Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Presented by

5 Things to Know About Vikings 6th-Round Draft Pick Walter Rouse

EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings used their fourth pick of the 2024 NFL Draft to select Walter Rouse.

Minnesota tabbed the Oklahoma tackle 177th overall; he was the first of two offensive linemen drafted by the Vikings, preceding Michael Jurgens (230th).

Most recently, Rouse started all 13 games for the Sooners last season. All but one of his 3,410 career snaps were at left tackle.

He started his collegiate career at Stanford, however, starting 39 of 40 games from 2019-22. In his final season with the Cardinals, he lined up at left tackle for 10 of his 12 starts and was flagged for only one penalty.

Vikings Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Ryan Grigson recently told "Voice of the Vikings" Paul Allen he first noticed Rouse at the East-West Shrine Bowl.

"He was one of the first guys who popped, really, just because he's so big and he has [good] feet. He wasn't perfect, but there's a lot to work with – a lot of tools that [Vikings offensive line coach Chris Kuper] can work with. And [Vikings General Manager] Kwesi [Adofo-Mensah] really liked him, Kup' really liked him, I liked him, and the scouts liked him. There was collective buy-in on him.

"I think he bends [well]. He doesn't get knocked backwards. That's one. Two of his highest traits were his feet and the ability to not get knocked back by power," Grigson added. "I think there's even a chance he could play guard at some point, but right now, I think he's a guy who could, in a year, be a really good tackle. So it's nice to get him in the fray."

Here are five things to know about the Vikings new tackle:

  1. Did someone say biomechanical engineering?

Rouse isn't just talented on the football field.

The 6-foot-6 tackle also has shined academically, earning a degree in biomechanical engineering from Stanford and being named a First-Team Academic All-American.

Rouse also attended the Perelman School of Medicine Medical and Surgical program at University of Pennsylvania, as well as participated in the Physician Scientist Training program at SMU.

Rouse received the 2022 Tommy Vardell Award, which recognizes a Stanford junior or senior "who best epitomizes excellence in both academics and athletics."

"Whenever I'm done with football, I still plan on pursuing all those things," Rouse told Twin Cities media members after being drafted.

  1. Athletic genes

Rouse is named after his grandfather, Walter Victor Rouse, who shined on the basketball court at Loyola University of Chicago. In the 1963 NCAA Championship Game, he made the game-winning shot in overtime to defeat Cincinnati.

  1. Eagle Scout

Rouse found an interest in Boy Scouts growing up, and in 2017 he achieved the highest possible ranking of Eagle Scout.

The rank of Eagle Scout may be earned by a Scout who has been a Life Scout for at least six months, has earned a minimum of 21 merit badges, has demonstrated Scout Spirit and has demonstrated leadership within their troop, crew or ship.

According to a 2018 Cardinal Sports Report story, Rouse has "spent weeks at a time camping on his own."

  1. Surrounded by Secret Service

Rouse attended Sidwell Friends, a private school in Washington, D.C., from which he graduated with Sasha Obama.

He was asked during a virtual media session what it was like to attend school with President Obama's daughter and be surrounded by Secret Service agents.

"It's an adjustment," Rouse said. "But you get used to it. Before long it's just like, OK they're just a part of your daily life. Sasha had about two Secret Servicemen follow her around where she went.

"You've got bomb-sniffing dogs every now and then coming out. It became normal for us," Rouse continued. "I mean, it did come with its perks. You know, we did go on a class trip to China or Beijing and some of us went, Sasha was one of them. We had a whole hotel for it to ourselves, ate by ourselves, we had early access to these things. […] They're very nice, you even got to know some of them as well, so after a while, it just became everyday life."

  1. Impacted by his father

Rouse has credited several family members with playing an influential role in his life and helping him to get to where he is now.

Among those are his mom, Hillary, and his father, Victor, who sadly passed away in 2019.

Rouse explained a close father-son bond, sharing that Victor had introduced him to comic books and superheroes when Rouse struggled with reading at a young age.

"We started reading comic books together to really improve my reading, and it did. The first one was Spider-Man. And that was, you know, really the first time we truly bonded when I was younger," Rouse said. "And from then on, whether it came to basketball or something else, our relationship just grew more and more and more."

According to Rouse, his father was his biggest supporter.

"Regardless of if I was the worst player on the basketball team or what not, he would tell the world on Facebook, his friends, his fraternity brothers, that his son's going to be the best player here," Rouse said with a smile. "He could go on and on about me. I wish he could see this moment, me getting drafted because I know he wouldn't know what to do with himself.

"He still impacts me to this day. I know he's looking down on me right now, talking with you guys, just proud," Rouse added. "I know he's telling everyone up there, 'Look at my son, look at him, just got drafted, look at him go.' "