Erin Henderson At Middle Linebacker?


Dec 2, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jasper Brinkley (54) after catching a pass during the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the Draft this year, most Vikings fans expected the team to pick a Middle Linebacker early on.  They had three chances in the first round of the draft to draft a replacement for Jasper Brinkley, who was signed this offseason by the Arizona Cardinals.  It wasn’t due to a lack of talent in the remaining players, either.  Most of the top Linebackers in the draft were available at the end of the first round .  Their decision to pass on them was confusing.

Now that we are approximately one week removed from the 2013 NFL Draft, the Vikings have started showing some of their cards.  The team didn’t seem as worried about the Middle Linebacker position because they had a plan.

Dec 23, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Erin Henderson (50) warms up against the Houston Texans before the game at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, Vikings Linebacker Erin Henderson revealed that he has bulked up to 248 pounds in anticipation of the move from Outside Linebacker to Middle Linebacker.  The fact that Henderson has had the time to add that weight to his frame says that Minnesota was anticipating this move all along.  They pulled the wool over the eyes of every NFL expert and fan by publicly flirting with the idea of taking a player like Manti Te’o.  Instead, the Vikings were able to fill three other positions of need in the draft by moving a player to another spot on the defense.

Whether or not Henderson will win the starting job in training camp is still unknown, but he seems to be the club favorite to take over the spot.  He will face competition from Audie Cole and Michael Mauti along with others, but he seems to be penciled in as the Vikings current starter at the position.