The Rookie minicamp is underway, and coach Frazier had a lot of things to say about the new rookies on the team. You can check out the entire Q&A at vikings.com here, but I wanted to highlight some of things he said about the linebacker and defensive tackle positions. I was kind of surprised by some of things he said.
Frazier was taking a bit about CFL player Solomon Elimimian, and then addressed the linebacker depth:
Q: Does seeing a guy like that and then Audie Cole out here, does it give you the hope that you will have that linebacker depth that you are looking for?
A: Yeah, and the young kid from Iowa Tyler Nielsen here as well. We do need to sure up that depth, that’s a crucial area for us, particularly when it comes to special teams. I have seen Audie move around a little bit, I saw Soloman move around a little bit, that helps us, we just have to continue to evaluate him and when this camp is over and we don’t feel like we are where we need to be, then we will keep searching the wire.
Interesting. So basically, if they don't like what they see out these guys through the course of the off-season programs, they might still look to free agency. Is that an admission of failure to address the LB position in the draft? Let's see, how' many young, LB with upside are still out there in FA anyway?
And that's about it. Then there are a few older veterans like Keith Brooking, James Farrior and Gary Brackett who haven't signed with anybody yet, but they wouldn't exactly fit with our whole youth-movement, rebuilding thing. Then Frazier had this to say about the defensive tackles
Q: Are you still looking for nose tackles is that a position that is of some concern?
A: Not so much, we are counting on the guys we have coming back; Fred Evans and Letroy Guion to give us what we want, and we think we have enough depth from a signing standpoint that we should be alright.
Really? That is quite the ringing endorsement of Letroy Guion and Fred Evans, who up until now have been perennial backups. I don't know that I agree with him, but at this point I can do nothing but trust his opinion since he's the head coach and I'm just a fan. Based on what I've seen on Sundays from these guys for the past few years, I remain a skeptic, and hope I'm proven wrong. And I guess they are hoping to get quite a lot out of their undrafted free agents...you know...from a "signing standpoint." I don't know coach...I hope you're right.
Lastly, it's definitely going to be an old-fashioned kicking competition. It doesn't look like the Vikings are planning to keep both Walsh and Longwell.
A: We are obviously going to take a close look at him. Obviously when you draft a kicker you are drafting for a reason, so we will take a real good look at him this weekend and see how he does. He was an outstanding kicker throughout his first three years at Georgia and we want to see if we can get that form back. We feel like he can.
Q: Would you keep two kickers?
A: I don’t know if we would keep two. It’s possible, but it’s not in the game plan right now.