Oft-injured linebacker Michael Mauti, who didn’t appear in last week’s injury report, has been placed on injured reserve by the Vikings, the team announced. There’s still no word on what kind of injury it was, but if it’s another knee injury, that may be it for Mauti’s career.
While at Penn State, the former stud linebacker prospect suffered from three separate ACL tears between both of his knees (as well as an ankle and shoulder injury). Once considered a late-first round, early-second round prospect, Mauti was drafted by the Vikings in the seventh round. Folks have had high hopes for him, both inside and outside of the organization, but he had yet to capture a starting spot or a primary backup spot with the team, instead operating as a special teams ace for the time being, despite the weakness the Vikings have had at the position.
With the open roster spot, the Vikings have signed tackle Carter Bykowski, a Minnesota native from Eden Prairie (which means he played for Bud Grant’s son, Mike Grant). He was picked in the seventh round by the San Francisco 49ers after playing for Iowa State, and spent two years on their practice squad before the Vikings signed him. The scouting reports on him from the 2013 draft are fairly varied. Gil Brandt loved his size and thought he deserved fourth-round consideration because of it. Here are the scouting reports from Draft Insider, FF Toolbox and ESPN:
Positive: Athletic offensive line prospect with nice upside to his game. Solid position blocker who makes good use of angles, keeps his feet moving, and seals opponents from the play. Works to bend his knees, quickly gets into blocks, and stays with the action. Large enough to turn defenders off the line and shows good footwork in pass protection. Improved as a pass blocker last season and shows better than average footwork off the edge.Negative: Ducks his head and overextends in blocks. Possesses average strength and doesn E(TM)t finish off opponents.Analysis: Bykowski is a late bloomer, yet a prospect who watched his game take off the past 18 months. He’s a practice-squad prospect who must improve his playing strength and refine his technique, but he is worth the investment on a practice squad.
Iowa State Cyclones offensive tackle Carter Bykowski began his career as a tight end and transitioned to the offensive line in his redshirt freshman year. Lacks ideal foot speed. Could play multiple spots depending on his development. Potential swing tackle that can provide depth. Above-average physicality when blocking. Finishes strong and always plays to the whistle. Developmental prospect who can be groomed into a specific role. Some suggest an eventual move to left tackle, but that may be a few years away as he learns to better handle speed on the edge.
Bykoski plays with an edge. However, he is a bit heavy-footed and struggles to move laterally against more explosive edge-rushers. He might be best suited to bump inside to guard at the NFL level.