Vikings New Defender: “Y’all Done F—-d Up.”

Sep 17, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. (0) reacts after a play against the Miami Redhawks in the second half at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings capped a six-man 2023 draft class with additions of 15 undrafted free agents, a mammoth haul just hours after the draft.

Here’s the full group of UFDAs:

  • Alan Ali (OL, TCU)
  • Calvin Avery (DT, Illinois)
  • Abraham Beauplan (ILB, Marshall)
  • Andre Carter II (EDGE, Army)
  • Jacky Chen (OL, Pace)
  • C.J. Coldon (CB, Oklahoma)
  • Wilson Huber (ILB, Cincinnati)
  • Cephus Johnson (WR, SE Louisiana)
  • Malik Knowles (WR, Kansas State)
  • Ivan Pace, Jr. (ILB, Cincinnati)
  • Jack Podlesny (K, Georgia)
  • Ben Sims (TE, Baylor)
  • Thayer Thomas (WR, N.C. State)
  • NaJee Thompson (CB, Georgia Southern)
  • Jaylin Williams (CB, Indiana)

Vikings New Defender: “Y’all Done F—-d Up.”

And one of the newcomers was particularly miffed about missing out on a conventional draft pick — linebacker Ivan Pace.

New Defender
Sep 24, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. (0) runs onto the field prior to the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports.

Pace was supposed to be drafted anywhere from Round 3 to 5 over the weekend, but NFL general managers were evidently turned off by his size — Pace is about two inches shorter than a normal off-ball linebacker.

Expressing bewilderment about teams not signing on his dotted line until after the draft, Pace posted to Instagram a picture of himself with the Vikings logo and a caption for the rest of the world, “Y’all done f-cked up.”

Image Courtesy of Ivan Pace.

The message implies front offices are silly for passing on him and that they’ll presumably pay for their sins. Of course, Pace still has to make the team this summer — a tall task as the roster will be shaved from 90 players to 53 at the end of August.

Nov 5, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. (0) celebrates after a sack against Navy Midshipmen quarterback Xavier Arline (not pictured) in the fourth quarter at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. Cincinnati won 20-10. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK.

At 5’10” and 230 pounds, The Draft Network‘s Brentley Weissman described Pace, “Pace is a heat-seeking missile who has a nose for the football. Pace aligns in the middle of the Bearcats’ defense and appears to be the one making the calls. He has outstanding instincts for the position and seems to know where the ball is going every single play.”

“He is able to use those instincts as well as his explosive burst and short-area quickness to shoot behind the line of scrimmage and make tackles for loss. He has above-average range sideline to sideline and flashes as a tackler.¬†While Pace offers exciting playmaking ability as a run defender due to his ability to shoot gaps and deliver hard hits, he lacks the length and mass to consistently fight off blocks in the box,” Weissman added.

Nov 5, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. (0) reacts after sacking Navy Midshipmen quarterback Xavier Arline (not pictured) in the second half at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports.

Pace will live on this depth chart and aim for a regular season roster spot:

  • LB1: Jordan Hicks
  • LB2: Brian Asamoah
  • LB3: Troy Reeder
  • LB4: Troy Dye
  • LB5: William Kwenkeu
  • LB6: Ivan Pace
  • LB7: Abraham Beauplan
  • LB8: Wilson Huber

He turned 22 in December.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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