Monday, July 16, 2012

Position Analysis: Linebackers

Jasper Brinkley will need to get his issues fixed
if the Vikings are going to be successful on defense.
I will post another position analysis today for all the Viking faithful. We will analyze the linebacker position. With E.J. Henderson no longer in middle of the linebacking core, the Vikings will look to replace him by regaining Jasper Brinkley, who was lost to injury last season. Many people have question marks about the health of Brinkley, which I believe is a legitimate concern. He honestly is a major question mark in the linebacking core and is a key for success. He will be a player we will monitor while at training camp.

Chad Greenway is always a reliable option at linebacker. He has nice agile ability, strong presence on the outside, and is great in coverage. Chad is going through a tough time with his father being hospitalized for leukemia. Chad is a great individual and will get through this with the help of his family. He will be a cornerstone of this position group for years to come.

Erin Henderson developed nicely after being groomed into a starter last season. He became great in coverage and was a nice "run-stuffer" last season. With his brother E.J. gone, he will be a cornerstone of this linebacking core for years to come. I really think he is a nice option for the Vikings and will only improve as a starter.

Audie Cole is my sleeper at this position. I think he will be able to get to the quarterback and will be  a force as a linebacker. I feel like he could be molded into a starter in several years. At N.C State he was an excellent tackler and was an absolute workhorse. I feel like he will be a large asset on special teams this season.

Solomon Elimimian was brought in from the CFL league where he was a starter. The thing I like about Solomon is his size and ability to be around the ball. In Canada, he was a force as a linebacker and based on videos I have seen, he is a freakishly hard hitter. I think he makes this team and is a nice special teams option.

Larry Dean was a special team specialist last season, but I feel he will be on the way out of town. With  Cole and Elimimian being added to the special team mix, it will most likely be the end of an average Larry Dean.

Cory Paredes is an individual to watch when training camp begins next week. He is an undrafted free agent out of Hawaii and has a ton of ability. He is a little undersized which is a concern, but he will be an interesting player to watch when roster cuts come around.

Overall, this position could be a tad weak for the Vikings. I wish they would bring in a player like Brian Banks who hasn't signed anywhere yet. Or they could sign a veteran option to back up our current starters. I think that is an absolute must unless someone comes out of nowhere at training camp. We will keep our eyes peeled and will inform you our thoughts on this position after training camp is completed.

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