Vikings Roster Countdown: No. 49 Jordan Fehr to No. 44 Josh Metellus

Will Ragatz

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. So far we've done individual articles for nearly every player, but after a brief hiatus, it's time to get caught up again. Let's run through Nos. 49 to 44, which happens to consist of some young linebackers and safeties.

No. 49: Jordan Fehr (Linebacker)

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  • College: Appalachian State
  • Drafted: 2020 UDFA
  • NFL experience: N/A
  • Age: 22
  • Size: 6'3", 230
  • 2019 stats (NCAA): 107 tackles, 8 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT, 3 PD, 1 FR
  • Career stats (NCAA): 207 tackles, 16.5 TFL, 8 sacks, 2 INT, 5 PD, 2 FR

Fehr is one of the more interesting UDFAs signed by the Vikings after the draft, simply because of his ridiculous athleticism. The former two-star recruit was a two-year starter for the Mountaineers, racking up 191 tackles, eight sacks, and two picks across 2018 and 2019. He was named to Bruce Feldman's 2019 "Freaks" list because he's been measured with a 4.45 40, a 40.5-inch vertical jump, and a bench press max of 415 pounds. That athleticism gives him a lot of upside as a versatile linebacker if he can continue developing. However, the fact that the Vikings didn't need any guaranteed money to sign him is somewhat concerning for his chances of making the team. Because of the team's linebacker depth, he could be an unfortunate candidate for a pre-camp cut.

2020 outlook: Potential practice squad player

No. 48: Blake Lynch (Linebacker)

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  • College: Baylor
  • Drafted: 2020 UDFA
  • NFL experience: N/A
  • Age: 23
  • Size: 6'3", 225
  • 2019 stats (NCAA): 68 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 INT, 2 PD
  • Career defensive stats (NCAA): 136 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 3 INT, 9 PD, 3 FR, 1 FF
  • Career offensive stats (NCAA): 51 catches, 673 yards, 79 rushing yards, 4 TDs

Lynch is the other UDFA linebacker picked up by the Vikings this year, and he's even more fascinating than Fehr. During his career at Baylor, Lynch spent time at running back, wide receiver, cornerback, safety, and linebacker. Out of high school, he was a four-star wide receiver prospect who even had an offer from Clemson. Lynch caught 34 passes for 404 yards and 3 TDs – and ran 12 times for 80 yards – as a redshirt freshman, and then split time between WR and cornerback as a sophomore. He moved to defense full-time in 2018, playing mostly linebacker but also making a few appearances at safety. As a full-time linebacker in 2019, he was all over the stat sheet for a great Baylor team. Lynch's athletic upside is quite intriguing, but like Fehr, he faces an uphill battle to make the Vikings given their linebacker depth.

2020 outlook: Potential practice squad player

No. 47: DeMarquis Gates (Linebacker)

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  • College: Ole Miss
  • Drafted: 2018 UDFA
  • NFL experience: Two brief stints on rosters, no training camps
  • Age: 24
  • Size: 6'2", 221
  • 2019 stats (XFL): 32 tackles, 3 PD, 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF

This is the third NFL roster that Gates has been on, and he's hoping his latest stay in the league lasts longer than the previous two. After a strong four-year career at Ole Miss, the Georgia native has been all over the place in professional football. He spent a few weeks with the Browns, then played for the Memphis Express in the AAF. Gates was leading that league in tackles and forced fumbles when it folded after eight games. After the league shut down, he was signed by Washington and spent a couple months there before being waived. Gates then played at a high level for the Houston Roughnecks of the XFL, which unfortunately had its season derailed by COVID-19. The Vikings picked him up in March. He has great instincts as a run defender but needs to show he's a reliable tackler who can cover NFL athletes.

2020 outlook: Competing for fifth linebacker spot, potential practice squad candidate

No. 46: Myles Dorn (Safety)

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  • College: North Carolina
  • Drafted: 2020 UDFA
  • NFL experience: N/A
  • Age: 22
  • Size: 6'2", 205
  • 2019 stats (NCAA): 83 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 2 INT, 6 PD
  • Career stats (NCAA): 240 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 6 INT, 13 PD, 2 FR, 1 FF

What makes Dorn noteworthy is the fact that he might have the clearest path to a roster spot of any Vikings UDFA. After Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris, the Vikings have zero proven depth at safety due to the departures of Andrew Sendejo and Jayron Kearse. The Vikings drafted two safeties (Josh Metellus and Brian Cole II) in the late rounds, but Dorn could've easily been a sixth or seventh-round pick as well. He'll have every opportunity to compete with those players for the team's No. 3 safety job. Dorn was a wide receiver prospect out of high school, and his offensive background helped him record multiple interceptions in three straight seasons. He's also a strong tackler with good overall instincts for the positions. Dorn will have to answer questions about his athleticism and his health (he missed a chunk of his junior season with a knee injury that required multiple surgeries) at training camp. 

2020 outlook: Competing for a roster spot as a backup safety and special teamer

No. 45: Troy Dye (Linebacker)

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  • College: Oregon
  • Drafted: 2020 fourth round (132nd overall)
  • NFL experience: N/A
  • Age: 23
  • Size: 6'3", 231
  • 2019 stats (NCAA): 84 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 2 INT, 4 PD, 2 FF
  • Career stats (NCAA): 391 tackles, 41.5 TFL, 13 sacks, 5 INT, 14 PD, 1 FR, 4 FF

Troy Dye was once seen as a potential first-round pick, so the Vikings may have gotten excellent value by landing him in the fourth round. A safety recruit out of high school, Dye moved to linebacker at Oregon and had an incredibly productive career, leading the Ducks in tackles in each of his four years. He's a great athlete who can make plays downhill against the run and also has the speed to run with pass-catchers in coverage. Dye still kind of plays like a safety, and there are questions about his size and strength at the NFL level. If he adds a little weight to his frame and keeps developing, he could turn into a steal for the Vikings.

2020 outlook: Lock to make roster, will likely start as No. 4 LB and play special teams 

No. 44: Josh Metellus (Safety)

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  • College: Michigan
  • Drafted: 2020 sixth round (205th overall)
  • NFL experience: N/A
  • Age: 22
  • Size: 5'11", 209
  • 2019 stats (NCAA): 74 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 INT, 5 PD, 1 FR
  • Career stats (NCAA): 186 tackles, 9 TFL, 1 sack, 5 INT, 14 PD, 1 FR, 1 FF

Just like with Dorn, Metellus is entering a wide-open competition for the Vikings' No. 3 safety role. As a sixth-round pick, he theoretically is the favorite to beat out Cole and Dorn for that job. There's a lot to like about his game; the Michigan product is an aggressive competitor who can deliver big hits and has the ball skills to make plays on the back end. He tested well at the combine, showing good strength, speed, and explosiveness, and has the versatility the Vikings want out of their safeties. Metellus is a bit undersized at 5'11", but makes up for that with good range and a lot of toughness. This quote from The Athletic draft analyst Dane Brugler is excellent: "Overall, Metellus might not have the high-end athletic traits that will earn him a starting role in camp, but if he gets into an NFL game, he might not give the job back, showing the toughness required for downhill work and just enough range on the back end."

2020 outlook: Competing for No. 3 safety job, should make 53-man roster

Check out all of our Vikings 2020 season preview content right here.

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