Holton Hill

Draft Notes: Panthers, Penny, Impact Rooks

With their first-round pick, the Panthers ended up selecting Maryland wideout D.J. Moore. However, General Manager Marty Hurney told SiriusXM’s Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn that his team was considering several players with the pick, including Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley.

“Basically what we did, coming into the draft, we had a group of about five guys that we would be very happy with at 24 and we got our pick and three of those guys were there and it was a hard decision between Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore,” Hurney said. “I think that the difference to us is, and we think they’re both excellent wide receivers, is just D.J. Moore gives us a little different skill set than we had.”

Let’s check out some more draft notes from around the league…

  • Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller touched on a number of topics during his post-draft review. Notably, the reporter noted that the most surprising first-round selection was San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny, who was taken by the Seahawks with the 27th pick. Miller notes that opposing teams didn’t value Penny as highly, and the reporter said the highest team grade (outside of Seattle) rated the running back as a second-rounder.
  • Miller reports that several players failed drug tests, causing them to fall in the draft or go undrafted. This grouping included cornerback Holton Hill, offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, and wideout Antonio Callaway.
  • ESPN’s Mel Kiper looked at several late-round rookies who could immediately make an impact with their new squad. Offensively, Kiper pointed to Patriots wideout Braxton Berrios, Colts running backs Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines, and Steelers “Swiss Army knife” Jaylen Samuels. Defensively, Raiders defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, Eagles pass rusher Josh Sweat, Rams linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo led Kiper’s list.

Vikings Sign 17 Undrafted Free Agents

The Vikings have agreed to terms with 17 undrafted free agents. Here’s the complete rundown:

Hill received $75K guaranteed in the form of a $15K signing bonus and $60K in base salary, which is the most money received by UDFA since Mike Zimmer became the team’s head coach in 2014, writes Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune.

Robertson received $50K guaranteed with his deal, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. The wide receiver caught 76 passes for 1,106 yards for Southern Mississippi last season.

Wieneke, a native of Maple Grove, Minnesota, said this week that he is ecstatic about the opportunity to play for the Vikings.

It’s the best feeling in the world,’’ said Wieneke (via Tomasson). “I get to stay with the team I grew up loving and I get to stay in Minnesota. It can’t be anything better than this.’’

Dooley received $41K in guaranteed money with an $11K signing bonus and $30K in base salary.

Hill may be the most intriguing prospect of the bunch. The cornerback was suspended by Texas for the last month of the season for reasons that are still unknown. In terms of talent, he was regarded as a draftable player.

Meanwhile, running backs Thomas and Boone and fullback/running back Pettway have a reach chance at making the roster after the Vikings declined to select a running back over the weekend. After the departure of Jerick McKinnon, there are no other running backs to support Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray.