StaTuesday: Boehringer measures up in speed, size to fellow NFL WR draftees
On Saturday, German receiver Moritz Boehringer became the first NFL Draft pick to be taken directly out of Europe, bypassing the NCAA and the league’s typical college requirement.
On Monday, he became the first member of the class of 2016 to sign a pro contract.
"When we get a hint that someone may have the ability to play at this level, that’s our job to go out and uncover it," Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said.
But finding Boehringer wasn’t exactly easy.
The hulking German’s story has made the rounds on the sports media circuit over the last few days, that of the athletic 17-year-old engineering student so enamored with YouTube videos of Vikings star Adrian Peterson that it sparked a career change.
They became his favorite team, and joining them became his goal.
"I hoped that I would be drafted by the Vikings," Boehringer said.
He became a force for the German Football League’s Schwabisch Hall Unicorns just a few years later, racking up 1,461 yards and 16 touchdowns.
And while curiosity at his unbelievable backstory drew scouts to his impromptu pro day at Florida Atlantic, his raw potential kept them watching.
"He’s very powerful coming off the ball. He can drop his weight," Spielman said. "He shows quickness in and out of his cuts."
Because while Boehringer’s story is intriguing, his numbers are downright staggering for a player built more like Calvin Johnson or Brandon Marshall than a speedster like Corey Coleman.
Simply put: 6-foot-4, 227-lb receivers aren’t supposed to be this fast.
(Note: All numbers taken from NFL Combine except for Boehringer’s, which are from his Pro Day.)
And while combine measurable aren’t always an accurate measure of NFL success, Boehringer would have been one of just two players to crack the top five in all three categories.
But his size and speed aren’t the only qualities that sold the Vikings.
"Even Norv [Turner] when they spent a lot of time with him, just watching football and going through plays and route concepts and things like that, the kid’s extremely smart," Spielman said. "That was the biggest thing. I knew the physical ability is there, it’s just how far he is. From a mental standpoint, he was off-the-charts."
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