Minnesota Vikings reportedly interested in a controversial draft prospect

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Holton Hill
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Holton Hill /

The Minnesota Vikings are apparently considering using one of their 2018 draft selections on Texas cornerback Holton Hill.

Back during his days as the Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive coordinator, current Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer developed a reputation of being able to handle some of the most controversial players in the NFL.

Players like Adam “Pacman” Jones and Vontaze Burfict, two of the league’s most polarizing players, were able to focus on football and have some of their best seasons with Zimmer leading the defense for the Bengals.

With the Vikings, Zimmer hasn’t really had to deal with too many off-the-field issues.

Former Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson missed the majority of the 2014 season due to a suspension. But Peterson was already a part of the Vikings’ roster before Zimmer was hired and the running back didn’t really have a history of off-the-field problems.

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Michael Floyd
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Michael Floyd /

Minnesota took a chance on wide receiver Michael Floyd in 2017, a year after he was released by the Arizona Cardinals in the middle of the 2016 season for an extreme DUI. Floyd didn’t really produce on the field in 2017 for Minnesota, but he never became an issue off of it for them either.

The Vikings also added defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson this offseason, who has already served multiple suspensions during his short NFL career.

In just a few days, Zimmer and the Vikings could possibly be adding another controversial player to their roster.

According to the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson on Monday, Minnesota is showing a good amount of interest in Texas cornerback Holton Hill. Some believe Hill is a first-round talent, but his off-the-field problems at Texas will likely cause him to remain on the board until the middle of the draft.

In 2017, the young corner missed Texas’ final four games of the season due to a suspension. It was later reported that Hill’s suspension was a result of a failed drug test.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

The same report also stated that last season was not the first instance in which he failed a drug test at Texas. Hill was apparently suspended twice in 2016 for failed drug tests, but the school decided not to make these infractions public.

Even if it was just something like marijuana that caused these failed drug tests for Hill, it could still become an issue for him in the NFL.

Yes, the substance is now legal for recreational use in multiple states across the country. But the league still prohibits any use of it and a positive test could result in a multiple game suspension.

Until the NFL makes it legal, a prospect with multiple marijuana-related, failed drug tests is going to viewed as controversial.

Is it possible that Hill could find a way to clean up his act and develop into a legit, professional football player? Of course, but there’s also the risk that he won’t and he will struggle to kick any habits he may have that would result in an NFL suspension.

Next: 5 bold Vikings predictions for the 2018 draft

Is this a risk that Zimmer and the Vikings are willing to take?