season at LSU, when he caught 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns. Minnesota used a sixth-round pick on Brandel, a tackle out of Oregon State, and a seventh-round choice on Cole — a safety out of Mississippi State. Higby, a guard from Michigan State, arrived as part of the Vikes’ most recent UDFA class.
Here are Thursday’s draft pick agreements, with the list being updated throughout the day.
The Vikings picked an interesting year to make 15 draft choices, given the pandemic’s impact on developmental work. But the team is nearly finished with rookie contract agreements. Minnesota signed third-round cornerback Cameron Dantzler (Mississippi State), fourth-round defensive end D.J. Wonnum (South Carolina), fifth-round corner Harrison Hand (Temple), fifth-round wideout K.J. Osborn (Miami), sixth-round tackle Blake Brandel (Oregon State), sixth-round safety Josh Metellus (Michigan), seventh-round defensive end Kenny Willekes (Michigan State) and seventh-round safety Brian Cole (Mississippi State). Minnesota lost Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander this offseason and tripled up on corners in the draft. First-round corner Jeff Gladney is the Vikes’ lone unsigned pick.
Top 2020 Steelers pick Chase Claypool, a second-rounder,is now under contract. The Steelers have their latest Day 2 wide receiver investment signed, along with Round 6 safety Antoine Brooks(Maryland). Claypool’s addition means the top four Pittsburgh wideouts — JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Diontae Johnson and Claypool — came from the second or third rounds. The Notre Dame product has quite the SPARQ profile, going 6-foot-4, 238 pounds and running a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the Combine.