The Official Mr. Mankato Committee has convened and determined the list of eligible players for this season. The fun is about to begin.
Veteran Committee member Chris Long is the resident oddsmaker, and he’s determined, among the players eligible this year, who are the most likely candidates.
The past two awards were won by Mankato’s own Adam Thielen and then Stefon Diggs.
Play along at home if you’d like. The Committee members must have their endorsement cemented by 9 p.m. CT on report date, Thursday, July 28.
Without further ado…
Willie Beavers, OT – RD4, W. Michigan. Lineman… so odds against him already… won’t be any room to find snaps / too similar to TJ Clemmings – drafted as a project / May compete for a starting spot next season / Needs to get bigger, stronger
Kentrell Brothers, LB – RD5, Missouri . (Admitting my Mizzou bias here) Led NCAA in tackles per game last year (152) / Only LB drafted, will see the field / is a special teams beast w/ tackles and kick blocks (3 last year) / Had 14 tkls vs Bama in SEC title game jr year / If Mr ‘Kato is going to come from the defense… it may be Brothers
Moritz Böhringer, WR – RD6, Germany. Everyone already knows who he is / Freak athlete – 4.43 40, 39” vert / 6-4, 225 and can run … he’s going to draw plenty of eyes / was an elite soccer player before seeing Adrian Peterson YouTube videos and deciding to try football 3 yrs ago / Norv Turner loves big, fast WRs / Certainly only makes team on special teams for ’16, but could still get plenty of run in ’Kato
David Morgan, TE – RD6, Texas San Antonio. Tabbed as best blocker in the draft, also good hands but heavy feet / First UTSA player ever drafted (program started in 2010) / was 2nd team All American (only school’s 2nd year in FBS) / 2nd cousin to former PGA golfer and US Ryder Cup player Gil Morgan / 45-566-5 senior year / 4.83 40 /
Stephen Weatherly, LB – RD7, Vanderbilt. Was on HS robotics team + plays 9 musical instruments + Vandy = smart kid / Grandma graduated from Harvard and MIT / Can play with hand down or upright / Vandy blitzed him a ton / has size and length… lacks speed.
Jayron Kearse, S – RD7, Clemson. Javon’s nephew, Philip Buchanon’s cousin / played w/ Rd2 pick Mackensie Alexander / upside for days / Lots and lots of speed / 2nd Tm All American last yr / very tall (6’4) for a S / Scout: “Big guy, but just doesn’t make many plays”
Keith Baxter, CB – RFA, Marshall. Vikings are loaded at CB… he’s practice squad-bound at best / He’s quick, though… took 2nd in Florida 100m sprint in HS
Kyle Carter, TE – RFA, Penn State. Stuck behind too many other TE’s
*Thieren Cockran, DE – RFA, Minnesota. Has the Gopher thing going for him / Led Gophers in sacks w 7.5 as soph, only 3 as senior (but that was 2nd on team) / He’s big at 6-5 260
Jake Ganus, LB – RFA, Georgia. Transferred to Georgia for 1 season after UAB dropped football and started all 13 games and was named defensive co-captain… so that says something for his character / Was All-State QB in HS in Ga
Marken Michel, WR – RFA, UMass. Pronounced ma-shell / only WR in draft-RFA class but can’t see how he outshines Mo
Denzell Perine, DE – RFA, Fla Int’l. FIU coach is Ron Turner… Norv’s brother, so there may be some intel
Jhurrell Pressley, RB – RFA New Mexico. UNM record 6.9 ypc over college career / 114-1083-12 last year, led nation with a crazy 9.5 ypc
Joel Stave, QB – RFA, Wisconsin. He’s 6’5, has an arm and played pro-style offense at UW / Accuracy, mobility and pass-decision-making are issues / First UW QB ever to go 4-0 vs Gophers / 31-10 career at UW / 7635yds, 48 TD at UW / only had 1 scholarship offer in HS (W Mich), walked on at UW / 19 TD and 22 INT last 2 years
*C.J. Ham, RB – RFA, Augustana SD. From Duluth (Denfeld HS) / Was rookie camp invitee, signed after rookie camp
