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Major Outlet Names Ivan Pace Jr. a UDFA to Watch During NFL Training Camps

By Russ Heltman,


CINCINNATI — PFF released its undrafted free agents to watch in NFL training camps later this summer, and former Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr . made the cut.

The program's first unanimous All-American should have a decent chance to make the Minnesota Vikings roster.

"A 2023 NFL Draft Twitter darling, Cincinnati Bearcat Ivan Pace Jr. seemed primed to hear his name called in what appeared to be a weaker off-ball linebacker class," Austin Scott wrote . "Despite his somewhat diminutive stature for the position, he posted an elite 93.0 defensive grade, supplemented by 50 run stops and 46 total pressures, in 2022.

"Pace consistently made his presence felt as a gap plugger and blitzer, showcasing a great feel for navigating traffic and working off blocks with good change of direction and contact balance. While Pace lacks coverage instincts and sideline-to-sideline athleticism, there is certainly a role in the Vikings' linebacker room behind Brian Asamoah, Jordan Hicks, and Troy Dye for a physical sparkplug with a nose for the football."

One area where you can get downhill and not have to cover passes: Special teams.

Pace could have a huge impact on that front throughout his professional career as he searches for an NFL role.

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