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Vikings Sign Two Free Agents to a Futures Contract

The Vikings have signed tight end Daniel Hardy and offensive lineman Jose Valdez to futures contracts.

Tight end Daniel Hardy(6’4, 249 lbs) played college ball at Idaho and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs in the 7th round in 2011. Hardy spent some time on the Saints practice squad last year and now will try and fight for a spot on the Vikings roster. Here is an overview on Hardy from before he entered the NFL: Hardy is a college tight end who projects as an H-back at the next level.  He does not have the bulk to be an in-line blocker, but he has quick feet and reliable hands to exploit the middle of the field.  He excels working against zone coverage, as he quickly finds space and makes difficult catches in traffic.  He is not fast enough to separate against linebackers in man coverage and he will not be an effective blocker in the NFL.  Hardy is coming off an injury, but he has enough receiving skills to be a late-round pick.

Offensive lineman Jose Valdez (6’5, 315 lbs) played at Arkansas and entered the NFL in 2009. Valdez landed with the Atlanta Falcons and has spent time on their practice squad. Here is an overview on Valdez from before he entered the NFL: Valdez has led the way for excellent backs like Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Michael Smith as a starter the past two years. He started on the weak side as a junior and on the strong side in 2008. Arkansas coaches also flip sides depending on formation throughout games. That versatility, combined with his size and athleticism, makes Valdez a good late-round developmental prospect. Had an arm span of 34 inches and a hand span of 9 5/8 inches at the combine.

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