The linebacker position has been an area of particularly intense focus for the Vikings as they sift through this year’s field of draft prospects.
Anthony Barr, Khalil Mack and C.J. Mosley have already come up a lot in speculation, and lately Kyle Van Noy’s name has come up too. And recently Boise State’s Demarcus Lawrence has also been garnering some buzz.
The Vikings according to Adam Caplan will have Lawrence in for a visit. In recent days, they have also visited Barr, Mack, and lesser prospects Lamin Barrow and Preston Brown.
The 6-3, 251-pound Lawrence is an intriguing prospect for the Vikings to be looking at in that, unlike the other players mentioned, he does not readily project as a 4-3 linebacker.
However, in Mike Zimmer’s hybrid scheme, there could be a big role for a tall, athletic edge player of Lawrence’s type.
Lawrence certainly has the athletic ability and he showed plenty of production at Boise State. However, there are character concerns with Lawrence, who was suspended multiple times in his college career.
A recent spike in Lawrence’s perceived draft stock, a function of his potential value as a LEO in a hybrid scheme, has some thinking he could move all the way into the first round.
The Vikings possibly are hoping that the character concerns will cause Lawrence to fall into the second, because I really don’t see them using their first round pick on him, even after a trade down.