October 20, 2012; Louisville, KY USA; South Florida Bulls running back Lindsey Lamar (5) runs the ball past Louisville Cardinals cornerback Adrian Bushell (21) linebacker Preston Brown (2) during the second half of play at Papa John
The Vikings aren’t going to say who will be visiting the team this week as part of their top 30 prospects event, but the names are trickling out anyway.
Teddy Bridgewater and Anthony Barr are both already expected to be part of the proceedings, and now another name has surfaced. Ben Goessling says that Louisville linebacker Preston Brown will be in Minneapolis for the two day meet-and-greet.
Brown qualifies as a large linebacker at 6-2, 256 pounds. His combine numbers were as follows:
40 – 2.86
Bench – 23 reps
Vertical – 33
Broad jump – 9 feet 8 inches
20 yard shuttle – 4.26
3 cone drill – 3.98
Projections have Brown going as a fifth rounder or lower, so we’re not talking about a high end prospect here. There have been some good scouting reports on Brown however. Daniel Jeremiah recently sang Brown’s praises, calling him a “solid run plugger” who “sorts through trash” and “shoots his hands and gets off blocks.”
As a two down run-stopping middle linebacker, Brown might turn out to be a nice value pick in the middle rounds. He’s not someone who projects as an every-down player at this time.
Another little detail you can’t ignore here: Mike Zimmer appears to be targeting run-stopping middle linebackers (the Jasper Brinkley signing showed this too). Clearly, Zimmer’s philosophy is to be stout up the middle. That could be bad news for a player like Audie Cole, who is not the biggest guy.
And where does this leave a player like Michael Mauti? It doesn’t seem the Vikings are very committed to any of last year’s linebackers at this point. That includes Chad Greenway who was forced to re-negotiate his contract.