As announced on the team’s official website this morning, the Minnesota Vikings have signed free agent defensive tackle Greg Hickman and waived wide receiver Gavin Lutman with an injury settlement, adding depth to an already talented defensive line.
Hickman, a 24-year-old free agent in the 2014 NFL Draft, played college football at Florida International before signing with the Detroit Lions, and finished his collegiate career with 116 total tackles, 13 sacks, three interceptions, four pass breakups, and seven forced fumbles. He joins his former college teammate Isame Faciane in Minnesota after spending seven months in 2014 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL.
In his first two years at Florida International, Hickman played linebacker. At the beginning of the 2012 season, he made the switch to defensive end before finishing his collegiate career as a defensive tackle from 2013 to 2014. A 6’2″, 280-pound prospect coming out of college, Hickman was regarded as “average-sized” with an “excellent first step, powerful punch, and the ability to play with both power and quickness,” per Draft Insider.
The signing comes days after Shamar Stephen left Vikings training camp to undergo an MRI on his knee, the same knee that forced the second-year defensive tackle to miss the first three days of training camp. According to Chris Tomasson, the results of the MRI were “not catastrophic” and that Stephen is still being evaluated. He will miss Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a solid 54-snap showing against the Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game.
Hickman’s addition adds depth while Stephen misses time with his nagging injury, but don’t be surprised if Hickman fails to make the team’s final 53-man roster.