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5 Things to Know about Vikings S Jayron Kearse

The Vikings selected safety Jayron Kearse 244th overall in the NFL Draft Saturday. Kearse started 29 of 40 games in 2015, totaling 209 tackles (159 solo), 12 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, seven interceptions and 15 pass breakups.

Here are five things to know about the Vikings newest safety:


1. Football family

If Kearse's name sounds familiar, it's because he's not the first of his family to make it to the NFL. His uncle is Jevon Kearse, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end who had a successful 10-season career playing for the Eagles and Titans. Kearse's cousin, Phillip Buchanon, was drafted 17th overall by the Raiders in 2002 and played for five teams.

2. Solid combine performance

Among other safeties at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Kearse placed fifth in the broad jump (10 feet, 4 inches), seventh in the 3-cone drill (7.06 seconds), tied for seventh in the bench press (16 reps) and placed 15th in the broad jump (31.5 inches).

3. From offense to defense

Kearse played primarily quarterback during three seasons at Cypress Lake High School. As a junior, he threw for 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns. Kearse then transferred schools – and positions – as a senior, playing safety, running back and wide receiver for South Fort Myers High School. He was not a full-time safety until his college career.

4. Joining a teammate

Kearse will be joining former Clemson teammate, cornerback Mackensie Alexander, whom the Vikings drafted 54th overall, in Minnesota. Both Florida natives, Kearse and Alexander competed against each other in high school before starting at Clemson in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

View images off Vikings 244th overall selection Clemson S Jayron Kearse.

5. Measuring up

At 6-foot-4 and 216 pounds, Kearse is a bigger-bodied safety, which meshes well with Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer's affinity for taller defensive backs.

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