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Thread: Eric Kendricks

  1. #1

    Eric Kendricks

    Kendricks' position in 2016 will depend on Vikings' offseason

    Mike Zimmer has said that Kendricks would start his career at middle linebacker but that weak-side linebacker might be his best position.

    By Matt Vensel FEBRUARY 26, 2016 8:05AM

    INDIANAPOLIS Which position will Eric Kendricks play in 2016? That is going to depend on which other linebackers wind up on the roster.

    After the Vikings drafted Eric Kendricks in the second round last year, coach Mike Zimmer said that Kendricks would start his career at middle linebacker but that weak-side linebacker might be his best position.

    The Vikings could still decide to move Kendricks over to the weak-side spot, especially if they arent able to get something done with veteran Chad Greenway. But Zimmer said yesterday that he might be hesitant to move Kendricks to another position after he played pretty well in the middle.

    I do think hed be a good player at [the weak-side] position, Zimmer said at the scouting combine. I always have a little bit of a concern about moving a guy that played pretty well to another position, just because it may not turn out the way you want. Sometimes it does and its great.

    Four of the eight linebackers who finished the season on the active roster or injured reserve are set to become free agents. Greenway is the headliner. Audie Cole, Jason Trusnik and Casey Matthews are also free agents.

    The Vikings will likely look to add a middle linebacker in free agency or the draft, though that player might end up only playing about 40 percent of the defensive snaps like Jasper Brinkley did during the 2014 season.

    If the Vikings get one they really like, they could move Kendricks.

    If not, they are comfortable with keeping him in the middle, where he led the team with 92 tackles as a rookie while also contributing four sacks.

    It will all depend on who we end up drafting, if we draft a guy, if we get a free agent, whatever, and how it all unfolds and if Chad comes back. All those things are all so up in the air, Zimmer said. But [the ability to play multiple positions is] whats good about having a guy like Kendricks.

  2. #2
    I'd like the Vikings to sign Greenway for one more year and I'd also like them to draft a linebacker this year. My dilemma is do we draft a Mike or a Will, and what priority should it weigh?

    I've been playing around on Fanspeak and multiple times using different draft boards both Reggie Ragland and Jaylon Smith have been available at #23. If either of those players were available with our first would you take them? Would you take Smith even though he is probably going to miss all of 2016, if not would you take him in the second?

    If we drafted Ragland then we could move Kendricks to the Will and have Greenway as a reserve and use his experience to help them both. If we take Smith then Greenway would more than likely play the same role he did this year and Smith can watch and learn from him.

    Linebacker isn't our biggest priority and there are some I like that we could get in the 2nd or maybe 3rd round like Joshua Perry or Kentrell Brothers, and there are some decent ones that we could draft in the 5th or later rounds.

    The reason I consider drafting Ragland or Smith is because:
    1. Both are the best player available at a position of need.
    2. I'm not sold that many of the WR's that will be available at #23 are first round talent. Although I like Josh Doctson but after the combine he may be gone before we draft. It just seams like there isn't much difference between the "top tier" and "middle tier" talent wise.
    3. Same goes for the OL. I'd be okay if we took Spriggs (a guy who really impressed at the combine and very well might have moved himself to the third OL taken), Decker or Conklin in the first but I don't know if we wouldn't be as well off taking one of the top rated guards in the second or third.
    4. I'd really like to have three stud linebackers and shore up that position for the next 4-5 years.

    So there's my dilemma. Would you take a linebacker in the first if they were the best available at a position of need, or would you wait until later in the draft?
    Last edited by MIVike; 03-01-2016 at 03:33 AM.

  3. #3
    It would be hard to pass on Ragland at 23 but with Smith's recent injury news I don't think we'll go with him. He'll likely sit at least a season, then who knows how well he'll heal after that. Phenomenal talent but that's a big risk. He's not going to be a first round pick though, I know that much.

    Depending on who falls to us, I could see us trading down a bit. Maybe one of the teams that needs a QB but doesn't pick one in the first will want to trade back into the bottom of the first like we did with Teddy. Dallas (34), San Francisco (37), Chicago (41) and the Rams (43 & 45) might not be able to get one in the first. Imagine having two picks in the second and two more in the third. I think we could do some damage there.

    But if we stay where we are (which would feel weird after not moving last year) we could be in a position to add one. I don't think it will end up being a realistic problem that we pick one in the first though. Myles Jack definitely isn't going to fall to us, and Ragland is doubtful to last that long either. Darron Lee might sneak into the first but I'm not too crazy about that idea personally. I think we'll probably be able to do better than him at #23.

