German WR Boehringer becomes first draft pick to sign contract
The week of firsts continues for German wide receiver Moritz Boehringer, the Minnesota Vikings’ sixth-round draft pick.
The 22-year-old on Monday became the first player selected in the 2016 Draft to sign an NFL contract, after the Vikings selected him 180th overall on Saturday.
— Moritz Boehringer (@MoBoehringer) May 3, 2016
The 6-foot-4, 229-pound Boehringer put on a head-turning performance in March at Florida Atlantic’s pro workout day, running the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds. Only three wide receivers at the league’s scouting combine in February ran faster than the native of Aalen, Germany. The Vikings included Boehringer in their 30-prospect pre-draft visit and after grilling him about the nuances of the game were satisfied with his ability to pick up a complex playbook.
"We spend a lot of time trying to look under every rock," general manager Rick Spielman said, adding: "When we get a hint that someone might have the ability to play in this league, that’s our job to go out and uncover it."
Boehringer debuted in the top-level German Football League in 2015 and totaled 16 touchdown receptions with an average of 20.9 yards per catch in 21 games for the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns, winning the rookie of the year award. He has been working out in Boca Raton, Florida, for several months to get ready for the draft.
"I just started learning the game by playing," Boehringer said on a conference call with Minnesota reporters. "The first year was really difficult, because I didn’t really have an idea of what I was doing."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.