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Hercules Mata & # 39; afa could be the Vikings' breakout star in training camp



Minnesota Vikings took a shot at Washington State defensive lineman last year. But after he has come loose, he can get a shot to impress in the camp.

When the Minnesota Vikings were preparing for a training camp at this time a year ago, there were plenty of questions coming into the camp.

Many wanted to see how the new look would look on the court and soundly, there were wonders if the Vikings could keep up with their historic efforts from 2017.

Although these issues undoubtedly influenced the 2018 season, The question was asked, which may have the greatest impact this year, perhaps for a player who didn't even fit.

Hercules Mata & # 39; afa revived his ACL before he even got a rep for the Vikings in 201

8. But Mata & # 39; s has been able to influence the defensive line in August.

Prior to his injury last year, many wondered where the Washington State product would even play in the NFL. With a listed weight of £ 254, he was too small to continue playing on the defensive line, but too slowly (4.76 times in the 40-yard dash) to be moved to linebacker.

When the Vikings considered what to do with the head coach Mike Zimmer's new toy, the young defensive lineman would tear his ACL into minicamp and miss the entire 2018 season.

This damage seems to be a blessing to Mata & # 39 , a year later.

With Minnesota giving him the opportunity to stay on the roster, he had the chance to commit to a long-term program, and with the Vikings needing help on the inner defensive line, he went to work by changing his body into a life in the shooting range by adding more strength and weight.

When Mata & # 39; s take on training camp this year, he recently sent in his Instagram account that he hit 280 pounds and after a strong mini-camp performance, so Zimmer flashes from another Geno star school Atkins.

"We were in OTAs, and one of the quarterbacks came up to me and said:" Do you think he can do that when pads continue? "I said," I said, " don't know. We will see, "and he did.

That's how you don't know he's Geno, but he's so active in these OTA's. Now the question is, "Can he continue to do that when we get pads?" "

If Mata & # 39; afa can continue to perform in the decor, he enters a wide open competition behind Linval Joseph.

The Vikings hope that Shamar Stephen, Armon Watts, Jaleel Johnson or Jalyn Holmes can step up behind Joseph, but Mata 's grandfather has the speed and pass-rushing skills that Minnesota currently does not have on their departure list from Sheldon Richardson.

The newly spied defensive lineman has the capabilities of it when he raised 10.5 bags in his last Season in Washington State If he can translate this ability into his new framework, an organization that has plenty of success in finding undrafted gems can have someone else put on their CV.


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