Throughout his football career, wide receiver Erik Lora has flown under the radar. Now signed with the Minnesota Vikings after going undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Eastern Illinois product finally has an opportunity to be more than just a faint blip on the map.
Especially on a Vikings team that has annually suffered from inconsistent wide receiver play, Lora seems like an excellent fit. The former Panthers star excels at being a reliable target, and helped former EIU teammate and New England Patriots’ second-round pick Jimmy Garoppolo become one of the top small-school quarterbacks in recent history.
Just take a quick peek at his film to see what I’m talking about.
Whether he’s working his way back to the quarterback in the scramble drill or adjusting to a wayward pass and making a miraculous grab, Lora always finds ways to be a signal-caller’s best friend. His hands are as reliable as they come – especially for an undrafted free agent – and he does a great job of uses precision routes to create separation.
When all was said and done for Lora last season, he had hauled in 123 passes for 1,544 yards and 19 touchdowns for the Panthers. He also had a punt return for six points and even threw a touchdown before his senior season at Eastern Illinois had come to an end.
It certainly won’t be a seamless transition for Lora, who is used to playing against a much lower level of competition than he’ll face with the Vikings. However, the impressive skill set that he displayed during his collegiate career should help him shine in Minnesota.
The reliability and intelligence that Lora plays with should be enough to at least earn a practice squad position. The Vikings aren’t sold on any of their receivers outside of the top two (Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson), and would welcome a more-dependable option than Jerome Simpson or Jarius Wright. While Lora might seem like an unrealistic option to fill the void, he shouldn’t be overlooked heading into camp.
Make sure to keep an eye out for Lora when Vikings training camp gets under way. It’s still early, but he could be a dark horse candidate to make the 53-man roster if all goes as planned.