Vikings cast wide net for defensive backs

So the Minnesota Vikings issued a news release Friday to announce they had signed defensive back Nicholas Taylor, a rookie from Florida International.

That's odd, I thought. Usually NFL teams can't sign rookies until after the draft.

A Google search for "Nicholas Taylor" and "Florida International" yielded no hits, but it did turn up a "Nick Taylor" who began playing basketball at Florida International in 2007. Later, I found this news story from Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. It's the same guy.

Those of you who have grown restless with the Vikings' offseason approach probably aren't going to love the fact that they signed a former college basketball player after a private workout Friday at their practice facility. Taylor has spent some time with a minor league arena team but otherwise appears to have no football experience.

It's true the Vikings haven't done much to upgrade their secondary thus far during the offseason, but I'm not going to hammer them for this move. (I will stand aside and let you do it, however.) There's no risk and potentially some reward to beating the bushes for players like Taylor, who reportedly ran a sub-4.3 in the 40-yard dash during FIU's pro day workout this week. Carry on.