Vikings get Ohio State DT Jalyn Holmes in fourth round, land tight end, kicker in fifth
ST. PAUL - The Vikings on Saturday added to their already impressive defensive line.With the No. 102 pick in the fourth round of the NFL draft, the Vikings selected Ohio State lineman Jalyn Holmes.The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Holmes played defensive e...
ST. PAUL - The Vikings on Saturday added to their already impressive defensive line.
With the No. 102 pick in the fourth round of the NFL draft, the Vikings selected Ohio State lineman Jalyn Holmes.
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Holmes played defensive end in college but Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said he will start at three-technique defensive tackle, where they have a bigger need. The Vikings signed Sheldon Richardson to be the starting three-technique but they lost defensive tackles Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen in free agency.
"We spent a lot of time with (Holmes),'' Spielman said. "You can't teach that length, you can't teach that athleticism. ... When we talked about him, we want to continue to develop inside pass rush.''
Holmes said he would fit in well at three-technique.
"I think I could be there for the Vikings (at three-technique),'' Holmes said. "I can be whatever the Vikings need me to be. I played out of position at Ohio State, I played defensive end the majority of the time and my last two years I was kicked inside on third down. Right now, I'm whatever they want to be. I feel like I could be a great D tackle.''
In the fifth round, the Vikings selected Central Michigan tight end Tyler Conklin with the No. 157 pick and Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson with the No. 167 pick. The Vikings originally had the No. 167 selection before trading it to the Jets to move up 10 spots and get Conklin. They then made another trade with the Jets to re-acquire that selection and take Carlson.
Carlson will compete with Kai Forbath for Minnesota's kicker job. Forbath last month re-signed on a one-year, $775,000 non guaranteed deal.
In the first trade with the Jets, the Vikings also sent them the No. 225 pick in the seventh round. In the second trade, they got back both the No. 167 pick in the fifth and the No. 225 selection in the seventh and sent the Jets No. 180 in the sixth round and No. 204 in the sixth.
In the sixth round, the Vikings selected Appalachian State guard Colby Gossett with the No. 213 pick and Tulane defensive tackle Ade Aruna at No. 218. Gossett, who also played some tackle in college, concluded his career by making 46 straight starts. Aruna, a native of Nigeria, had 11 sacks as a starter in his final three seasons and some analysts believe he has a good upside.
With the No. 225 pick in the seventh round, the Vikings selected California inside linebacker Devante Downs. With inside linebacker Kentrell Brothers having been suspended by the NFL for the first four games of 2018 for using performance-enhancing drugs, Downs could provide depth there.
"I'm very excited about this year's draft class,'' Spielman said. "I thought we added a lot of talent to this roster. We had a lot of needs. I think we wanted to go out and just sign the best football players we can and create as much competition at each position that we can create.''
Holmes could battle Jaleel Johnson, a fourth-round pick last year from Iowa, to be the third player in a three-man defensive tackle rotation. Minnesota's starter at nose tackle is Linval Joseph.
The Vikings hope Holmes has great upside. He started just nine of the 51 games he played at Ohio State, all of them last year. But part of that was because of OSU's great depth.
The pick was announced at the St. Paul Curling Club by the U.S. Olympic gold-medal winning curling team. A curling stone was sent down the ice with the name of the pick on it.
Holmes, a native of Norfolk, Va., had just five sacks in his college career. But he is regarded as strong against the run.
Holmes said he is excited to work with Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson, whom he first met at the combine. Patterson ran the defensive line at Ohio State's pro day and Holmes said he talked with him a few times on the phone leading up to the draft.
Holmes said he was "excited" to be selected with the second pick of the fourth round.
"It was great,'' Holmes said. "And soon I saw my phone, I already knew what team it was. I'm just happy I got drafted to a great fit, a great D-line coach, a team that's ready to compete for a Super Bowl next year.''
In college, Carlson made all 198 of his extra-point attempts. He has a strong leg, and said he made a 75-yard field goal at altitude while recently training in Colorado.
"I think I had a great Senior Bowl week,'' Carlson said. "I think I had two kicks from 58 yards on two different days where they cleared the uprights by a very good amount. I think that gives you a little momentum with scouts, coaches and media or whatever it is.''
Carlson worked out with Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer in early March at Auburn. He said he also worked out with Miami, Cincinnati, the New York Giants and Seattle.
Conklin is generally regarded as a better pass catcher than blocker. He had 422 receptions for 560 yards in 2016 and 35 catches for 504 yards in 2017 when he was limited to eight games because of injury.
"I just want to start off by saying how excited I am and how pumped I am to be a Minnesota Viking,'' Conklin said. "Just the opportunity the organization has given me to make my dreams come true is I don't know, it's surreal to me still right now. It all happened so fast.''
Conklin will provide depth at tight end behind starter Kyle Rudolph. Backup David Morgan is regarded as a better blocker than receiver.
The 6-foot-3 Conklin originally signed to play basketball at Division II Northwood before transferring to Central Michigan to play football.