On Wednesday, former Furman cornerback and undrafted rookie Ryan Steed was waived by the New York Jets.
At one point considered a potential first-round pick heading into the 2012 NFL Draft, Steed failed to hear his name called throughout the 253 picks. The Jets signed the upside-laden small-schooler shortly after the draft ended, but Steed struggled to impress throughout training camp and the preseason while battling injury. When he did play during the preseason, he was generally a nonfactor and only notched one tackle.
Now back on the open market, Steed could be a waiver wire target for the Minnesota Vikings.
Why you ask? Just hear me out.
Yes, Steed failed to impress at the NFL level. Yes, the injury issues that helped drop him out of the draft haven’t been dispelled during his short time in the league. Yes, the pre-draft hype might have been exactly that: hype.
Still, the once-promising cornerback is worth another look despite the lackluster start to his NFL career. And what do the Vikings have to lose in taking a flier on Steed?
At this point in the preseason, there’s one game remaining for the Vikings. They still have seven cornerbacks left on the roster and are likely to sever ties with one or two of them by the time the team is trimmed to 53 players. There is, however, a thing called the practice squad.
Especially with his rawness, Steed would be a prime candidate for the practice squad. He’s obviously a long-term project and needs to take time to get back to 100-percent health. But if he can overcome his injury issues and develop into the fringe first-round talent that many thought he could be, Steed would be well worth the extra practice squad spot.
Although unlikely, the Vikings putting in a claim for Steed wouldn’t be a bad move. Even if he didn’t impress during his stint in Minnesota, taking a look at a potential sleeper and sending him packing shortly after is better than watching him fall to another team.
A low-risk move with potential to pay huge dividends? Sounds like something that would greatly benefit a rebuilding team like the Vikings.