The Minnesota Vikings don’t often chase speedy receivers in the NFL Draft, but the fastest player in college football appears to be on the Vikings’ radar this season.
Auburn prospect Anthony Schwartz ran an unofficial 4.26 40-yard dash at the War Eagles’ pro day on March 18. He met with the Vikings on his pro day earlier this month and was confident that he proved he’s more than just a straight-line speedster.
Schwartz has gone under the wing of Vikings Hall of Famer Randy Moss, training with Moss in Tampa Bay during the offseason, to help refine his athleticism into on-field talent.
“I just want to show to scouts I’m more than just a deep-ball guy, I’m more than just a quote-unquote ‘track guy,’ ” Schwartz said on his pro day. “I’m an NFL receiver.”
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Schwartz’s World-Class Speed
Let’s get the hype of Schwartz’s speed out of the way. The Florida native won several national track awards and helped Team USA win a gold medal in the 4×100 relay at the U20 World Championships.
Schwartz has been clocked running a 10.07 100-yard dash, which would have finished .01 seconds slower than the eighth-place runner at the 2017 Rio Summer Olympics.
He’s that fast.
Anthony Schwartz RUNS 10.07 with +2.05 winds to win the 2A boys 100m dash! pic.twitter.com/4aJsZ8rWBZ
— Florida Runners (@flrunners) May 5, 2018
But how that speed translates to the football field is a different conversation.
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Schwartz Models His Game After Tyreek Hill
Schwartz was electrifying his freshman year when he immediately demonstrated his home-run hitting ability by scoring two receiving touchdowns and five rushing TDs.
How fast is Anthony Schwartz? On this play, the track star hits a top speed of 21.79 MPH. That would be good for the 2nd-fastest ball carrier in the NFL this season, only behind Tyreek Hill. #AuburnFootball pic.twitter.com/vUIC5XB8wI
— Logic Sports (@LogicSports3) October 13, 2018
Schwartz, standing 6-foot and 186 pounds, was used as a gadget offensive weapon through his early years at Auburn before he was used sparingly on the ground his junior year — allowing him to shine as a true wide receiver. He racked up 636 receiving yards and three touchdowns and likely could have produced more with accurate quarterback play.
Anthony Schwartz comps closely to Will Fuller from a H/W/Athletic testing standpoint. I find it hard to believe Schwartz makes it out of Day2 pic.twitter.com/3ytZ8cmJbQ
— Justin (@afc2nfc) March 24, 2021
Anthony Schwartz doesn’t need any blocking, he’ll just outrun EVERYONE! The Tigers controlled the Aggies for the most part and walked away victorious, 28-20.
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) September 24, 2019
Schwartz opted out of the 2021 season due to COVID-19 and declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s continued to train two-a-days while beginning to study what types of receivers he’d like to emulate in the NFL, including Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs.
Is Schwartz Fit for the Vikings?
Yes, the Vikings are set with Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook as the three primary weapons of the offense.
However, Minnesota could use more versatility at the third wide receiver spot. Schwartz has been projected as a Day Two or Day Three prospect in the upcoming draft, which wouldn’t cost the Vikings a ransom to take the War Eagles product.
Schwartz would need to learn to competent as a run-blocker and overcome his smaller frame at wide receiver. Pro Football Network’s scouting report sees him as a high-upside third wide receiver with proper coaching.
“Schwartz is a terrific athlete with a second gear and the ability to break big plays, yet he needs to polish and complete his game,” Oliver Hodgkinson wrote. “He comes with a large upside, and if properly coached, Schwartz could develop into a third receiver at the next level.”
New wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell, who was a receiver with similar skills and size of Schwartz, could help the Auburn alumnus unlock his potential and provide the Vikings offense a deep-threat weapon.
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