The talent-starved Vikings are once again looking north in their search for players. On Wednesday the team worked out Saskatchewan Roughriders DE Alex Hall, a former seventh-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns who has become an all-star in the Canadian Football League.
The Vikings’ previous experiments with CFL players Manny Arceneaux and Solomon Elimimian were much-discussed by fans but yielded little in the way of results. Arceneaux lasted a year on the practice squad, while Elimimian failed to even make it out of training camp.
Like Arceneaux and Elimimian, Hall comes with impressive CFL credentials – 16 sacks in 2013 and an All-Star selection – but remains a massive question mark as an NFL prospect. He certainly looks the part of a pass rushing DE at 6-5, 250 with a notably quick burst off the line. But we have to remind ourselves that there’s a reason he bounced around the NFL, finally ending up in Canada, after being drafted and cut by Cleveland.
The reason for the Vikings’ interest in Hall is obvious: they are looking at possibly losing two of their top three defensive ends this offseason, and it would be great for them to identify a relatively low-cost option for replacing one of them.
Hall is reportedly drawing interest from multiple teams after his huge year in Canada. At one point Hall was on pace to break the CFL record for sacks, a record held by current NFL star Cameron Wake, before falling off. Is Alex Hall the next Cameron Wake? Unlikely. But that won’t stop people from dreaming that he could be.