Analysis

Vikings Prospect Player Card: Will Hernandez | OG | UTEP

A look at 2018 NFL Draft prospects who could be on Minnesota's radar.

As the NFL Draft approaches, Vikings Territory is taking a look at prospects that may interest the Minnesota Vikings. Since it’s evident the team would like to add a long-term offensive line starter at some point in the early rounds, let’s examine the players who could fit that mold.

  • School: University of Texas – El Paso
  • Position: G
  • Projected round: 1-2
  • Age: 22
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 330 lbs.
  • Arm: 32″
  • Hand: 9 7/8″
  • Bench press: 37 reps of 225 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 5.15 seconds
  • Vertical jump: 24 inches
  • Broad jump: 8 feet, 8 inches
  • 3-cone drill: 7.59 seconds
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.70 seconds

Vikings Interest: 9/10

  • Hernandez has a solid base and a very thick frame. He’s considered a “people mover” in the run game.
  • He brings a very physical presence to the trenches.
  • Elite upper body strength as evidenced by his bench press at the combine.
  • Excels at both run blocking and pass blocking.
  • Started 49 straight games at left guard for the Miners.
  • He’s very athletic and agile for his weight (330 lbs.).
  • After studying Hernandez in November when Pro Football Focus’ first mock draft projected him to the Vikings, his performance against NFL-level competition in the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine further solidified his draft position as an early round pick.
  • PFF graded Hernandez as the nation’s top guard, and pass blocker, of 2016. In 2017, he made their All-American team.

  • Hernandez lacks ideal height and length. He has short arms and small hands.
  • Lateral quickness may be a minor concern at the next level.
  • His quality of competition at UTEP was lower than that of big conference prospects.
  • Has been labeled by scouts as “over-aggressive” at times, causing him to miss his blocking assignments.
  • May be best-suited in a power gap scheme.

Bottom Line:

Hernandez is likely an immediate starter with a high ceiling.

Potential OL starters:

LT Riley Reiff – LG Nick Easton – C Pat Elflein – RG Will Hernandez – RT Mike Remmers

More Prospects:

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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and previously wrote for Rant Sports. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBoarMan.

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