Zach McCloud’s time in Minnesota was short-lived. He spent time with the team during the most recent offseason but didn’t make the final roster. Now, the former Vikings pass rusher gets a chance with an AFC playoff team. He’ll be on Tennessee’s practice squad.
Originally, McCloud got his start in the NFL with Minnesota. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah brought him in as one of the team’s undrafted free agents. The young edge rusher actually received the most guaranteed money out of all the UDFAs: an impressive $250,000. The Vikings, quite evidently, made it a priority to get him into the building.
Part of the issue, of course, is that Minnesota has some strong depth at edge rusher. Realistically, McCloud would have had to beat Luiji Vilain to make it onto the team, but the Canadian ended up snagging the final spot.
Vilain has only played in 1 game this season, picking up 17 snaps on defense and 25 on special teams. McCloud, in contrast, has yet to get onto the field.
Currently, Tennessee is atop the AFC South. However, it’s worth noting that their record is an uninspiring 7-6, suggesting they aren’t among their conference’s best teams. The Jaguars are second in the division with a 5-8 record.
The former Vikings pass rusher will try to get onto the field in time to help with the playoff push. Perhaps the rookie will even get the shot at playing some playoff football. Tennessee’s top edge rushers are Denico Autry, Bud Dupree, DeMarcus Walker, Rashad Weaver, and Mario Edwards.
In his final college season, McCloud had 28 tackles and 5.5 sacks. The sacks were a career high from his college days playing for Miami.
In Minnesota, there has been a fair bit of talk about the pass rush. The Vikings failed to pick up a single sack (or a turnover, for that matter) last week, a reality that really contributed to Detroit putting up 34 points. The team will be looking for a considerably better result tomorrow when Jeff Saturday’s Colts visit U.S. Bank Stadium. Given that the Colts play in the same division as the Titans, Mike Vrabel’s group would likely be pleased with a Minnesota victory.
Tennessee’s next game will be against the LA Chargers.
Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference, PFF, and Football Reference CFB helped with this piece.