Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

2024 NFL Draft Prospects for Vikings: Inside Linebackers

In the leadup to the 2024 NFL Draft, is taking a look at prospects who have garnered a range of attention from national outlets. The series will include rankings by those national outlets, stats and background information for multiple prospects.

Vikings status at linebacker

The Vikings 2023 linebacker room featured diamond-in-the-rough Ivan Pace, Jr., garnering substantial attention, as well as a reunion with Anthony Barr halfway through the season and Jordan Hicks overcoming a significant (and freak) leg injury to return for Minnesota's final two games.

2024 draft party website ad

2024 Miller Lite Vikings Draft Party

The Miller Lite Vikings Draft Party is Back at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 25! Get your tickets to meet Vikings players and Legends while taking in complete coverage of the First Round of the NFL Draft.

But with Barr a free agent and Hicks having departed for Cleveland this spring, the position group looks a little different headed into the 2024 campaign.

The Vikings will look forward to seeing what they get out of Pace in Year 2, and they also are returning Brian Asamoah II. They signed Abraham Beauplan to a futures/reserves contract in January.

Minnesota added free agent Blake Cashman, an Eden Prairie native, during the first wave of free agency. Cashman had a breakout season for the Texans in 2023, racking up 106 tackles over 14 games (13 starts).

The Vikings also agreed to terms with veteran linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill in free agency. Initially a sixth-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2016, Grugier-Hill has appeared in 115 games (42 starts) for five NFL teams. He will turn 30 in May.

View photos of Vikings players during the first week of offseason workouts at the TCO Performance Center.

Expert rankings's Daniel Jeremiah currently has three inside linebackers in his Top 50: 24. Edgerrin Cooper, 40. Payton Wilson and 46. Junior Colson

ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr., did not list any linebackers in his top Top 25.

Rankings for inside linebackers by Jeremiah, his NFL Media counterpart Bucky Brooks, Kiper, analytics site Pro Football Focus and The Athletic's Dane Brugler are listed below.


Note: Heights and weights are from each player's profile on (linked for each player's name).

LB Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M

School: Texas A&M | Year: Senior | Ht: 6-foot-2 | Wt: 230 pounds

Experts' Position Rankings

Daniel Jeremiah: LB1

Bucky Brooks: LB1

Mel Kiper, Jr.: LB1

Pro Football Focus: LB2

Dane Brugler: LB2

2023 stats: 12 games; 83 tackles (39 solo), 8.0 sacks, 17 TFL, 2 FF, 1 FR, 2 PBU

Highly touted: Cooper received a number of accolades following his final season with the Aggies, including being named All-America First Team by Walter Camp, The Associated Press, The Athletic, ESPN and CBS Sports. He also was named to the All-SEC First Team.

LB Payton Wilson, N.C. State

School: N.C. State | Year: Senior | Ht: 6-foot-4 | Wt: 233 pounds

Experts' Position Rankings

Daniel Jeremiah: LB2

Bucky Brooks: LB2

Mel Kiper, Jr.: LB3

Pro Football Focus: LB1

Dane Brugler: LB4

2023 stats: 12 games; 138 tackles (69 solo), 3 INT, 6.0 sacks, 17.5 TFL, 1 FF, 2 FR, 6 PBU, 1 TD (interception return against Clemson)

Butkus Award winner: Wilson was named the 2023 Butkus Award winner, which is presented to the nation's top linebacker. He is the first N.C. State player to receive the honor. He also was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year after ranking fifth in FBS in tackles and nabbing three interceptions, including the pick six.

LB Junior Colson, Michigan

School: Michigan | Year: Junior | Ht: 6-foot-2 | Wt: 238 pounds

Experts' Position Rankings

Daniel Jeremiah: LB3

Bucky Brooks: LB5

Mel Kiper, Jr.: LB2

Pro Football Focus: LB3

Dane Brugler: LB1

2023 stats: 15 games; 95 tackles (44 solo), 2.0 TFL, 2 PBU

Haiti native: Junior was born in December 2002 and spent his first nine years in Haiti before moving to the United States, where he was adopted by Steve and Melanie Colson.

LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Clemson

School: Clemson | Year: Junior | Ht: 6 feet | Wt: 228 pounds

Experts' Position Rankings

Daniel Jeremiah: Not Ranked (in Top 50 overall prospects)

Bucky Brooks: LB3

Mel Kiper, Jr.: LB5

Pro Football Focus: LB4

Dane Brugler: LB7

2023 stats: 12 games; 88 tackles (54 solo), 2 INT, 5.5 sacks, 15 TFL, 2 FF, 7 PBU, 1 TD (a 28-yarder against Notre Dame)

Like father, like son: Trotter's father, Jeremiah Trotter, Sr., played 12 seasons (1998-2009) in the NFL for Philadelphia, Washington and Tampa Bay and received four Pro Bowl nods. He wore 54 during his NFL career, so his son selected 54 as his jersey number at St. Joseph's Prep High School and in college.

LB Cedric Gray, North Carolina

School: North Carolina | Year: Senior | Ht: 6-foot-1 ½ | Wt: 234 pounds

Experts' Position Rankings

Daniel Jeremiah: Not Ranked (in Top 50 overall prospects)

Bucky Brooks: LB4

Mel Kiper, Jr.: LB4

Pro Football Focus: LB7

Dane Brugler: LB6

2023 stats: 12 games; 121 tackles (64 solo), 1 INT, 5.0 sacks, 11 TFL, 2 FF, 2 FR, 4 PBU

2-way star: Gray attended Ardrey Kell High School, where he was a three-year captain and shined on offense and defense. Over three seasons, he totaled 143 receptions for 2,467 yards and 27 touchdowns offensively. He posted 130 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss and two interceptions over two seasons playing defense.

LB Marist Liufau, Notre Dame

School: Notre Dame | Year: Senior | Ht: 6-foot-2 | Wt: 234 pounds

Experts' Position Rankings

Daniel Jeremiah: Not Ranked (in Top 50 overall prospects)

Bucky Brooks: LB6 (Brooks noted: "keep an eye on")

Mel Kiper, Jr.: LB9

Pro Football Focus: LB5

Dane Brugler: LB15

2023 stats: 12 games; 44 tackles (23 solo), 3.0 sacks, 6 TFL, 1 FF, 2 PBU

Hails from Hawaii: Liufau grew up in Hawaii, where he shined at Punahou High School and was named the 2018 Interscholastic League of Honolulu Defensive MVP. Liufau was selected to play in the 2019 Polynesian Bowl that is hosted in Honolulu.

LB Tommy Eichenberg, Ohio State

School: Ohio State | Year: Senior | Ht: 6-foot-2 | Wt: 233 pounds

Experts' Position Rankings

Daniel Jeremiah: Not Ranked (in Top 50 overall prospects)

Bucky Brooks: Not Ranked (in Top 6 inside linebackers)

Mel Kiper, Jr.: LB10

Pro Football Focus: LB6

Dane Brugler: LB5

2023 stats: 10 games; 80 tackles (40 solo), 1.0 sack, 2.5 TFL, 1 FF

Following big bro's footsteps: Tommy is the younger brother of Dolphins tackle Liam Eichenberg, whom Miami drafted 42nd overall in 2021. Liam has played 43 games for the Dolphins, making 38 starts, over his first three NFL seasons.