Moritz Boehringer could be first player drafted from German Football League

— -- Moritz Boehringer, then 17, was messing around on YouTube when a recommended video clip caught his attention.

"A highlight tape of Adrian Peterson," he said. "Just the way he ran, the aggressiveness with the ball. When he runs over people, it's crazy."

Now 22, it is Boehringer's highlights that are making the rounds in NFL circles. The 6-foot-4, 227-pound wide receiver from Germany created a buzz at his pro day at Florida Atlantic University last week, recording a 40-yard dash time (on grass) between 4.38 and 4.45 seconds, depending on which scout was holding the stopwatch.

Before that performance, he didn't have a single visit scheduled with an NFL team. Now, eight teams have confirmed appointments to bring him in. Because of the sudden interest, Boehringer will hold another workout on Friday at Florida Atlantic with NC State quarterback prospect Jacoby Brissett.

His size and athleticism have teams intrigued, but Boehringer presents one of the trickier evaluations in this year's class because of the level of competition he has played against.

The Peterson video was his first exposure to American football, and when Boehringer gave the sport a try as a 17-year-old, the team in his home town could not field enough players to participate in games. Boehringer went to another city and, three years later, landed on the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns of the German Football League where he played for one year.

The league is comprised mostly of German and French players with rules stipulating that teams can have no more than two Americans on each side of the ball, Boehringer said.

"It's a lower level than even college football," said one NFL personnel evaluator. "It's hard to project, other than measurables, what you're seeing on tape there. What we would compare it to is the Canadian colleges. It's in the same bucket."

In 21 games last year, Boehringer caught 70 passes for 1,461 yards and 16 touchdowns.

"You're looking for domination," said the evaluator. "You're looking for traits that are position-specific. So, explosiveness, the ability to catch the ball cleanly, all the things you'd be looking for with other guys. You're just looking to see if he can do it at a level above everyone he's playing with.

"And when you see the measurables, you do your due diligence by having people follow up and get their hands on the player and get the player on the board to see what they know and how long the transition's going to be. Because it's going to be a transition, obviously."

In addition to the 40 time, Boehringer posted a vertical jump of 39 inches, a broad jump of 10 feet, 11 inches and a three-cone time of 6.65 seconds. Those numbers stack up well against the combine results of the wide receivers in this year's class.

To put Boehringer's size/speed combination into context, only four receivers in the past five years have been at least 6-foot-4 and run a faster 40 time at the combine: Martavis Bryant, Justin Hunter, Tommy Streeter and Stephen Hill.

Numbers aside, the intangibles will be weighed heavily with Boehringer, which is one reason a quarter of the league wants to bring him to their facilities for official visits.

Boehringer is not a player who is going to take the league by storm next year. He is a long-term investment with upside. That upside depends on his football IQ, his willingness to take to coaching and his ability to figure out the finer points of playing the position, like route-running and getting off press coverage.

"We will have to evaluate/project him on his physical traits and very limited tape," said another personnel evaluator. "By all accounts, he is a great person and worker, but he will likely need a year on the practice squad.

"Physically he may be ready, but the learning curve will be very steep. We will need to see how much he knows in terms of his overall football IQ. That will likely be the biggest challenge for him."

Boehringer has been to the U.S. on multiple occasions. He has even seen college and NFL games live. Last year, he was in attendance for the Week 1 matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

He was studying mechanical engineering in college but now has the football itch and has been training at XPE Sports in Boca Raton, Florida, with other prospects and NFL players such as  Anquan Boldin and Pierre Garcon.

According to Pro Football Reference, no German player has ever been drafted without first having played college football in the United States.

There have been other European players who have recently been signed by NFL teams, though. The Cowboys signed Efe Obada from the London Warriors club team last summer (he now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs). And in February, the Giants signed Anthony Dable from the same German Football League in which Boehringer played. But Boehringer, who is eligible for the draft because he graduated high school in 2012, would be the first GFL player to be picked by an NFL team.

The hope is to get a look on Day 3 of the draft or as a priority free agent.

It's even possible that he'll cross paths with Peterson one day.

Asked if he'd tell the star Minnesota Vikings running back about how he first got introduced to football, Boehringer allowed himself a few seconds to consider what that moment might be like before responding, "If we had enough time."