Linebacker 1: Anthony Barr
After a productive first two seasons with the Vikings, Anthony Barr disappeared in 2016. Taken 9th overall in the 2014 draft, Barr excelled and became a staple in Mike Zimmer's defense. Barr however, lacked his explosiveness and got burned often on screen plays in 2016. His fifth year option was picked up, but he will need to return to form for an extension. Barr is crucial to the Vikings defense, because he presents potential pass rush opportunities, especially in the double A gap blitz. Barr's role could shift, and give him some more pass rushing opportunities.
Linebacker 2: Eric Kendricks
Eric Kendricks is changing the way people view the middle linebacker spot. At 6'0 Kendricks has played well at middle linebacker, he's combined speed and instincts to play well sideline to sideline. Kendricks could be in line to receive the green dot like he did in college. He has shown to be more reliable in coverage and has become less hesitant at the point of attack.
Linebacker 3: Emmanuel Lamur
Lamur will have to fight hard to retain his position as the third linebacker. He did not see the field very much and Lamur could be cut if he does not win the job. Lamur and Edmond Robinson are very similar players, and it would make sense for the Vikings to go with the younger player.
Linebacker 4: Edmond Robinson
Robinson has been talked about quite a bit this offseason. He is in position to win the weak side linebacker spot, but will need a productive training camp. Emmanuel Lamur played most of last season but made no impact with his few opportunities in base defense. Robinson is mostly a special teamer, but could give a boost to the weak side with Chad Greenway retired.
Linebacker 5: Ben Gedeon
Ben Gedeon could see some significant play time early if he can wrestle the starting job away from either Emmanuel Lamur or Edmond Robinson. The Vikings play nickel defense often, but became exposed when teams were forcing the Vikings to stay in base and keep Chad Greenway on the field. Gedeon can provide youth and speed to assist Barr and Kendricks, and give the Vikings defense some flexibility.
Other Linebackers On Roster