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Vikings 7th Rounder Levi Drake Rodriquez Revealed as 2024's Prospect X

X marks the prospect?

The Athletic's Kalyn Kahler on Wednesday revealed Vikings seventh-round pick Levi Drake Rodriguez is also this year's "Prospect X."

Kahler first anonymously introduced Rodriguez in a feature for The Athletic that was published on April 23. She followed up Wednesday after Rodriguez was selected Saturday with the 232nd overall pick, relaying details from the scene in Texas where Rodriguez and his house were enveloped by family and friends.

Kahler detailed Rodriguez's "extreme eating" to gain weight — he was up to 306 — with help from three platefuls that included a double burger, a six-egg, three-meat skillet and a Nutella-and-banana crepe.

The aspiring interior defensive lineman explained, "300-plus looks way prettier than 290."

The story provides details of how Rodriguez worked his way up from a small NAIA school (Southwestern Assemblies of God University) where he played football and baseball to an opportunity at Texas A&M-Commerce, which is located about 75 minutes northeast of downtown Dallas.

This year, X is the reason to come to this hilly cow town. Fourteen NFL teams came for his pro day — a scout for one NFC team was mad when he saw the cars roll in that morning and even madder when he saw a college scouting director for another team arrive. This scout's team is sure they were the first in the NFL to discover X, and they hoped they might be able to keep him at least a little bit under the radar. Another scout from the same team was upset to hear I'd picked his player for this series.

Any hope that X would slide by the 18 teams not present that day went out the window when he demolished his workout, a strenuous gauntlet of footwork and pass-rush drills, and posted 40-yard dash, shuttle and 3-cone drill times that would have put him in the company of peers who were invited to the combine.

"He freaking dominated," his head coach says. "Smaller guys in his position were fatigued and struggling toward the end. He finished and he says, 'That's it?'"

X showed off active hands, speed and athleticism. After the workout, X's head coach says a veteran area scout for the geographically closest NFL team approached the coach and told him, "He got drafted today."

Kahler later revealed the scout watching the cars roll in was Vikings area scout Blaine Gramer, who covers Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. A cold call by Gramer in October to Texas A&M-Commerce provided the initial introduction.

Rodriguez's tape kept working the player up through the eyes in the Vikings organization.

By the Tropical Bowl all-star game, Rodriguez tipped the scales at 297. He won MVP honors at that game, prompting more attention — and all those rental cars — rolling in for the Texas A&M-Commerce Pro Day.

The Vikings interest reached the point where they hosted Rodriguez as one of their Top 30 prospect visits in April.

Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said Rodriguez "caught fire in this building, just a positive force of energy."

Gramer said Rodriguez did pass rush moves in the hallway and grabbed a new drink every time he walked by a cooler, setting a record for bathroom visits. He was amazed by all the resources and wanted to try everything.

Rodriguez was still on the board as the seventh round began, and Kahler noted a four-pick stretch that included two spots for Minnesota where Rodriguez's agent advised he might get selected.

Pick 229, Las Vegas Raiders … cornerback M.J. Devonshire

Pick 230, Minnesota Vikings … guard/center Michael Jurgens

Pick 231, New England Patriots … tight end Jaheim Bell

X received calls and texts throughout the day from different teams telling him they wanted him as a priority free agent if they weren't able to draft him — a clear sign they wouldn't be drafting him. But there was one team he hadn't heard from all week. Their scouts had been in touch with X and his agent regularly, but they'd fallen mysteriously silent. Now they were on the clock again.

X looked down and saw the missed call from the 952 area code. With his Bible in his right hand, he dialed with his left. The phone rang and rang and rang.

"Levi Drake," a voice on the other end said.

"Talk to me, talk to me," Levi said.

He scooted up to the very edge of the couch cushion and clutched [his girlfriend] Reese's arm, nervously rocking back and forth.

"Hey, you're going to be a Minnesota Viking, man," Adofo-Mensah said.

Levi leapt up and bellowed: "LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!"

View college action photos of every Vikings pick from the 2024 NFL Draft.

Prospect X History

This is the sixth time Kahler has published a Prospect X feature and second time for a player profiled as such has joined the Vikings.

In May 2021, linebacker Christian Elliss joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent. Elliss was waived by Minnesota that August and signed by the Eagles. He appeared in 19 games for Philadelphia and four last season for New England.

The other previous Prospect X players are the following:

2019: Tackle Drew Forbes (sixth-round pick by Cleveland out of Southeast Missouri State; appeared in 13 games for the Browns and Lions from 2019-22)

2020: Receiver Matt Cole (signed by Miami as undrafted free agent from McKendree University; appeared in a game with 49ers and a game with Panthers)

2022: Linebacker Devin Harper (sixth-round pick by Dallas out of Oklahoma State; has appeared in 12 games with the Cowboys and Bengals)

2023: Receiver David Durden (signed as an undrafted free agent out of West Florida; landed on Injured Reserve on Aug. 29, 2023)