Vikings nab athletic TE Pruitt early in fifth round

Minnesota grabbed a gifted tight end early in the fifth round on Saturday, as Southern Illinois tight end MyCole Pruitt has been clocked at around 4.60 seconds in the 40-yard dash. 

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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — After spending the first two days of the draft adding to the defense, the Minnesota Vikings have gone offense on the final day.

Minnesota added tight end MyCole Pruitt out of Southern Illinois in the fifth round with the 143rd overall pick. Pruitt, 23, caught 81 passes for 861 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. In the fourth round, the Vikings drafted offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings.

Pruitt was a two-time Football Championship Subdivision All-American. While setting school records last season, he led all Division I tight ends in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns.

"At Southern, I was put all over the field and I got that experience and it helped me a lot," Pruitt said. "That’s what I’m ready to bring to the Vikings and make an impact wherever I’m put on the field."

Pruitt was a combine standout, ranking among the best tight ends in 40-yard dash (4.58 seconds),vertical jump (38 inches), broad jump (118 inches), 20-yard shuttle (4.37 seconds) and 60-yard shuttle (11.85 seconds).

"It really got my name out there and got me talked about a little bit more," said Pruitt of his combine performance. "It made guys want to go back and look at the tape and see what I was actually really about, or if I was just somebody that worked out well."

Minnesota owned the 143rd pick after a third-round trade with the Detroit Lions on Friday.

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