The Vikings drafted just one defensive lineman — former Gophers end Esezi Otomewo in the fifth round — which preceded general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah ponying up to add another during undrafted free agency.
Former Miami Hurricanes outside linebacker Zach McCloud got $250,000 guaranteed to sign with the Vikings, according to his agent Brett Tessler, as Minnesota needed to outbid other NFL teams by making the franchise's largest known commitment to an undrafted player before he steps onto a practice field.
McCloud, 24, is on the older end of prospects after playing six seasons in Miami as both an off-ball linebacker and edge rusher. McCloud (6-foot-2, 246 pounds) transitioned to pass rusher last season and instantly made an impact with 7.5 tackles for losses, 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 11 games.
He joins the Vikings' new-look edge defender group — as stand-up outside linebackers under coordinator Ed Donatell's 3-4 defensive front — also featuring Za'Darius Smith, Danielle Hunter and D.J. Wonnum.
The Vikings are giving McCloud a $25,000 signing bonus in addition to $225,000 guaranteed in base salary.
For comparison, McCloud's guarantees resemble those given to late fifth-round picks or early sixth-round picks. Last year, the Vikings selected tight end Zach Davidson in the middle of the fifth round (168th overall) and he got about $300,000 guaranteed.
Three years ago, the Vikings guaranteed $140,000 — believed to be the most among 2019 undrafted free agents — to land former Washington quarterback Jake Browning.
The Vikings agreed to terms with seven other undrafted free agents: Wake Forest edge rusher Luiji Vilain, Appalachian State receiver Thomas Hennigan, Tulane punter Ryan Wright, Toledo running back Bryant Koback, Tulsa defensive tackle Tyarise Stevenson, Sacred Heart center Josh Sokol and Miami (Ohio) safety Mike Brown.
Minnesota briefly had a commitment from Virginia Tech receiver Tre Turner, who reneged on the deal Saturday night to join the Raiders for more guaranteed money, according to a league source.