Vikings Visit Extensively With DE Randy Gregory at Nebraska Pro Day


Mike Zimmer has a pretty obvious approach to building a defense: Get as dominating as possible up front and fill in the blanks as you work your way back.

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Given Zimmer’s front-to-back approach to constructing a D, it’s sort of strange that we keep neglecting defensive line as we look at possible draft prospects for the Vikings.

Minnesota did have a nice D-line last year, despite some inconsistency, but you have believe Zimmer is not entirely satisfied (and probably never will be entirely satisfied) with the personnel up front.

If the Vikings are indeed looking to upgrade their D-line talent through the draft, then Nebraska’s Randy Gregory is a player we should probably keep more in mind.

Need evidence that Gregory could be in the picture for Minnesota? Tony Pauline has this update from Nebraska pro day (via Walter Football):

"The Minnesota Vikings have spent and [sic] extensive amount of time with Gregory before the start of today’s workout. We expected there will be a team or two who grabs him afterward. At the time of posting, Gregory is only planning on participating in position drills."

The 6-6, 240 pound Gregory is considered a high-ceiling prospect who will require some time to develop physically. Mel Kiper said this about him (via ESPN):

"“Gregory has to get stronger,” Kiper said. “He’s more the developmental type. …If he does, then you could be looking at a guy who can be a very good pass-rusher.”“Gregory’s a great athlete,” [Kiper added]. “Phenomenal athlete. He has the length; long arms. He could be spectacular in this league. He has to show he can be durable as well. He has enormous upside.”"

Daniel Jeremiah seems less concerned about Gregory’s reported lack of power (via

"“He can win in a multitude of ways as a pass rusher,” said Jeremiah, who rates Gregory as his No. 6 prospect in the draft. “He can beat you with that pure speed off the edge. He can convert speed to power, which you wouldn’t expect from someone who is so lean. He also has a nice inside counter move.”"

Jeremiah also notes that Nebraska moved Gregory around on the line, sometimes matching him up against guards in order to take advantage of his speed.

Two things Mike Zimmer seems to like in front-seven prospects: versatility and lots of upside. Zim isn’t afraid of taking on a developmental project, as we learned last year when the Vikings drafted raw Anthony Barr at 9 overall.

Today, Randy Gregory is being consistently mocked in the top 10, so the Vikings may not even have a chance to draft him. But if he’s there at 11, this is someone who could come aboard and help Mike Zimmer build an even more dominating defensive front.

It’s probably time to stop fixating on wide receivers and cornerbacks as we consider the Vikings’ draft options.

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