    I would hope first of all that Tradwell falls to us. Unlikely but I can dream. After that, one of the nasty Olinemen should be available. Take a look at this scouting report on Jack Conklin (and I assume you've seen him play some ball in the last couple of years too) and tell me you don't wish he were heading to Minnesota next season: http://www.nfl.com/draft/2016/profil...lin?id=2555279 Did you notice the quote from the NFC North scout? I hope that was our scout.

    I'm on record as wanting Cody Whitehair to be a Viking too. Seems like a natural fit and he's the best OG prospect in the draft. The fact that we desperately need one helps too. But beyond him, and beyond the first round, we could likely be in a position to add Le'Raven Clark, Germain Ifedi, Taylor Decker, or Nick Martin in the second. Imagine having four picks in the 2nd and 3rd to be able to add a couple of them. Then, you could also be in the market for Scooby Wright or some of those other guys at LB. There are plenty of good LBs that aren't top picks. We have two outstanding LBs already so we just need a guy that can do his assignment and not have to be Superman.

    Unfortunately, I don't think FA will help us at LB at all. There isn't much to be had there. Tahir Whitehead played well for Detroit last season. Danny Trevathan from Denver could be a nice piickup. Bruce Irvin would certainly be nice to add to the pass rush. Will Zimmer make a push for Vincent Rey from the Bengals? I wish we could keep Audie Cole. It's a shame he couldn't take one of the starting spots, but if Greenway beats you out, how much do you really have? I think he'll start somewhere next season though (Giants or Saints would be smart to get Cole imo).

  4. #4
    Hyper, thanks for the feedback. I'm in agreement with most of what you said.

    I don't think that Ragland will fall to us at #23 either but it's fun to dream. As for Jaylon Smith I agree that it's a huge risk and first round picks are to valuable for that amount of risk. There are some LB's that should be available in the later rounds so reaching on Smith who might never play again doesn't make sense. I also don't care for Darron Lee, he's smaller than I'd like and he missed a lot of tackles at OSU partly because of his size disadvantage. After the combine I don't know about Scooby Wright either. He has great instincts but he's doesn't seem to be very athletic. He ran a 4.9 40. Maybe there was a reason that hasn't been published yet and he'll do better at his pro day. As of now I'd prefer Kentrell Brothers or Joshua Perry as day 2 picks.

    I didn't bring up Treadwell because I assumed he would be gone before we drafted. I have seen some mocks where he drops to us at #23. It's been widely reported that he isn't the most athletically gifted individual but he runs excellent routes and has very good hands. He may not be the field stretcher that we'd like to have but he'd be a tremendous asset for TB as a possession receiver. If Treadwell isn't available I'd be okay with Josh Doctson.

    I too was high on Whitehair and still think he's the best guard in the draft. Disappointed that he only lifted 225 sixteen times. Not sure if he's worth a first round pick over someone like Ifedi, Garnett, or Westerman that can be had on day two. I do like Conklin, and I may be a little biased, but I also see where he is moving up a lot of peoples draft boards and there's a good possibility he won't be available at #23. Most of the experts say he will have to play RT because of a lack of athleticism but he showed some athleticism at the combine. He also could move inside and play guard. What I like about Conklin is that he plays with a testiness and I think that might be a problem with Minnesota's line. They seem to be a cerebral bunch of guys who lack a little bit of the testiness. Conklin is more like Steve Hutchinson which isn't bad at all. I also think Decker is worth the #23 pick. I'm backtracking on Spriggs though. I guess I got caught up in the numbers he put up at the combine but the more I read on him that athleticism may not transfer onto the field. Spriggs, Ifedi and Clark in the second round are possibilities.

    I agree that with your assessment of the free agent market. The Vikes have done an excellent job of building the team through the draft but they haven't fared to well with the big name free agents. We've been able to pick up some good mid-level free agents and I think that's where we should focus on this year. Although Alex Mack just voided his contract and even though he's 30 years old he would be worth taking a run at. He's started every game in his seven year career except for 11 games in 2014 due to injury. Another position the Vikes may want to look at in free agency is Safety. Seams like when we draft the safeties available are a reach and there are other players of need with more value. Then by the time our next pick is the valued player is gone.

    Again, thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.
    Last edited by MIVike; 03-04-2016 at 01:03 PM.

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