The Minnesota Vikings have a glaring hole in their defense, and linebackers coach Mike Singletary isn’t afraid to point out the obvious.
The team is without a starting middle linebacker – a position Singletary excelled at during his time with the Chicago Bears years ago. He understands that in a 4-3 scheme, the absence of a mike backer is a serious problem.
“We know we have to get one. That’s no secret,” Singletary said on Sunday, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “When we do, we just have to teach him as much as we can, as fast as we can. It’s going to be a lot of work.”
Head coach Leslie Frazier has made it clear that recently re-signed weak-side linebacker Erin Henderson and strong-side linebacker Chad Greenway will stay at their respective positions. This eliminates the possibility of shifting an outside linebacker to the interior.
Minnesota has limited room to make an impact via free agency, so it appears the NFL Draft will be the most likely route to acquire the team’s next young linebacker. The two most popular names – Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o and Georgia’s Alec Ogletree – are certainly possibilities.
With two first-round picks this year thanks in large part to the Percy Harvin trade with the Seattle Seahawks, the Vikings will have two chances to address this area of concern. Minnesota has the 23rd and 25th selections in this year’s draft.
“Fortunately, this a good year to draft [a middle linebacker],” Singletary said. “The kid at Kansas State, Arthur Brown, the kid at Notre Dame (Te’o), the kid at LSU (Kevin Minter), Ogletree, there are a few guys that have good quality.
“It just depends on how it shakes out.”
We have the Vikings taking Manti Te’o at No. 25 overall in our recently updated 2013 NFL Mock Draft.