Moritz Boehringer: 2016 NFL Draftee

Two months ago he was training with his club, the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, for their 2016 German Football League campaign. Last Saturday, he was in Chicago speaking fighting off the fanatic American football sports media and preparing for what was to be a life-changing weekend.

With the 180th pick in the 6th round, Moritz Boehringer, having never played a snap of college football, was drafted in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.

Days later, the 22-year-old became the first 2016 draft pick to sign his contract when he inked a four-year rookie deal with the Vikings. This time a year ago Boehringer sent his rookie GFL film to dozens of American colleges. Not a single one came calling. Now he’s signed a contract that is expected to pay the wide receiver $2.49 million over the next four years, including a signing bonus of $150,420.

The German wide receiver who put himself on the NFL map with a head-turning pro day on March 31, was asked to describe his short stay in the United States over the last month and a half.

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“It’s been crazy,” he told American Football International. “Everything has happened so fast. Everything has changed.”

In his 2015 season with the Unicorns, Boehringer had 59 receptions for 1,232 yards and 13 touchdowns in 16 games played.

NFL Draft analyst Mike Mayock was impressed with Boehringer’s football mechanics despite the fact that he had barely played any football at all. He felt that he must have had some pretty good coaching in Germany. Interestingly, the offensive coordinator of the Unicorns, his previous team, Jordan Neuman, only had him for one season:

“He was definitely very raw and had not run a whole lot of different routes before he came to us. Best example I can remember is having a 1 on 1 workout with Moritz shortly after he signed with us. We were on the field and I was teaching him to speed cut out of a break and he fell down two times in a row running the route. But thinking back to that first day on the field to now watching his 2015 highlight video, it’s really great to see how many different types of routes he could run from several different positions on the field.  That’s really a compliment to Moritz on how quickly he was able to pick things up and develop as a WR. But he was 6′ 4″ and already running a 4.4 40 on his own and we certainly did not develop that.”

Mo’ = Size + Speed

All 32 NFL teams certainly knew who Boehringer was come draft day. There still isn’t a consensus on what type of receiver he is or who he could become, but Mike Zimmer, head coach of the Vikings saw something special.

Even before the draft they were  paying the closest attention to Boehringer. They were the only team to visit with him before his pro day at Florida Atlantic, and they introduced him to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater during his visit to the team’s Eden Prairie facility ahead of the draft.

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Boehringer’s deal will pay him $2.49 million over the next four years, including a signing bonus of $150,420.

According to NFL.com‘s scouting profile, Boehringer’s strengths are his exceptional combination of size, speed and short-area quickness. His long, loose strides destroy the cushion of his over-matched corner-backs and he can stick a foot in the ground and open a throwing window with acceleration. He is a hands-catcher, and shows the ability to track and finish the deep balls with long arms and soft hands.

A scout’s notes:

However, his size and athletic traits overshadow how raw he is. Has played football for a relatively short period of time. Is a step slow getting off line of scrimmage and into his routes. Needs time and reps to learn nuances of route running and not rely on being able to just out run most everyone he faces.

Former NFL scouts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks compared the wide receiver to the New York JetsEric Decker, former Tennessee Titans WR Drew Bennett, and Green Bay Packers WR Jeff Janis.

Assuming everything gets squared away with Boehringer’s visa, the Vikings will get to see their new receiver on the practice field for the first time this weekend, when the team holds its rookie minicamp.

John McKeon
John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.
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