Moritz Böhringer from Germany determined to make Minnesota Vikings

Germany’s Moritz Böhringer has entered the Minnesota Vikings 2017 training camp determined to rise above his performance of 2016, and make the Vikings 53 man roster.

Böhringer’s fairytale story was well documented in 2016. He went from a season of playing in the German Football League with the Schwäbisch  Hall Unicorns to being drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2016 NFL Draft following an eye popping workout at Florida Atlantic’s pro day in front of the nation’s top scouts.

Still, when Minnesota selected him with a sixth-round pick in the draft, no one knew what to expect. The club was aware that he was going to be a developmental project, but perhaps both the team and Böhringer  himself thought his transition from three years of club football in Germany to the NFL would be a little easier.

Last season, the rookie receiver spent the entire year as a member of the Vikings’ practice squad and was never part of the team’s active roster. After struggling to even get on the field during the preseason, his goal of playing in an actual NFL regular season game was not able to come true during his first year in the league.

The receiver told media members that last year was “just too much” and “overwhelming”.

“It was too sudden of a change because I didn’t know that I would come here to the United States in general until February, so it was like my whole life changed in one or two months.”

He later added:

“Last year I basically had to learn how to run routes in general, so you could say that last year I learned to play football.”

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Morovitz Boehringer, of Germany, pulls in a pass during the NFL football team’s rookie minicamp Friday, May 6, 2016, in Eden Prairie, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

But after spending the 2016 season on Minnesota’s practice squad and receiving plenty of reps during the first two practices of camp, during which only rookies and select players participated, Böhringer is much more at ease on the field.

“It definitely helps to practice the same stuff every day and go through the routes and catch a lot of balls. The [other Vikings] receivers all tried to help me and give me tips and tell me what I need to do to become better.”

When asked about his goals for these next two weeks at camp, Böhringer kept it simple: “Just try to improve like I’ve been doing.”

Despite his lack of success in 2016, Böhringer is still hoping to contribute to the team in some form this season. At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, the 23-year-old receiver still has a bit of potential to possibly find a fit onto Minnesota’s roster.

Recently, Böhringer spoke with Adam Patrick of The Viking Age.

“It was fun. Basically it was my first time living outside of home, so that was a big challenge too. (But) I feel really comfortable here and I just enjoy everything here.”

The young receiver also knows that his chances to play in Minnesota are not going to last much longer if he does not take any strides in progression this year. He explained what he needs to do to prove to the Vikings that he was worth the team using a draft pick on him.

“Just improve overall as a receiver and on special teams and just go on the field and show something.”

Head coach Mike Zimmer did have some words of praise for the young German:

“He has improved significantly, he catches the ball better, he understands the offense better, and he is improved at the highest point of the route It must be an important step, he must play deeper with the hips and explode from the route.

Moritz Böhringer was a sensation in his first year with the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns in 2015

Zimmer said one area of progress he’s looking for from Böhringer is on bump and run.

“He’s doing a better job at the top of the route. But the transition from the top of the route to accelerate out, to me, that’s going to be the biggest thing. He’s a little bit of a high-cut guy. He needs to be able to sink his hips and accelerate out. He didn’t catch the ball great last year, so that’s obviously one part. He’s doing a better job with all of it. To me, those two things combined with catching the ball will help.

“He is still a ways away, but he has improved a lot. These three days have been good for him, and he’s helping the younger guys a bit now, which is something he couldn’t do before. The communication with the language is much better. He’s got a chance.”

As Böhringer explained in an interview with the German website Spox.com, he still has a lot of work to do:

 “In general, it is about simply being more effective in my routes and using my arms properly, things like that. To analyze the routes, which is a good preparation for me. “

Böhringer is aware he has to make the most of his chances this year. Minnesota added two more receivers in this year’s draft

The young receiver also knows that his chances to play in Minnesota are not going to last much longer if he does not take any strides in progression this year. He explained what he needs to do is prove to the Vikings that he was worth the team using a draft pick on him.

“Just improve overall as a receiver and on special teams and just go on the field and show something.”

With Minnesota having added two more receivers in this year’s draft and signed former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, Michael Floyd, Böhringer will really have to step up and make an impression in the next couple of weeks.

With excerpts from The Viking Age and Vikings.com

AFI
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