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McKinnon Listed in 51-60 Group of NFL.com's 101 Top Potential Free Agents

Posted Mar 9, 2018

The Vikings.com 2018 Free Agency Primer series uses NFL.com’s Top 101 Free Agents list to break down this year’s class. We will count down the groups of players until March 14 when free agency is scheduled to open. 

The list was composed by Gregg Rosenthal and Chris Wesseling of NFL.com. Career stats are taken from NFL.com and/or pro-football-reference.com and apply to regular seasons, unless noted.

Note: The list may end up changing prior to free agency opening, but this breakdown is updated as of March 5.

Schedule

91-101: Monday, March 5
81-90: Tuesday, March 6
71-80: Wednesday, March 7
61-70: Thursday, March 8
51-60: Friday, March 9
41-50: Saturday, March 10
31-40: Sunday, March 11
21-30: Monday, March 12
11-20: Tuesday, March 13
1-10: Wednesday, March 14

In NFL.com’s fourth grouping of free agents, four are offensive skill position players. Included is running back Jerick McKinnon, who has been with the Vikings since being drafted 96th overall in 2014.

The other skill position players are Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and a pair of wide receivers: Arizona’s John Brown and Indianapolis’ Donte Moncrief, both of whom posted their best seasons in 2015.

Defensive players, including two defensive linemen and three defensive backs, make up the rest of the  group.  

51. WR John Brown, Cardinals   

56 career games; 27 starts; 173 career receptions for 2,515 yards (14.5 yards per reception) and 17 touchdowns

After four seasons in Arizona, Brown is slated to test the waters of free agency. The receiver had a breakout season in 2015 when he surpassed 1,000 yards through the air and caught seven touchdown passes. In the two seasons since, Brown has dealt with various injuries and had lower production.

52. LB Anthony Hitchens, Cowboys

60 career games; 48 starts; 312 tackles; 3.5 sacks; one interception; nine passes defensed; two forced fumbles

Hitchens played all 16 games in three straight seasons before missing four in 2017 due to an injury.

Even in a truncated season, the former Iowa standout tied his career-high tackles total (84) while playing middle linebacker and then moving to weakside linebacker in late November. Hitchens recorded 15 tackles in Dallas’ defeat of Washington.

53. RB Jerick McKinnon, Vikings

58 career games; 14 starts; 474 carries for 1,918 yards (4.0 yards per carry) and seven rushing touchdowns; 142 career receptions for 984 yards and five touchdowns

McKinnon has been a reliable second or third back for the Vikings over the past four seasons. After rookie Dalvin Cook suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 4 of 2017, McKinnon – along with Latavius Murray – shouldered a large load in Cook’s absence. He recorded a career-high 570 rushing yards and three touchdowns. A scat-back in style, McKinnon has demonstrated he can also catch the ball out of the backfield; in 2017, he tallied 421 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

54. DT Justin Ellis, Raiders

60 career games; 24 starts; 112 tackles; 0.5 sack; two passes defensed

Ellis’ production was modest throughout his first three pro seasons. He stood out on Oakland’s interior defensive line in 2017, however, and was graded as the No. 14 run-stopper among defensive tackles by analytics site Pro Football Focus.

55. CB Patrick Robinson, Eagles

97 career games; 57 starts; 300 tackles; 14 interceptions; one defensive touchdown; 2.0 sacks 77 passes defensed; two forced fumbles; one fumble recovery

After five seasons in New Orleans, Robinson has played for three teams in the past three seasons. The cornerback currently is with the Super Bowl-champion Eagles, for whom he had a career year. Robinson recorded 45 tackles (38 solo), four passes and 18 passes defensed in 16 games, including eight starts. He also returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown in the NFC Championship.

56. S Tre Boston, Chargers

58 career games; 31 starts; 183 tackles; eight interceptions; one defensive touchdown; 2.0 sacks; 19 passes defensed

Boston started 15 games for the first time in his career during the 2017 season, his first with the Chargers. He totaled 79 tackles (56 solo) and snagged an impressive five interceptions after having just three over his first three seasons with the Panthers.

57. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jets

38 career games; 24 starts; 105 career receptions for 1,070 yards (10.2 yards per reception) and 10 touchdowns

Seferian-Jenkins had a solid campaign with the Jets last season, making 50 catches for 357 yards and three touchdowns. After missing multiple games during his first three NFL seasons, he played 13 and started 10 in 2017.

58. WR Donte Moncrief, Colts

53 career games; 27 starts; 152 career receptions for 1,875 yards (12.3 yards per reception) and 18 touchdowns

After an impressive season with Andrew Luck in 2015, Moncrief’s production has declined over the past two seasons. The receiver finished 2017 with 391 yards receiving and just two touchdowns.

59. DE Adrian Clayborn, Falcons

81 career games; 50 starts; 167 tackles; 30 sacks; three passes defensed; seven forced fumbles; four fumble recoveries; two defensive touchdowns

Clayborn is scheduled to become a free agent after seven seasons in the NFC South. After spending the first four in Tampa Bay, he played the past three seasons with Atlanta. In 2017, Clayborn recorded a career-high 9.5 sacks in addition to two forced fumbles and an equal number of fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown.

60. CB Rashaan Melvin, Colts

37 career games; 21 starts; 138 tackles; three interceptions; 21 passes defensed; three forced fumbles; one fumble recovery

After bouncing around between teams in his first two seasons, Melvin found a home with the Colts for 2016 and 2017. He started all 10 games that he played in 2017 and recorded three interceptions after entering the season with zero on his resume.