Though the Vikings are sufficiently thin at linebacker to be interested in Brian Banks (I still wish someone would sign that guy), one of the strategies for addressing this specific area of weakness comes from one of the few areas of the roster that currently constitute a strength.
Defensive end Everson Griffen, a fourth-round pick in 2010, spent the final practice of last week’s mandatory minicamp at linebacker, according to Brian Hall of FOXSportsNorth.com. In training camp, Griffen will get more opportunities.
“We want to give him a chance to see if he can help us at that linebacker spot where we’re still working with our depth,” coach Leslie Frazier said last week. “We’re still trying to identify what our depth is going to be at that position.”
Griffen current serves as the primary backup to starters Jared Allen and Brian Robison. The former Trojan had limited snaps at linebacker in 2011, but he primarily worked as a defensive lineman, earning some reps at defensive tackle in passing situations.
“I’m comfortable,” Griffen said. “With my athletic ability, I feel like I can come and pretty much do anything. That’s not me being cocky. I just feel like I can just come in and adapt to the situation.”
Allen’s annual absence from voluntary offseason workouts gave Griffen reps with the first team. With Allen in town for the mandatory sessions, Griffen was forced back to the second team.
Griffen has appeared in 27 games during his two NFL seasons, with no starts. He racked up four sacks and forced a fumble in 2011.