When the Vikings kick off their rookie minicamp at TCO Performance Center on Friday, it won't just be their 11 draft picks and 11 undrafted free agents in attendance. There will be several others invited on a tryout basis, and we know one of them: offensive tackle Evin Ksiezarczyk (Ki-ZAR-zack).
After a standout career at the University of Buffalo that featured 39 straight starts at left tackle from 2017-19 and a First Team All-MAC nod as a senior, Ksiezarczyk went undrafted last year. He was scooped up by the Falcons as a UDFA but was waived in final roster cuts, possibly due to being injured during parts of training camp. He then had a tryout with the Packers but most recently played in The Spring League, a developmental league with eight teams.
Last year was a strange time for undrafted rookies trying to get tryouts and stick on rosters because of the COVID-19 protocols and everything surrounding them. Now Ksiezarczyk gets another shot to impress and will be looking to earn a roster spot in Minnesota.
Ksiezarczyk has good size at 6'6", 310 pounds and is a solid athlete as well. His ten-second split in the 40 and his three-cone time stand out.
Here's what The Athletic's draft expert Dane Brugler had to say about Ksiezarczyk in his 2020 draft guide when he ranked him as the No. 30 offensive tackle in the class:
Ksiezarczyk stays square in his pass sets with the efficient footwork to mirror mid-kick slide. However, he plays too narrow, which leads to inconsistent body angles, especially when climbing to the second level. He is more of a pusher than a latch-and-control drive blocker in the run game, falling off balance and allowing defenders to wriggle free. Overall, Ksiezarczyk has next-level smarts and good-enough lower body movements, but he needs to be more forceful with his upper half, specifically his hands, to have any shot of making an NFL roster.
Helping Ksiezarczyk's case is the fact that the Vikings didn't add any offensive linemen as late-round picks or UDFAs after drafting Christian Darrisaw and Wyatt Davis. He'll need to put together a strong weekend of minicamp to show Minnesota's coaches that he's worth adding to the roster to compete with depth tackles like Oli Udoh and Blake Brandel this offseason.
The Vikings' roster is currently at 83 of a possible 90 players, so there's room for a tryout player to potentially earn a spot this weekend.
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