Tre Roberson, CB – RFA, Illinois St. Was QB in college / Tx to ISU from Indiana / 1st true frosh ever to start at QB for Indiana, started 5 of 9 games as true frosh and threw for B1G record 6TD vs Purdue / Lost to NDSU in 2014 NCS title game w/ W. Illinois
*Troy Stoudermire, Wr – RFA, Minnesota. Set NCAA record for career KO Ret yards w/ 3,614 in college / Was rookie camp invitee, signed after rookie camp / Played last 2+ years in CFL
*Carter Bykowski, OT – RD7 (SF) ‘13/FA ’14 (signed from SF PS), Iowa State. From Eden Prairie / On roster but inactive final 2 games of Vikings ’14 season / Didn’t play last year after torn pectoral muscle in preseason / Did re-sign a new deal this offseason
B.J. DuBose, DE – RD6/’15, Louisville. Activated from PS for playoff game vs Seattle, but is injured
Isame Faciane, OL – RFA/’14, Fla Int’l. On PS last 2 years / Shifted to OL in 2015 after DL as rookie in ‘14
*Isaac Fruechte, WR – RFA/’15, Minnesota. Spent all of 2015 on practice squad / “Local guy” from Caledonia / Older sister Alecia played volleyball at MSU-Mankato /
Blake Renaud, FB – RFA ’15, Boise State. Was on PS, cut, re-signed to PS last year / Was LB at Boise St, moved to FB with Vikings
*Terrell Sinkfield, WR – RFA ’15, N Iowa. Went to Hopkins HS / Fast… real fast / Bio on Vikings website is Isaac Fruechte’s
Brandon Watts, LB – RD7 ’14, Georgia Tech. Played 7 games in ’15
Nick Easton, C – RFA (BAL) ’15. / Traded to MIN from SFO Sep ‘15. Inactive all 17 games last season
*Brian Leonhardt, TE – RFA (OAK) ’13 / , Bemidji State. From Spring Lake Park / Had been with OAK, CLE, SFO / Was on SFO 53-man in ’15 /
Jeremiah Sirles, OT / RFA ’14 (SD), Nebraska. Traded to Vikings Sep 15, was inactive or DNP every game last season
Moritz Böhringer WR — 4-1
Let’s face it, everyone already knows him and he has the tools/size/story to impress (but does he have any skill?). He’s definitely the favorite as we head down Hwy 169 (and detour around St. Peter).
Kentrell Brothers LB — 5-1
Will make every tackle for the second defensive unit once they go full contact. Led nation in tackles last year on a mediocre team. Can also star on Special Teams. Guy blocked a kick every third game.
Jayron Kearse S — 6-1
Thinnest spot on Vikings elite D is at safety. He’ll stand out at 6’4 and Zim loves tall DBs. Might need another year before he’s ready for the big time, but was awfully good at Clemson. Was a QB in HS.
David Morgan TE — 8-1
Best blocker in draft can be Mr M with a few catches. He’s got hands, will get time in formations thanks to his blocking prowess, but can he overcome slow feet?
Thieren Cockran DE — 10-1
If he can pass rush like he did as a soph at the U, he can make a splash. I admit, this is probably too high for him… but I thought he’d be star after his soph year, but tackle, TFL and sack numbers all came down.
Joel Stave + Taylor Heinicke QB — 10-1 (pick one, you get them both)
Everyone loves a QB who can climb the depth chart, right? Statistically, he’s one of the best QB’s Wisconsin ever had. But he sure found ways to be mediocre 19TD, 22INT last 2 years.
Jhurrell Pressley RB — 12-1
Led nation with almost 10 yards per carry last year. If he can’t be tackled, he’ll be visible.
Jake Ganus LB — 16-1
Born leader and “football player”. Was Ga All State QB and voted defensive captain for his only season after transfer to UGA.
Stephen Weatherly LB — 20-1
Smartest player on the field… but will he get a sniff at the first unit?
Willie Beavers OL — 20-1
Second coming of T.J. Clemmings. Still A year away from fighting for playing time.
Troy Stoudermire WR — 30-1
Will have to knock Cordarrelle and/or former Gopher teammate Sherels out of kick return duties to have much of a role.
Isaac Fruechte WR — 30-1
Can’t see him doing enough to make the team, but have to set odds on the second-coming of Adam Thielen.
LOCAL FIELD — 40-1
(Bykowski, Sinkfield, Leonhardt, Ham)
OTHER FIELD — 30-1