The Vikings added to their offensive line multiple times in the 2019 NFL Draft, including in the sixth round when they tabbed tackle Olisaemeka Udoh out of Elon with the 193rd overall pick.
Udoh’s selection was the third pick by Minnesota in a four-pick span, thanks to a trade the previous night.
Udoh started all 45 games he played at right tackle for the Phoenix after redshirting in 2014. Udoh earned placement on the All-Colonial Athletic Association First Team in 2018.In the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft the Vikings selected Elon T Olisaemeka Udoh.
Udoh was one of the top scholar-athletes in North Carolina’s Cape Fear Region while attending Fayetteville’s Sanford High School. He stayed in-state to play football, redshirting his first season with the Phoenix. He grabbed the starting spot at right tackle in 2015 and never let go. Udoh started all 11 games in 2015 on the right side, all 11 games in 2016, and all 12 contests in 2017. He did not earn all-conference honors in any of those three seasons, but was a first-team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection in 2018 and recognized as an Academic All-Conference pick multiple times.
Elon University football’s offensive lineman Olisaemeka Udoh was selected Saturday, April 27, in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings to become the third Elon player selected in the draft in the program’s Division I tenure.
Udoh was selected with the 21st selection of the sixth round. He is the first Elon player to be taken higher than the seventh round since Jimmy Smith was selected in the fourth round of the 1984 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.Irv Smith Jr. has become the first Minnesota Vikings draft pick from the 2019 class to agree to his rookie deal, as reports surfaced on Thursday that the tight end has made his contract official ahead of the start of rookie camp in the Twin Cities this weekend. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report that the Vikings have agreed to sign the second-round pick to a contract, making him the highest selection to be inked by a team so far from the 2019 NFL Draft class. Smith was the No. 50 overall pick.
A handful of other draft picks have also agreed to sign their deals, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Sixth-round picks in offensive tackle Olisaemeka Udoh and defensive back Marcus Epps are also now under contract heading into the weekend.
“Smith may never be an elite tight end at the next level, but he is a safe bet to be a consistent and reliable one,” Vikings on 247Sports wrote in Smith’s player profile. “He is athletic enough to be a good chess piece in an offense and is rock solid as both a blocker and a pass catcher. He does not have a ton of playing experience, but remember that he is coming from a pro prospect factory at Alabama. His ceiling is not quite as high as the T.J. Hockenson or Noah Fant type players of this draft, but there is next to little risk in grabbing him to add to a football team. It was a bit of a shock when he was still on the board after the first five to ten picks of the second round and easily could have gone much higher, but the Vikings now have their No. 2 athletic tight end to Kyle Rudolph and probable successor to him at the position.
It started on the first night of the draft, where the Vikings proved some skeptical fans wrong when they took their biggest need of the draft and addressed it right off the bat with Garrett Bradbury, the draft’s best center prospect (who could also wind up at guard). The offense was again addressed on night two with tight end Irv Smith Jr. coming off the board in the second and running back Alexander Mattison being selected at the end of the third round after several trades back. They would open day three by taking another potential starting offensive lineman in Dru Samia out of Oklahoma. This was the first team in team history they spent the first four picks of their draft strictly on offensive players.
When Minnesota did not make the postseason after 2018, multiple assistants shifted to work roles on coaching staffs for the East-West Shrine Game. The coaches included Vikings assistant offensive line coach Andrew Janocko, who was the offensive coordinator for the East and worked directly with Udoh.
Joe Marino covered the week of practices for TheDraftNetwork.com and listed Udoh as one of the five “biggest winners” from Shrine game practices.