CB Chase Minnifield flashed during Thursday’s minicamp practice. The undrafted rookie out of the University of Virginia capped a strong afternoon by intercepting QB Rex Grossman during 11-on-11 situational drills.
Minnifield (6-0, 185) is perhaps the most intriguing undrafted player on the roster. His disappointing pre-draft process included knee surgery in January.
He was a two-time first-team all-ACC selection, though, and there is much uncertainty on the cornerbacks’ depth chart behind DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson and Cedric Griffin. His path to the final roster seems a bit more realistic than other players’ at other positions.
“I think if I just go out there and do what they ask me to do, have no mental mistakes and play the game I always play, I’ll be fine,” Minnifield said. “Not necessarily standing out but just doing the right things.”
He seemed to do that Thursday. With the second team offense driving against the defense, Minnifield drove on a slant route to WR Anthony Armstrong and arrived in time to break up the pass.
Earlier in the practice, WR Brandon Banks tried to beat Minnifield deep with a stop-and-go, but Minnifield held his vertical space and Banks ran into him.
Minnifield’s interception occurred near the end of practice. He lined up covering Banks wide right, giving Banks a 5-yard cushion, the distance the offense needed for a first down.
Minnifield kept his eyes on Grossman, and when he saw Grossman look to throw to Armstrong short in the right slot, he left Banks, undercut the throw inside and picked it off.
“I was playing for the sticks and got lucky on one,” Minnifield said.
Wilson, at least, has been impressed.
“Great, smooth young cat that can make plays,” Wilson said.
“He didn’t go to a top flight university,” Wilson, a University of Maryland product cracked. He went to the University of Virginia, so I can’t say his education was the best. But a great football player.”