With the combine underway and free agency opening on March 9, there's lots of buzz around the biggest needs for each NFL team.
In an article breaking down the needs of each NFC team, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com opined that the Vikings need an offensive tackle, linebacker and running back. He wrote:
Everyone needs a tackle. No tackles are available [in the draft…] Even though Adrian Peterson – whom the Vikings will allow to become a free agent – might be an awkward scheme fit with [Offensive Coordinator] Pat Shurmur, Minnesota still might give him the best offer in free agency because of sentimentality. Don't be shocked if he returns to the team. Both linebacker and defensive tackle are potential needs, based on the futures of LB Chad Greenway (a 34-year-old free agent) and DT Sharrif Floyd (a fifth-year pro entering the final year of his contract and a possible cut candidate).
Rosenthal said NFC North rivals Green Bay and Detroit also each need a linebacker and running back in addition to a cornerback (Packers) and defensive end (Lions). As for the Bears, Rosenthal said they should seek out a quarterback, cornerback and offensive tackle.
Adam Thielen speaks at United Way 'Men's Night'
Vikings receiver Adam Thielen returned to Mankato, Minnesota, the home of his alma mater, on Thursday.
Thielen didn't take the field, but he did speak about football at the Greater Mankato Area United Way "Men's Event." Mark Fischenich of the Mankato Free Press wrote the following of the evening:
At a testosterone-infused Kato Ballroom, there was plenty of guy food including shredded pork, buffalo wings and ribs — not a salad in sight.
There was a silent auction with autographed helmets, sports gear, even a chain saw. There were sports skills competitions with $100 Scheels gift cards for top scorers. There were raffles for hockey tickets and meat and beer.
More than 300 men attended to support the United Way and listen to Thielen, who gave a brief speech about his journey to the NFL before answering every question the audience pitched him.
"Adam Thielen was the main thing, just hearing his life story, how he got where he is," attendee Wayne Averbeck told Fischenich. "He's my favorite Viking — just the fact that he's one of the smaller players, but every time he gives 100 percent."
View the best images of LB Eric Kendricks from the 2016 season.
Kendricks expected to stay at MLB in 2017
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer spoke with media members from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis about a variety of topics, including Minnesota's linebacker corps in 2017.
One of the areas Zimmer touched on was Eric Kendricks, entering his third season with the Vikings. Kendricks has consistently started at middle linebacker for Minnesota, and the current plan seems to be keeping him there, even if the Vikings end up needing a new starter on the weak side. ESPN's Ben Goessling wrote:
Zimmer has mentioned the possibility of Kendricks moving to the weak side in the past, though the coach has also made it clear he's comfortable with the six-foot linebacker in the middle. After a year in which Kendricks registered 109 combined tackles, posted [2.5] sacks, forced and recovered a fumble and returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown, it appears he's staying put.
"I don't think moving him right now is the right thing to do. He's played good the last two years," Zimmer told reporters. "He's a very instinctive guy that plays all over the place. I do think at the end of the day, when we get in the sub packages, he's going to be in there anyway. If he's lined up in the middle he has a chance to make a few more plays everywhere. So I don't foresee moving him."