The Minnesota Vikings wasted no time filling a roster spot after an unexpected retirement, signing a homegrown wide receiver to the 90-man training camp roster on Thursday.
The Draft Network’s Ryan Fowler reported on June 1 that the Vikings have agreed to terms with North Dakota wide receiver Garett Maag, a native of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.
“6’4″ pass catcher out of North Dakota had a workout with the team this afternoon, and after going undrafted, now gets an opportunity to earn a roster spot,” Fowler added.
Maag fills a roster spot left vacant by the unexpected retirement of tight end Ben Ellefson, which the 26-year-old announced on Thursday. An undrafted rookie, Maag also attended rookie minicamps for the Philadelphia Eagles and and New York Giants.
Maag’s length and impressive 40.5-inch vertical makes him an intriguing red-zone prospect. He will have an uphill battle to make the final roster given the amount of talent ahead of him.
North Dakota WR Garett Maag Deemed a Sleeper
Attending St. Croix Lutheran High School in West St. Paul, Maag helped the Crusaders make two Class 3A state championship game appearances before moving on to Grand Forks.
A four-year starter and team captain, Maag posted 162 receptions for 2,152 and 18 touchdowns.
Fowler deemed Maag a Day 3 sleeper in the draft after his pro day where he posted what would have been the third-highest vertical (40.5 inches) among wide receivers at the combine.
In an interview with Draft Diamonds, Maag revealed he’s well aware of his strengths, naming the post and fade routes as his favorite to run as a deep threat. He added that if he could meet any NFL wide receiver, he’d want to meet Calvin Johnson and Adam Thielen to gleam what he could from their differing skill sets.
“I think they are some of the best WRs in the league but both having different skill sets,” Maag said. “Definitely would want to learn from both of them.”
Vikings Pass-Catchers Ranked 7th in the NFL
The Vikings pass-catching core will look different this season without Adam Thielen, however, the team remedied the veteran’s departure by drafting Jordan Addison in the first round.
That move is the biggest shake-up for the core that is otherwise intact from the end of last season.
Lineups.com’s Jacob Wayne ranked the Vikings pass-catching core as the No. 7 group in the NFL.
At a certain point, you run out of superlatives to describe a player like Justin Jefferson. Still just 23 years old, the LSU product is coming off a career high 135 catches for 1,857 yards in his first year with head coach Kevin O’Connell. Jefferson also had more touchdowns (8) than drops (7) last year and was second in the NFL with 2.55 yards per route run.
The Vikings bid farewell to Adam Thielen this offseason, leaving them with a need at wide receiver. Jordan Addison, a rookie first rounder out of USC, will step in and be an immediate contributor with his polished route running and smooth open-field running. K.J. Osborn offers sure hands and high upside as an ascending talent.
Minnesota traded for T.J. Hockenson last season, and he ranked second in the NFL with 1,043 receiving yards last year. He fills an important role as a reliable outlet option for Kirk Cousins. Free agency signing Josh Oliver offers the team flexibility if they want to play 12 personnel this season.