Ivan Pace Jr. evolving as Vikings LB after long journey

Ivan Pace Jr. on what it means to be a Viking

Vikings rookie Ivan Pace Jr. has been ranked among the top-20 players in the NFL at linebacker, according to Pro Football Focus. He’s been top-5 in pass rush win rate. In other words, he’s a wrecking ball and an incredible find as an undrafted free agent.

But, like with many rookies, it’s been a roller-coaster. His snap count has decreased the last two weeks. But whether he’s playing five or 45 snaps, he’s going to find a way to make an impact.

At 5-foot-10, he was overlooked pre-draft. Hard to believe after he was the first-ever unanimous All-American in the 135-year history of University of Cincinnati football. But NFL teams so often fixate on height and size at the linebacker position.

Post-draft, Pace Jr. drew interest from the Vikings, Titans, Browns, and Jaguars. Ultimately, he chose the Vikings’ offer and he’s run with the opportunity.

KSTP’s Darren Wolfson interviewed Pace Jr. for a piece that aired on the pregame show ahead of the game vs. the 49ers.

***Click the video box above to watch the story on Pace Jr., then stay for the full interview with him and teammates CB Byron Murphy Jr. and fellow LB Jordan Hicks***

With defensive coordinator Brian Flores choosing to blitz a lot combined with Pace Jr.’s skill-set, it’s easy to see why he’s flourished so much.