He was not drafted, but Junior Aho will be good in the NFL during the 2023 season. More precisely in the practice squad of the Vikings.
The Frenchman was selected to join the Minnesota team as part of the NFL’s international program. As a reminder, this program grants an additional place in the practice squad to four teams from the same division each year. They can then accommodate an international player.
The defensive tackle passed by SMU measures 1.93m and weighs 117 kilos. He spent 3 seasons in the SMU varsity program. He managed 5.5 sacks in 9 games in his first year in 2020. He then only played two games in 2012, then 13 in 2022, with 2 sacks.
Efe Obada or Jordan Mailata are the most recent success stories of the international program. Aho will now have to show his qualities as a pass rusher (read his Draft file) to try to join them and find a place in Minnesota.
A first since 2018
Aho will be the first Habs to approach the NFL since Anthony Mahoungou in 2018. In August of that year, the receiver was cut just before the Eagles started the season.
The previous year, it was Anthony Dablé, another receiver, who had tried his luck with the Giants, then the Falcons, without being retained in the final squad either.
To date, Richard Tardits remains the only Frenchman to have played in the NFL regular season. Drafted in the fifth round by the Cardinals in 1989, he then played with the Patriots from 1990 to 1992. That was already more than 30 years ago.