MINNEAPOLIS -- On Saturday, Moritz Boehringer became the first player to go directly from Europe to the NFL when the Minnesota Vikings made him the 180th pick in the NFL draft. On Monday, Boehringer attached another first to his name.
The 22-year-old became the first 2016 draft pick to sign his contract when he inked a four-year rookie deal with the Vikings. The contract is expected to pay the wide receiver $2.49 million over the next four years, including a signing bonus of $150,420.
Boehringer, whom the Vikings heard about after the NFL combine and initially scouted through highlight videos on YouTube, became interested in American football when he saw a clip of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. That established the Vikings as Boehringer's favorite team, and he scoured search engines for places to learn the game in Germany.
The 2015 German Football League Rookie of the Year spent several weeks before the draft training in Boca Raton, Florida, and the Vikings were interested enough in the 6-foot-4 receiver to meet with him before his pro day at Florida Atlantic. During his workout, Boehringer wowed scouts by running a 4.39-second 40-yard dash -- on grass, not turf -- as well as posting a 39-inch vertical jump and putting up 17 repetitions on the bench press. The Vikings brought him to town for their top-30 prospects event last month and selected him in the sixth round Saturday.
"We were very intrigued with his potential and his upside because you can't find that size, that speed and all the athletic test numbers that he had," general manager Rick Spielman said.
Assuming everything gets squared away with Boehringer's visa, the Vikings will get to see their new receiver on the practice field for the first time this weekend, when the team holds its rookie minicamp.