Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman is considering current starting WLB Erin Henderson a possibility for the Vikings’ opening at middle linebacker, according to a report by ESPN 1500 Twin Cities.
“That depends on what happens in the draft,” Spielman said. “If we go outside, Erin can slide inside or if we go inside Erin can play outside. That’s what is great about this linebacker thing. We have the flexibility to go either way.”
While the Vikings could select the linebacker that they have been linked to repeatedly in Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, this could mean they look outside the box. Te’o is a fit as a MLB in a Tampa 2 scheme like the Vikings deploy but with Henderson in tow they could look to improve the outside linebacker spot instead
With the No. 23 and 25 picks, the Vikings would seem to be a strong candidate to consider my top linebacker prospect in Kansas State’s Arthur Brown on Thursday. Brown has the athletic ability to be a standout player against both the run and pass. Knowing that Henderson is strong in run support and adequate in coverage could make him a better fit on the inside where having a more athletic option on the outside in coverage is necessary. Brown played MLB in college for the Wildcats and could still be the starting MLB if he is the draft pick. Brown projects as a three-down linebacker at either position which is something the Vikings sorely need.
Regardless, he is the impact player that I hope the Vikings select Brown with either the 23 or 25 pick on Thursday. However, this could be another Spielman smokescreen and he is intending on taking Te’o.