Both Kain Colter and Jordan Lynch are in my “2014 Publicity NFL Mock Draft.” It would go like this: Johnny Manziel goes first to Houston, Michael Sam second to St. Louis (hey that really happened six rounds later) AJ McCarron third to Jacksonville, Tommy Rees 4th overall to Cleveland, well you get the idea. As fun an idea as this is, you start to only have regional names left around the picks in the teens. By the mid-teens, you’re left with guys that only hard core college football fans had heard of.
The point is to see how media coverage and NFL pro potential are very often inversely related. Northwestern quarterback turned wide receiver Kain Colter went undrafted. As did NIU quarterback turned running back Jordan Lynch.
So who’s got a better chance of making the roster, Kain Colter with the Vikings? Or Jordan Lynch with the Chicago Bears? Luckily Mel Kiper Jr. ESPN Draft Guru did a media conference call, and I asked that very question. There is no transcript, but here’s the audio:
On previous conference calls with Kiper, all season long, I’ve asked him about Colter’s development throughout the process. I also enlisted the help of a Vikings expert, Ted Glover, of SB Nation’s Vikings site, the Daily Norseman. Here’s what he had to say:
“At first glance, it would seem a longshot for Kain Colter to make the final 53 man roster. UDFA’s rarely make the team.
At face value, his odds seem long.
But is it that simple? Let’s look.
Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson are far and away the top two guys, and I would find it hard to believe that Jerome Simpson and Jarius Wright will lose their jobs. That’s four guys out of five or maybe six WR spots, so at face value, it seems that Kain Colter has to draw an inside straight to make the team.
But he has a couple things going for him—athleticism and versatility. He showed it as Northwestern, and Norv Turner likes versatile guys that he can do a lot with, in terms of looks and formations. An example is third round pick RB Jerick McKinnon.
And if Colter is going to make the team, he’s going to need to be versatile. Whether it’s lining up on the outside, in the slot, or even in the backfield and going in motion, in the right situations he can create mismatches, make people miss, and let his athleticism take over.
When you look at the list of WRs on the roster after the top four, there aren’t a lot of guys that stand out, and that also works in Kain Colter’s favor. There’s a local fan favorite in Adam Thielen, from Mankato State, but he’s a pure receiver, and therefore limited in what he can do compared to Colter.
But that said, as an undrafted free agent, he has a lot of guys to leapfrog, and a limited time to do it. His athleticism and versatility got him an opportunity, but he’ll have to make the most of it.
In terms of percentages? One in four, but I reserve the right to hedge my bets once the Vikings get to minicamps and training camp.
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also a frequent guest on national talk radio. Banks is a former contributor to NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, who’s been featured both in Forbes and on the History Channel. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Follow paulmbanks