EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings drafting of Moritz Boehringer on Saturday provided a historic moment.
The German-born receiver became the first player to be drafted into the NFL directly from a Europe with no American college football experience.
Boehringer first became introduced to American football by watching YouTube videos of Adrian Peterson run through NFL defenses. Fast forward about five years, and video highlights helped Boehringer land on the radar of NFL teams.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman detailed the process of finding Boehringer Saturday after the draft.
Emotions ran high for Boehringer, who was in Chicago when he learned he was getting drafted by his favorite team.
It is only the first chapter of a fairy tale in which Boehringer has gone from playing 2013-14 with the Crailsheim Titans and 2015 with the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns to an opportunity at the sport's highest level with a team featuring a Gjallarhorn.
How will his game translate? Vikings.com asked ESPN draft gurus Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, Jr., on Monday during their post-draft conference call. Below are their thoughts on Boehringer's story so far and what the next chapters could include:
*"It's an awesome story … Mel and I watched the tape of him on my phone, the video of the YouTube stuff that was sent to us and just watching him dominate. I said it on air, it looked like watching bad high school football in Florida. The lack of competition made it so hard to even translate what we were seeing to the game he's going to go play, but big, fast, explosive numbers." *
McShay explained that he received a call from a friend of his who is a scout in the NFL about two or three weeks before the draft.
The friend said, "Do you know this Moritz Boehringer guy?"
McShay answered, "I've never heard the name before in my life."
The friend replied, "Well, you better get your information down on him because he's getting drafted."
McShay said interest from teams grew from watching the highlights and from what scouts saw in person at Florida Atlantic's Pro Day, where Boehringer also worked out for teams.
*"[The friend was] not from the Vikings, so there's several teams, from my understanding that were planning on drafting him from that point, somewhere in that late sixth, seventh round, and it will be interesting to see if they can develop him. *
"The sixth, seventh round, it's special teams you want. There's certain types [of players], and you want guys you can develop because their upside is so great. I think for Boehringer, practice squad, whatever it is, get him in there, get him a year in the background where he doesn't have to compete at all and do anything contribution-wise on the field and see if he's picking things up quickly enough and if he can handle when he's out there in individual drills."
Mel Kiper, Jr.
Kiper said the discrepancy between Boehringer and defenders on the film made the 6-foot-4, 229-pounder look like "a man among boys at that level." Kiper, however, believes it could take time for Boehringer to transition.
*"When you watch the footage of Boehringer at that level, it was definitely, he was flying by guys like they were standing still. You can't judge much by that, except to say he's an elite talent, can he ever be an NFL player? Talent-wise, he's remarkable, but can he be an NFL football player? Who knows? He needs a minimum of two years, a minimum of two to get him ready, I believe, so he's going to have to be hidden away somehow, which is hard to do these days and see where he is. *
"He can't be a factor right away. It's unrealistic. He's the ultimate project and the only reason he was drafted out of that low, low, low level of competition was because his workout numbers and the way he dominated that level is pretty much off the charts."
Boehringer, his draft classmates, undrafted rookie free agents and others are scheduled to participate in a three-day minicamp starting Friday.