EAGAN, Minn. – Josh Metellus is swapping his Maize and Blue for Purple and Gold.
Metellus played in 47 games for the Wolverines, making 38 starts. He received First-Team All-Big Ten honors from the Associated Press in 2018.
In 13 starts last season, Metellus recorded 74 tackles, including 4.0 for loss. He also snagged two interceptions and added five passes defensed and a fumble recovery.
Metellus was one of two safeties Minnesota drafted, joining Mississippi State's Brian Cole II, whom the Vikings selected in the seventh round.
Here are five things to know about the Vikings new safety:
1. Versatility is key
Metellus made 37 of his 38 starts at safety, but it's far from the only position he played.
While at Michigan, he lined up at outside linebacker, both safety spots, outside corner and in the slot.
Metellus spoke with Twin Cities media members after being drafted and emphasized the value of being able to move around in a defense.
"At the end of the day, I just want to be able to get on the field," he said. "That's the biggest thing – I'll be able to come in and do whatever the coaches ask."
2. Comfortable in coverages
Metellus has assured media members and teams alike that, although Michigan played almost exclusively man coverage, he is equally comfortable playing zone.
He explained at the NFL Scouting Combine why he believes his experience in the Wolverines defense helped prepare him for the pros.
"I feel like as a safety, if you're able to cover man-to-man, it really helps you," Metellus said during his podium session. "[Michigan Defensive Coordinator Don Brown] put us in a spot to show we can cover man-to-man, so I feel like that'll really transfer to the next level."
He said that some teams seemed surprised at his knowledge of both coverages during his interviews with them.
"Because we didn't run a lot of zone at Michigan … they assume I won't know them," Metellus said. "And I'll tell them, and they'll look at me like, 'I thought you didn't play this?' I didn't, but I played this in high school.
"I just love football, and I know football," he added.
3. Combine top performer
Metellus finished in the top 10 of his position group in a handful of timing-and-testing drills at the combine in February.
He demonstrated his strength in the bench press with 20 reps of 225 pounds, which tied for fourth-most among safeties. In the vertical jump, his performance of 36.5 inches ranked sixth, and he tied for 10th in the broad jump with a mark of 10 feet, 4 inches.
Metellus' time in the 40-yard dash fell just outside the top 10 among safeties; he came in 11th, clocking in at 4.55 seconds.
View the sketch of Vikings draft pick S Josh Metellus who was transformed into a caricature by local artist Erik Roadfeldt.
4. One of 10
Metellus was one of 10 Wolverines drafted this year, with eight of those picks occurring on Day 3.
He was the ninth Michigan player off the board, following the Packers selection of guard Jon Runyan, Jr., from the 192nd overall spot.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic wrote the following of Metellus in his breakdown of the Wolverines class:
Metellus looks like a guy who'll play in the NFL, either as a special-teamer or a safety. That's a spot where the Vikings could use some depth, so he'll have a good shot to make the roster as a rookie._Metellus might not have the high-end athletic traits that will earn him a starting role in camp, but if he gets into an NFL game, he might not give the job back, showing the toughness required for downhill work and just enough range on the back end.
View images of Vikings new S Josh Metellus from his days at Michigan.
5. Fellow Floridian
A native of Pembroke Pines, Florida, Metellus is one of seven Vikings on the 2020 roster who grew up in the Sunshine State.
Pembroke Pines is just 24 miles outside of Miami, the hometown of Vikings running back Dalvin Coook and rookie cornerback Nevelle Clarke, whom Minnesota signed as an undrafted free agent.
Metellus also joins fellow Floridians Mike Boone (Macclenny), Rashod Hill (Jacksonville), Jake Bargas (Boca Raton) and Tony Brooks-James (Gainesville).