AnalysisDraft

Small-School Sleeper the Vikings NEED to Sign

Let’s Reid between the lines…

The Minnesota Vikings have had plenty of success developing small school players in the past decade. The Vikings are currently in need of more defensive ends, and Chris Garrett could be the team’s next small-school sleeper.

It’s easy to forget that Pro Bowl talents like Adam Thielen and C.J. Ham came from division two schools. These kinds of colleges aren’t talked about as much in the media, but they produce high-caliber players that NFL scouts should take seriously.

Defensive end Chris Garrett is one of these players.

After much success at Wisconsin Lutheran High School, Garrett was recruited to play defensive end at Concordia University, Saint Paul (CSP). CSP is the only D-2 program in the Twin Cities, and their highly regarded coaching staff has produced Super Bowl winning athletes in the past decade (Zach Moore, 2014 6th-round DE selection by the Patriots).

Whether he’s targeted in the late rounds of the draft, or in undrafted free agency, Garrett belongs on an NFL roster. Garrett boasts 36 career sacks to go along with 15 forced fumbles in only three years played at CSP. Those stats earned him an invite to the East-West Shrine Bowl, and Vikings fans should hope he stays in Minnesota.

It doesn’t take long to see that Garrett is a pass rush specialist. He has great speed off the edge and uses his good balance to turn the corner on tackles. Garrett can even engage interior offensive linemen – he uses his strong hands and excellent lateral agility to defeat their blocks with ease. 

As for his frame, Garrett is a long 6’4” athlete that Vikings scouts should love. Minnesota defensive line coach Andre Patterson would be the perfect mentor for the CSP product. Patterson is known for developing raw draftees like Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen, and there’s no reason Garrett can’t be Minnesota’s next success story.

Chris Garrett is a prime draft-and-develop prospect for the purple. He won’t be talked about much on draft day, but keep your eyes on the former Golden Bear during the sixth and seventh rounds…

For more of Reid Johnson’s content, you can follow him and his personal Vikings blog, Purple Reign News, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or subscribe to it for free HERE.

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