EDEN PRARIE, Minn. —A handful of strong impressions helped Michigan linebacker Ben Gedeon land with the Vikings.
Minnesota tabbed Gedeon with the 120th overall pick on Saturday in the fourth round after meeting with him multiple times over the past few months.
"I talked to (Vikings Head) Coach (Mike) Zimmer at the Senior Bowl. I talked to him a good amount there," Gedeon said in a call with Twin Cities media members. "And then again at the combine, so I was able to talk to him twice."
Gedeon was one of the top-performing linebackers at the combine.
He had the most reps on the bench press (27 reps of 225 pounds) and tied for the quickest time in the 20-yard shuttle (4.13 seconds). He had the third-fastest time in the 60-yard shuttle (11.58 seconds).
"I think it was really important, especially the on-field athletic stuff," Gedeon said. "I think a lot of teams pegged me as a guy who wasn't too athletic, so I was able to go out and prove my athleticism.
"I think it definitely helped me out," Gedeon added.
Gedeon was also a standout at Michigan, where he started all 13 games at inside linebacker during his senior year. He posted a career-best 106 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and two pass breakups.
He was a Second-Team All-Big Ten by the media and a Third-Team All-Big Ten by the coaches.
Gedeon, who was named Michigan's top linebacker in 2016, said he's able to play any linebacker spot. He also played on special teams.
"I think he can probably play either (inside or outside)," Zimmer said. "I like the way he plays, I like the way he's physical at the point of attack, very instinctive.
"Our linebackers all kind of have to play all the different spots," Zimmer added. "If we have to move some guys around, we will.
Said Gedeon: "I played inside for a couple years, but I also played some outside at Michigan. I feel comfortable at any of the spots in a four-down defense."
Gedeon, who has a degree in economics, was an Academic All-Big Ten Conference selection in 2016.
He appeared in 51 career games for the Wolverines, racking up 176 career tackles (80 solo) with 6.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss.
Gedeon comes from a football family as his older brother, Alex, was Harvard's team captain. Another older brother, Sam, played sprint football at the Naval Academy.
Gedeon said he FaceTimed with Sam, who is in the Navy, when he was selected.