The dust has settled and the Minnesota Vikings finally have full 53-man and practice squad rosters.
Sean Mannion made his return to Minnesota by signing onto the Vikings’ practice squad on Thursday morning. Ex-Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Trishton Jackson was also signed to the practice squad, while the Vikings swapped punter Briton Colquitt for former Pittsburgh Steelers punter Jordan Berry.
Jackson, a 2020 undrafted rookie, made the Rams’ roster a year ago but has yet to play an NFL snap. On the other hand, Berry brings a bounty of experience in his seventh NFL season.
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Berry’s six-year stint with the Steelers ended when the team cut him on August 31.
Berry is tied for first in franchise history in punts landed inside the 20-yard line (154) and fourth in most punts with a total of 385. The Melbourne, Australia, native did not miss a game during his first five seasons in the NFL, averaging 44.2 yards per punt on 328 punts. Berry played in 11 games last year and posted a career-best 45.8 yards per punt.
While Berry was punting the best he has in his career, he was rather mediocre compared to the rest of the league. He finished 16th in the NFL in yards per punt and ranked 10th in punts landing inside the 20-yard line with 23 punts. He ranked 12th in punts inside the 20-yard line percentage, pushing the defense deep in their own territory on 40% of his punts.
Berry was beat out by seventh-round rookie Pressley Harvin III, who has been a sensation at the position since college.
He replaces Briton Colquitt, who was signed and released on Thursday. Colquitt averaged 45.1 yards per punt last year but was dead last in inside-20 percentage, landing only 20.4% of his punts inside the 20-yard line.
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Jackson’s Football Pedigree
Undrafted out of Syracuse, Jackson set a school record for most receiving yards by a junior (1,023). He earned All-ACC Second Team honors and ranked sixth in the conference for receiving yards despite playing in a struggling offense.
Playing quarterback, receiver, defensive back and returner in high school, Jackson’s high football IQ flashed in college along with his fluid running style.
The Atheltic’s Dane Brugler projected Jackson to be a fourth- or fifth-round pick in the draft. From Brugler’s draft guide:
A one-year starter at Syracuse, Jackson was an outside receiver in head coach Dino Babers’ up-tempo, spread scheme, lining up exclusively on the right side of the formation. Despite below-average offensive line and quarterback play, he emerged as the Orange’s top target in 2019, finishing as one of only two ACC receivers to average at least 85.0 receiving yards per game and catch double-digit touchdowns. Jackson accelerates well downfield with coordinated feet to give his quarterback a target (led the ACC with 10 catches of 30-plus yards in 2019). He has adequate ball-tracking skills, but he doesn’t create much separation and tends to lose focus when defenders crowd the catch point. Overall, Jackson’s NFL future depends on his ability to expand his route skills and sharpen the specifics of the position, but he has the body fluidity and runway acceleration to potentially add value to an NFL offense.