With the departure of Jasper Brinkley, who signed a two-year deal with Arizona this past Thursday, the Vikings are in need of a starting middle linebacker.
The team is likely to address the need in the upcoming NFL Draft based on coach Leslie Frazier’s recent comments, but Chad Greenway also thinks he or teammate Erin Henderson could man the position.
In a report by Mark Craig of the Star Tribune, one of several topics brought up by Craig while talking to Greenway was the chances of a rookie starting at middle linebacker. This is what Greenway had to say about it:
On the likelihood that middle linebacker will be manned by a rookie: “we’ll have to see how things shake out. We don’t know what they’ll do. They could move some people around. They could change some positions. It depends on how the draft goes or if they reach out to someone in free agency. Obviously, Erin [Henderson] has experience at that position, so that’s something you could think about doing as well. If they want to move me there, I don’t know. I’m open to whatever, but I’m not sure that’s what they’re thinking. But I do know that if it’s a young guy who ends up starting there, it can work. Every position at some point you have to go young. So it’s a normal process that takes place.”
It appears Greenway would be fine with a rookie to be in charge of communicating plays from the sideline, but he brings up a good point about Henderson’s versatility to play middle linebacker. Greenway, of course, has just as much versatility to play the mike position if necessary.
The linebacker draft class is deep if you include outside linebackers. It may be possible that the team drafts an outside linebacker if the inside linebackers they like get drafted, and shift either Henderson or Greenway in.