On the third day of the combine the NFL gave to me a bunch of big boys that like to eat meat and gravy. This writer will definitely not become a lyricist anytime soon yet readers should know the defensive linemen and linebackers will be highlighted on day three of the combine.
The Vikings had one of the best first five games defensively we have witnessed in the NFL, mostly due to their front seven. However, later in the year, the big boys up front wore down; ultimately losing their dominance.
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Although the Vikings have decent depth up front, they could use more interior linemen for the oft-injured Linval Joseph and Sharrif Floyd. Floyd may even be flat-out released before the beginning of the season as Mike Zimmer is seemingly fed up waiting for him to stay on the field.
Obviously, the likes of Jonathan Allen and Malik McDowell will not fall down to the Vikings. The Vikings also have greater needs at other positions; meaning they likely will not look for a tackle prospect until the middle to late rounds. The talent does thin out rapidly towards the middle round yet there are a few guys the Vikings will most assuredly be glancing at this weekend.
Larry Ogunjobi, North Carolina Charlotte-Vikings’ fans know that Mike Zimmer likes his interior linemen to have a smaller build to blow up the interior in run coverage and to stalk the passer. Ogunjobi posses great speed and quick hands to overshadow his smaller frame; helping him dominate Conference USA last season.
Ryan Glasgow, Michigan-Glasgow had a great season in 2016 for the Wolverines while coming back after a torn pectoral muscle in 2015. Glasgow’s brother Graham was starting offensive lineman for Detroit Lions as a rookie and may make Ryan a hot commodity.
Treyvon Hester, Toledo-Hester is quick at the point of attack and may benefit from a great showing at the combine to move him into the middle round of the draft. Fans all know how much Zimmer likes projects; Hester would be right up his alley.
Brian Robison showed he can still bring it in 2016, if he were to be let go or go elsewhere, his tenacity and fire would be tough to duplicate with a rookie. Danielle Hunter has shown he may now deserve a full time roll if he can be more than just a pass rusher. The Vikings may not spend an early pick on an end this year but they will most assuredly try to add depth and youth at some point.
Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova-The Vikings already have their freakish defensive ends but if the Villanova beast makes it to the later stages of round four(not a chance), the purple will want to jump at the opportunity immediately.
Daeshon Hall, Texas A&M-At six-foot-five-inches tall, Hall possesses the build and the versatility Zimmer loves in his defensive ends. If the Vikings wanted to, they could move Hall to linebacker as well. CBSsports.com has him slated as a fourth or fifth round pick but Hall could shoot up boards after showcasing his skills at the combine.
Bryan Cox Jr., Florida-The former Gator has Pro-Bowl lineage as he is the son of three-time Pro-Bowler, Bryan Cox. The combine is meant for guys like Cox as he was injured much of his final college season; a great showing could bolster his stock.
It is still unclear what Zimmer’s plans are for the departure of Chad Greenway. Some say Eric Kendricks is good where he is at, others feel he should take over Greenway’s spot. Chances are the Vikings will look to more versatile linebackers able to play either role.
Ejuan Price, Pittsburgh-Some scouts consider Price a linebacker, others a defensive end; regardless, he may be versatile enough to be a Zimmer guy. NFL.com compares Price to James Harrison, CBSsports.com likens him to Elvis Dumervil; any team can use guys like either of them.
Harvey Langi, BYU-Yet another prospect some consider a defensive end, others consider him a linebacker. One NFC West scout told NFL.com to look at the tape and see what would become at middle linebacker. The athletic prospect may be quite the late round find for the purple should they like what they see.
The tackling failed the Vikings towards the end of the 2016 season. Fans can fully expect the prospects they look at to be well rounded at tackling; regardless of size. Zimmer especially like his interior defensive linemen undersized with a quick first move.
The gentlemen listed above all fit what Rick Spielman and Zimmer have looked for in the past. The Vikings may not draft any of the prospects listed; however, they most assuredly will look their way by week’s end.