67 Days Until Vikings Football: Meet UDFA Lineman Brady Aiello
As we count down the days until the Vikings' opener against the Packers on September 13th, InsideTheVikings will be previewing every single player on the roster. The amount of days remaining corresponds with the jersey number of the player being examined on that day. Today is July 8th, and there are 67 days until kickoff for the 2020 regular season. Our next player preview looks at an undrafted lineman from a powerhouse program.
Countdown to Vikings-Packers on September 13th: 67 Days
Player Preview: Brady Aiello (No. 67, Guard/Tackle)
- College: Oregon
- Drafted: UDFA
- NFL experience: N/A
- Age: 23 (Birthday was in July)
- Size: 6'7", 311
- 2019 PFF Grade: N/A
As part of their ongoing effort to find answers on the offensive line, the Vikings brought in six rookie linemen in April. The most notable, of course, was second-round pick Ezra Cleveland, who is the team's left tackle of the future. But Rick Spielman and company also used late-round picks on Blake Brandel and Kyle Hinton, and then added three more OL prospects as college free agents: Jake Lacina, Tyler Higby, and Brady Aiello. The more depth the Vikings can accumulate on the offensive line, the better their chances of finding players who can emerge as key contributors.
Aiello's backstory is interesting because he wasn't even a full-time starter last season, yet the Vikings still thought highly enough of his potential to give him $45,000 guaranteed. That was the fourth-most guaranteed money among their 12 UDFAs signings. The reason why Aiello wasn't a full-time starter was that he played on the best offensive line in the nation at Oregon. Two of their five starters (Shane Lemieux and Jake Hanson) were drafted this year, another one (Calvin Throckmorton) was signed as a UDFA, and left tackle Penei Sewell is a surefire top-five pick in 2021.
A native of Lafayette, CA, Aiello was a three-star recruit who chose the Ducks over Washington State and others. After redshirting in 2015, he played in 47 games over the next four years, starting 25 of them. Of those 25 starts, 12 came at right tackle, 11 were at left tackle, and two were at right guard. Aiello saw the most playing time of his career as a redshirt freshman, when he started ten games at left tackle.
Last fall, Aiello had a career highlight in Oregon's home opener. Late in the second quarter of a 77-6 win over Nevada, Aiello – who had switched his number from 66 to 82 for the game – caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Justin Herbert. It was his first and only reception in his four-year career.
Somehow, Aiello is just one of three current Vikings offensive linemen who scored a touchdown in college.
In the NFL, Aiello probably profiles better as a guard than tackle. Despite being tied with Brian O'Neill and Brandel as the tallest player on the 90-man roster at 6'7", he has fairly short arms and isn't a particularly dynamic athlete. Given how much guaranteed money the Vikings gave Aiello, I'd imagine he has a decent shot to stick around on the practice squad in 2020.
Previous OL player previews:
- No. 78: Dakota Dozier
- No. 76: Aviante Collins
- No. 75: Brian O'Neill
- No. 74: Oli Udoh
- No. 73: Dru Samia
- No. 72: Ezra Cleveland
- No. 71: Riley Reiff
- No. 69: Rashod Hill
- No. 68: Kyle Hinton
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