NEW YORK - When Kendall James' phone rang on Saturday, Day 3 of the NFL Draft, he was initially confused. "I saw the area code [on caller ID] and it said 'MN', and I was like, 'oh, that's Minnesota," the All-CAA first-team corner back explained. "And they were actually on the clock, and they took another corner, so I'm like, 'okay they're not going to take me right here.'" But when the caller asked him, "Kendall, do you want to be a Minnesota Viking?" the answer came easy. "Sure," was his answer.
Projected to be a 4th or 5th round pick, James was ultimately selected in the 6th round, 184th overall. He becomes the 15th Black Bear to ever be chosen in the draft, and the 51st to join an NFL team. Initial questions came about due to his small size and limited strength, but he impressed at the Combine and during his pro day workouts on his quickness in the 40-yard-dash, and his vertical leap.
"I think I did the best I could, and at the end of the day, it's where you fit in," James explained Saturday night. He's eager to join the Vikings squad and earn his keep. "I'm going to be a great corner in this league for years to come, so watch out for me," he said. The FCS All-American took to Twitter after the announcement, saying "Wow..I'm a Viking! God is so good!" And later: "@Vikings Thank you for this amazing opportunity..ready to get to work.."
On Friday, Maine Head Coach Jack Cosgrove praised James' skill set, but cautioned he'd have to look "deep down." "He'll find out a lot about himself" during the process, said Cosgrove.
James led a Maine secondary which allowed a league-low 165.4 passing yards per game in 2013. James totaled 36 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, to go along with two interceptions, nine pass breakups and blocked a field goal attempt. The former Black Bear finished his career at the University of Maine with 147 tackles, eight interceptions and 25 pass breakups in 48 games. [Courtesy Maine Athletics]
Stay with FOX-22 and ABC-7 as we continue to follow Kendall James' journey to the NFL.