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ESPN's Caplan, Seifert Weigh In on Vikings Defense from Combine

INDIANAPOLIS — The focus at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine has shifted to defense for the final few days.

Defensive linemen and linebackers are scheduled to meet with the media Saturday and conduct on-field drills Sunday, while defensive backs will chat with reporters Sunday and take to the field Monday.

While defensive prospects are trying to make their mark on NFL teams, the Vikings defense is filled with players who previously fared well in Indianapolis.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan said as much earlier this week when he chatted with Vikings.com.

"The defense is terrific, well-coached, disciplined," Caplan said. "They've got a lot of talent."

The Vikings ranked third in yards allowed per game (314.9) and were sixth in points allowed per game (19.2) in 2016. Minnesota also forced 27 takeaways, the fifth-best total in the league.

While Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer has built the Vikings defense into one of the best units in the league, he said earlier this week that there's a possibility he'll still look for pieces to add this offseason.

ESPN writer Kevin Seifert noted that the Vikings could have an opening at linebacker if veteran Chad Greenway chooses to retire.

Seifert said linebacker is the only area he could nitpick as Minnesota's defense line and secondary were a productive bunch in 2016.

"The first thing I think of is linebacker, in part because there's going to be some transition, we assume, with Chad Greenway," Seifert said. "Him moving on or retiring seems like the likeliest thing."

Seifert said the Vikings could benefit from more consistent play from linebacker Anthony Barr. The former first-round pick had 91 total tackles (according to the coaches' tally) with four tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks in 2016.

"I think they would love to see more from Anthony Barr just given where he was drafted and given what we all know about his athleticism," Seifert said. "He's built in a scheme where he can be a dominant force on every play.

"We've seen bits and pieces of that with plays not many people can make but not over a consistent period of time," Seifert added.

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