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Kentrell Brothers to Use Instincts in LB Competition

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer spent 14 seasons as a defensive coordinator in the NFL before being hired by Minnesota and is known for his defensive expertise.

Zimmer's son, Adam, is preparing for his 11th NFL season and third as Vikings linebackers coach. Minnesota has a strong linebacker corps, with Chad Greenway entering his 11th season and the Vikings adding UCLA linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks via high draft picks in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

This year, the Vikings drafted Kentrell Brothers 160th overall. Viking Update's Tim Yotter spoke with Adam Zimmer about the skillset Brothers brings to the roster. Yotter wrote:

The numbers that didn't wow: a 4.84-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, or really any of the speed measurements for Brothers that were mostly average or below average for his position group, and his height (6 feet, 3/8 of an inch). The numbers that did wow: college football's leading tackler in 2015 with 152.

"Like Coach says all the time, you've got to trust what you see. And what I see on tape all the time with Kentrell is he makes tackles all over the field," Zimmer told Yotter. "He's instinctive and he's a playmaker. If he's half a tenth of a second slower than everybody else, the instincts are going to make up for it."

Zimmer said one of the things that really stands out about Brothers is his intelligence.

"From what all I can tell is Kentrell really does a great job of studying the game and knowing what he's going to get so he can anticipate and be a step faster than what he is," Zimmer told Yotter.

Yotter said that if Brothers doesn't fit into the linebacker rotation as a rookie, he could still be an asset as a special teams player. Brothers ranked second in the nation with three blocked kicks in 2015.

Competition could brew between Vikings linebackers

Also delving into the Vikings linebacker situation, Matt Vensel of the *Star Tribune *honed in on the position's depth.

Vensel said Barr and Kendricks will be a lock as outside linebacker starters, but he said there could be more competition at the middle linebacker spot.

Chad Greenway is back for one more season and is the favorite to start at the weak-side linebacker spot. But free-agent acquisition Emmanuel Lamur, who played for [Vikings Head Coach Mike] Zimmer in Cincinnati, could push him at that spot.

*The Vikings also added former Lions outside linebacker Travis Lewis, a special-teams standout, and re-signed 2012 seventh-rounder Audie Cole to a one-year deal. *

In addition, Minnesota has Brothers, Brandon Watts, Edmond Robinson and rookie free agent Jake Ganus. In 2015, the Vikings carried six linebackers on their active roster.

The battle among these linebacker bubble [players] may go under the radar due to the all of attention that will rightfully be placed on the offensive line. But it figures to be among the most heated competitions this spring and summer and probably won't be settled until the end of the preseason.

Bridgewater, Rudolph among FOX Sports North top tweets

FOX Sports North's Ryan Lund goes to work each week to search out the top tweets in the Minnesota sports sphere. A few Vikings names popped up on Friday's list. Among them were Teddy Bridgewater paying respects to Prince and Kyle Rudolph getting in on the NBA playoff banter.

Second-year cornerback Trae Waynes made the list as well, with a photo from Minnesota fishing opener.

Other names that made this week's Twitter list included Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns and Twins President Dave St. Peter.

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