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3 Defensive Players To Watch At The Combine

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 25, 2013 – 7:21 am

This entry was originally published on February 21 but is being re-posted because DL and LBs will be conducting their on-field workouts on Monday and defensive backs will do so on Tuesday.

You’d be hard-pressed to find an individual who dedicates more time and effort to studying an incoming draft class than NFL Network’s Mike Mayock. That’s why when he identifies players to watch entering the 2013 Scouting Combine, it makes sense to keep an eye on them.

When asked to identify three players he’d focus on during Combine drills, Mayock said he’d be focused on the pass rushers who are capable of converting to outside linebacker at the pro level. In so doing, Mayock singled out LSU DE Barkevious Mingo, Texas A&M DE Damontre Moore and Oregon DE Dion Jordan. But is a college DE looking to convert to outside LB the type of player who would fit the Vikings scheme? You can certainly argue the answer is no.

So while we’d be wise to keep an eye on Mingo, Moore and Jordan, we’ll provide you with three other defenders to watch, as well. That’s not to say any of these three are better fits for the Vikings defense or not, it’s more to give you a better variety. Here we go…

DE Sam Montgomery (LSU)
Mingo is the LSU defender generating the most buzz, but I’m more interested in Montgomery’s prospects. He measures in at 6-4, 245 pounds, and that has some questioning whether or not he can go against NFL offensive linemen on a regular basis. But that’s why I’m looking forward to seeing him at the Combine. I want to see his frame and gauge whether or not and to what extent he can grow into his frame by adding bulk and strength while not compromising his explosiveness. Just from watching him play at LSU, I see him as being capable of playing both defensive end positions for the Vikings but perhaps being a better fit as a base (left) DE if he can indeed add some bulk. Even more, though, Montgomery strikes me as the kind of defensive lineman the Vikings may be able to use in nickel/obvious passing situations by sliding him inside to rush the passer. This is a tactic the NY Giants have used with so much success the past 5 seasons, and it’s something the Vikings have done as well with Brian Robison early in his career and more recently with Everson Griffen.

S Eric Reid (LSU)
It might feel like you’re on the LSU Tigers website rather than the Vikings with all of their players we’re mentioning in this blog entry, but the mentions are well deserved for these guys. Reid is an aggressive, downhill-playing safety who plays with attitude and instincts. He measures in at 6-2, 208 pounds, which is solid-not-great size for the position. If you’ve watched him play, you’ve seen that he plays with a nasty streak – fast and vicious. But I don’t want to see that from him at the Combine. I want to see how he moves in space. I know he’s a great defender when he’s playing downhill, battling in the trash and blasting a pass receiver. So I want to see him high-point the football in a position-specific drill. I want to see him break on a pass during a drill. I want to see his 3-cone and 40-yard dash time. I want to see if he looks fluid and not awkward in space. As a safety in the NFL and in the Vikings defense, you’re going to be in space.

LB Manti Te’o (Notre Dame)
As of right now, Te’o is the talk of the Combine. We’re going to continue to hear about his off-field issue and we’re going to constantly hear about how he’s going to enter an uncomfortable interview process here in Indianapolis. Obviously that’s a big deal, but I’m moving past that now. I’m more interested in watching him participate in on-field drills. Can he run (well)? If he runs poorly, that in conjunction with the off-field concerns is going to adversely impact his draft stock. In fact, some teams may put more weight on the poor running performance (if it happens) than the off-field issues. Furthermore, poor running times in conjunction with the off-field issues could drop Te’o from a Top 10 kind of guy (where I believe he is now) to a Top 20 type of guy, which means that all of a sudden Te’o could become a Vikings-relevant prospect. Currently, I don’t view Te’o as a Vikings-relevant talker because he’s supposed to go well before #23 overall. But if he runs poorly, we might have something
to talk about when it comes to Te’o.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 21 Comments »


21 Responses to “3 Defensive Players To Watch At The Combine”

  1. By PurplHaze on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    First :)

  2. By PurplHaze on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    I only recognize the 3rd name on the list. Wouldn’t wanna be that guy, because you KNOW he’s gonna take a couple verbal shots this weekend about his imaginary girlfriend (or boyfriend as it were).

    Please, for the sake of all the Vikings stand for, do NOT draft Te’o! This guy does NOT hit like a Vikings caliber MLB! Te’o hits like a pillow!

  3. By PurplHaze on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Where’s the DT on this list, Wobbs?

  4. By WRHopkins2013 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/vikings/192160501.html

  5. By vikes- or - die on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Say no to Te’o. Mabey Olgetree is available at 23. If not, hopefully we can land a DT. Does anybody know where (Klien) the QB from K- State is expected to go in the draft?

  6. By WRHopkins2013 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    I have a DT to keep your eye on Haze…Brandon Williams…

    That young man has a high motor that doesn’t seem to slow down for a big man…And he also looks like he is very coach-able…

  7. By WRHopkins2013 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    A Brown might be the best fit at ILB for the Vikings…Brown is the best fit for the Tampa 2…From what I have heard so far…

    I am interested to see this young mans 40 time…

  8. By WRHopkins2013 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1533995-10-nfl-combine-prospects-that-the-minnesota-vikings-must-watch-closely

  9. By vikes- or - die on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    I watched a lot of K State games last year because my girlfriends son goes to school there. This might sound crazy, but if that QB Klien was still available in the 2cd when we picked, I would pull the trigger on him. He was impressive. I like Ponder a lot but it would be nice to have a good back up plan at the most important position on the field, unless MBT is coming around nicely.

  10. By Parkway on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t care what Teo does at the combine there is no way I want him on this team.

    And are you kidding about Klein???? He is projected to potentially go undrafted and you want to take him in the 2nd? I would quit this franchise if we did that.

  11. By WRHopkins2013 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    http://blogs.twincities.com/vikings/2013/02/20/vikings-get-to-work-in-indianapolis/

  12. By vikes- or - die on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    But, I believe defense wins championships, so overall I hope we land 2 very good defensive player with our first 2 picks, so, Oh well you can’t have everything you want. We have QB’s.

  13. By vikes- or - die on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Parkway, Shows you how much I know about College ball players. But I tell you what. He looked GREAT! He has a great arm, good feet and good size.

  14. By Parkway on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Yeah he has some bad mechanics, but doesn’t mean he couldn’t ultimately be a winner. There have been talks before about possibly taking him in the 7th. We do have 2 7th round picks so it would be a low risk pick.

  15. By vikes- or - die on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Wow, the 7th round. He’s a story, about a man name BRADY……

  16. By RI Vike on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Great, Let’s draft a LB who runs poorly. ??????

  17. By WRHopkins2013 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    By RI Vike on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Great, Let’s draft a LB who runs poorly. ??????

    ———————————-

    I thought the exact same thing when I read that !!!….hahahaha…

    We already have a slow MLB…

  18. By Carl K on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    I vote NO to drafting Klein!!!!!

  19. By Vikings1 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    By vikes- or – die on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Say no to Te’o. Mabey Olgetree is available at 23. If not, hopefully we can land a DT. Does anybody know where (Klien) the QB from K- State is expected to go in the draft?
    _________________________________________________________________
    Klein is listed to go in the 7th round or as a FA!

  20. By Daniel on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Eric Reid the S

  21. By Brad S on Feb 25, 2013 | Reply

    If Alec Ogletree falls to 23 take him! That will be the 5 pick talent at pick 23. He will fit in fine with the cover two defense and be a four down inebacker. The Vikings have always took chances on players with problems, Jerod Allen, Percy Harvin, Jerome Felton so they must have a pretty good system in place, because these players turned out fine.

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