EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings added to their offensive line multiple times in the 2019 NFL Draft, including in the sixth round when they tabbed tackle Olisaemeka Udoh out of Elon with the 193rd overall pick.
Udoh’s selection was the third pick by Minnesota in a four-pick span, thanks to a trade the previous night.
Udoh started all 45 games he played at right tackle for the Phoenix after redshirting in 2014. Udoh earned placement on the All-Colonial Athletic Association First Team in 2018.
Here are five things to know about Udoh:
1. Body type
One can’t help but notice Udoh’s physical size in the list of his dimensions or when reviewing game film that shows him dwarfing multiple collegiate opponents.
Udoh is 6-foot-5 and listed by the Vikings at 323 pounds.
His arms were measured at 35 3/8 inches, just under a yard, and his hands are 10 inches (size 4X gloves).
Udoh told The Athletic’s Greg Auman that he “got up to 384” at Elon but upped his workout regimen and enforced disciplined decisions when it came to late-night snacks. Udoh said he could feel a difference in improved movements.
2. College All-Star Games
The Vikings and the 31 other NFL teams make sure to hit up the College All-Star game circuit during their draft preparations.
When Minnesota did not make the postseason after 2018, multiple assistants shifted to work roles on coaching staffs for the East-West Shrine Game. The coaches included Vikings assistant offensive line coach Andrew Janocko, who was the offensive coordinator for the East and worked directly with Udoh.
Joe Marino covered the week of practices for TheDraftNetwork.com and listed Udoh as one of the five “biggest winners” from Shrine game practices.
Udoh was able to parlay his week in St. Petersburg, Florida, into an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, the following week.
The Senior Bowl announced after last week’s draft that 100 percent of the 93 participants are on NFL rosters.
View photos of Vikings new T Olisaemeka Udoh from Elon who was selected in the sixth round.
3. Important switch
Udoh played primarily on the defensive line at Sanford High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, before trying offensive line as a senior.
4. Hitting the books
An honor roll student and NCHSAA student-athlete honoree, Udoh chose Elon among a handful of offers because of the combination of athletics and academics.
He studied exercise science with a minor in biology and was named to the CAA Football Academic All-Conference Team in 2015 and 2016.
5. Family heritage
Udoh and his three siblings are the children of Nigerian immigrants, Benjamin and Rita Udoh.
Benjamin is a doctor who runs the Hanora Medical Center, a name derived to honor Olisaemeka’s grandparents (Harold and Nora). Olisaemeka’s mother is a registered nurse, and his sister plays college basketball for Wake Forest.
Udoh is one of five players on the Vikings roster — and two selected in 2019 (receiver Olabisi Johnson) — who are of Nigerian descent. Brothers Ifeadi and Tito Odenigbo, and 2018 draft pick Ade Aruna are the other three.