Vikings Middle Linebacker In 2013
The Vikings' current middle linebackers are
Audie Cole and Marvin Mitchell
you were expecting more?
Marvin Mitchell is a solid veteran backup who is also a solid special teams player. Audie Cole is a big, tall (6'5") linebacker who's only 23 years old. He has excellent size, instincts and intelligence to play middle linebacker in the NFL. Most fans know him for his infamous 2 picks returned for two touchdowns in just under 13 seconds. For more about Cole click here.
We would all love to see Cole step into the middle linebacker spot and go to the Pro Bowl, but that's most likely not going to happen. Can he be one day? Sure, it's possible, but it looks like the Vikings definitely will look for a middle linebacker in the draft for three good reasons:
1, Take a look back at the current roster!
2. They have not made much of an effort in free agency.
3. “We know we have to get one. That’s no secret,” - linebackers coach Mike Singletary.
The outlook of the Draft
The Vikings pick relatively late in the first round, but there's a decent chance that all of the top inside linebackers will still be available with their first selection because this group is not considered spectacular. That gives us a lot of freedom. And even if Alec Ogletree is off the board it wouldn't bother me at all. I think he is too much of a character risk anyways.
So we have three players who are good projections for the Vikings with either one of their first round picks. All three are stout run defenders and share similar size and speed: Manti Te'o, Kevin Minter, and Arthur Brown.
Arthur Brown is a little undersized, but also the fastest of the bunch. Te'o is marginally the biggest and shows great play-making abilities. Kevin Minter stands out the least among the group.
Kiko Alonso really intrigues me here. He might have more potential than any other 4-3 linebacker in the year's draft. He's got the best size among the top 5 and has great hands for a linebacker with exceptional instincts and toughness. I'm telling you guys, we could be looking at the next Urlacher and he can likely be drafted in the second round. I would do draft him, and I'm [URL="http://www.dailynorseman.com/2013/4/21/4249812/is-kiko-alonso-worth-a-second-round-pick"]not the only one].
Jonathan Bostic is also an intriguing prospects. I would like to draft him in the third round
Now we're moving very deep into the draft in a territory where I'm not very familiar with the prospects. However, I know one player who I think is vastly underrated and that's A.J. Klein. He was very productive in college for multiple seasons and is a big big linebacker at 250 pounds, but he ran a surprisingly fast 4,6 in the 40 yard dash at the combine. Klein is projected to go in the 4-6 range and I would be very happy to get him there.