EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings added to their safety group over the weekend through the NFL Draft.
Wyoming Marcus Epps, who was selected from the 191st overall spot, became the second of three sixth-round picks drafted by the Vikings.
Epps went from walk-on to three-time team captain for the Cowboys. Over four seasons (following a redshirt in 2014), he racked up 325 tackles (215 solo), nine interceptions returned for 211 yards and a touchdown, 2.0 sacks, 19.5 tackles for loss and 22 passes broken up.
Epps recorded two interceptions, including a pick-six, against Eastern Michigan in 2016.
Here are five things to know about Epps:
1. Pro Day standout
While Epps was not an NFL Scouting Combine invitee, he made the most of his performance at Wyoming’s Pro Day in early March.
According to Davis Potter of the Casper Star Tribune, Epps recorded a 38.5-inch vertical jump and leapt 10 feet, 4 inches in the broad jump. He clocked in at 4.06 in the 20-yard shuttle and “was clocked at 4.52 seconds and 4.54 seconds” in the 40-yard dash, despite fighting cramps.
Epps’ 20-yard shuttle time would have been good enough for third among safeties at the combine.
2. Dad mode
Epps has a son, 2-year-old Braxton, whom he said has changed his perspective on a career in football.
“You go from more of just thinking about taking care of yourself to taking care of another human. It’s definitely been different but it’s been a beautiful thing as well, just watching him grow,” Epps told Twin Cities media members during a conference call soon after being drafted. “He loves going to the [Cowboys] facility. All my teammates love him, and he loves to play with all of them.”
An article by Robert Gagliardi said that Epps “has brought Braxton to team breakfasts and other functions, and once there, it is like there are 100 uncles there for his son.”
View photos of Vikings new S Marcus Epps from Wyoming who was selected in the sixth round.
3. From a Cowboy to a Viking
Epps becomes just the fourth player to ever be drafted from the University of Wyoming. He is the third-highest Cowboy selected by Minnesota behind defensive back Chuck Lamson, whom the Vikings drafted 43rd overall in their inaugural 1961 season, and linebacker Patrick Chukwurah the 157th overall pick in 2007. Minnesota also drafted defensive end Craig Schlichting in 1990 with the 214th spot.
To date, 46 Wyoming players have been drafted, the highest being quarterback Josh Allen, snagged seventh overall by the Bills in 2018.
4. Netting NFL shout-outs
Epps received a Twitter shout-out from former teammate Allen after being drafted Saturday.
He also felt the love from 49ers linebacker and fellow Wyoming alum Mark Nzeocha, who tweeted the following:
5. Sharing a name
Epps shares a name with Major League Soccer winger Marcus Epps, who plays for the New York Red Bulls. The athletes are almost exactly one year apart, with the Vikings draft pick being the younger of the two.