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.
Hernandez is likely an immediate starter with a high ceiling.