Kentrell Brothers sure played big for an undersized guy who literally falls short of the NFL’s desired dimensions.
Standing only 6 feet, 245 pounds and running a 4.82 40-yard dash, Brothers lasted until the fifth round despite leading the nation in tackles per game (12.7) in the SEC at Missouri. The Vikings grabbed him with the 160th overall pick and view him as an immediate help on special teams, depth at middle linebacker and a candidate to start in 2017 if Eric Kendricks slides to the weak side once Chad Greenway retires.
“It’s hard not to like [Brothers] when you turn on the tape and he makes a lot of plays,” said Jamaal Stephenson, the Vikings’ director of college scouting. “I think he had over 150 tackles  and he doesn’t just do it on defense. He is a very good special teamer.”
He’s an optimist as well. Asked about the disadvantages of being short, Brothers laid out the advantages.
“A lot of people see that as a disadvantage, but I seem to have advantages in multiple ways,” Brothers said. “I’m able to stay low on long linemen, I’m able to hit low on running backs. I just don’t see that as a disadvantage, as a lot of other people do. I’ve worked well with it so far, and I think I can continue to do that with the Vikings.”
As a special teamer, he blocked three kicks last season. “Blocking field goals and blocking punts is really all determination,” Brothers said. “Being on field goal block is all heart.”
High on Beavers
The Vikings like Willie Beavers a whole lot more than Pro Football Focus does. The team picked the 6-4, 324-pounder 121st overall in the fourth round. PFF ranked him 226th out of 227 FBS tackles.
If you think the Vikings don’t give a darn, you’d be right. “He’s tough, he’s physical and we are trying to bring that mentality here,” Stephenson said. “The biggest thing I think for him is technique. He has good feet and is a good athlete. He is going to have to get stronger. He is a big man who can maul you.”
Beavers played left tackle in college, but the Vikings will try him at guard initially.
Vikings GM Rick Spielman said there are indications that with some work Beavers will be able to play left tackle as well, “because his two best games were against Ohio State and Michigan State when he played left tackle.”
Clemmings to the left
It was a quiet draft along the offensive line. After the team’s active free agency period, Beavers was the only lineman drafted. But coach Mike Zimmer did drop some news on SiriusXM radio when he said second-year tackle T.J. Clemmings will move from right tackle to left tackle, where he presumably will compete for the backup spot and push Matt Kalil.
Clemmings struggled all last season after a season-ending injury to Phil Loadholt forced him to start every game as a rookie.
• Spielman on the potential of 6-4, 229-pound receiver Moritz Boehringer, the uber-raw German Football Leaguer who ran a 4.43 40-yard dash and was selected by the Vikings in the sixth round: “He’s very intriguing. You can’t find that size, speed and athletic testing numbers he has.” Spielman also said, “Mentally, he’s off-the-charts smart.”
• Spielman teased coach Mike Zimmer for going on NFL Network and talking about Boehringer, saying the draft was “about making people’s dreams come true.” “I told Zim, ‘You sound like a Disney advertisement.’ ”
• Spielman said the Vikings selected Texas-San Antonio’s David Morgan in the sixth round because “he was the best blocking tight end in the draft,” and the team isn’t sure how long Rhett Ellison will be sidelined with a serious knee injury.