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Sleeper Vikings Draft Prospect: Northern Iowa DT Khristian Boyd

Boyd is a small-school standout who impressed at the Shrine Bowl.

The Vikings will host Northern Iowa defensive tackle Khristian Boyd for a pre-draft visit in April, according to KSTP's Darren Wolfson. Despite not being invited to the combine, he impressed at the Shrine Bowl a month ago and has some sleeper upside as a likely Day 3 pick.

The 6'4", 317-pound Boyd was a third team FCS All-American after recording 3.5 sacks and 6.5 total TFL in his final season at UNI. He's been lining up visits and getting NFL buzz since using his push-pull move to win a bunch of reps at the Shrine Bowl. 

Boyd's advanced numbers have been extremely impressive over the past two seasons. According to PFF, his 92.1 run defense grade since 2022 leads all interior defensive linemen in this year's draft class, and his 83.1 pass rush grade ranks sixth. He did that against lesser competition at the FCS level, but it's impressive nonetheless. By playing well at the Shrine Bowl, Boyd showed that he has the tools to compete against big-school offensive line prospects.

As an older prospect (he was at UNI for six years) from a small school, Boyd will almost certainly be a Day 3 pick. PFF ranks him as their No. 12 defensive tackle in this year's class. But he's someone to watch as a potentially valuable addition to a defense in the middle or later rounds. The Vikings will certainly be in the market for a DT in this year's draft, so it makes sense that they're looking into someone like Boyd.

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