The 6-foot-3, 279-pound ball of energy and athleticism is still listed as a defensive end, but to hear Vikings coach Leslie Frazier tell it, Griffen could be spending more time with the linebackers than defensive line during training camp, depending on the team's depth at each position.
"That's one of the things we're talking about as a staff, being able to get him a few more reps at linebacker when we get to Mankato," Frazier said. "As you know, last season we used him in situations where he was a linebacker in some of our third-down defense. We'd like to be able to escalate that a little bit, and even in the early downs get him on the field."
Last year, Griffen played in 25 percent of the team's defensive snaps, and those reps were spread between defensive end, defensive tackle in passing situations and even dropped back as a "joker" linebacker in limited instances.
"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," Griffen said.
"I loved doing it, playing the joker and playing linebacker and just showing my versatility. It really can help me in the long run. At the same time, I just want to solidify my spot at linebacker/D-end and do something like that so I can get the job done."
For Frazier, there are several issues to consider.
First is Griffen's impressive athleticism for a big man. Back in 2010, when also weighed 273 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine, he ran a 4.66-second 40-yard dash and bench-pressed 225 pounds 32 times.
Second is the team's depth on the defensive line and at linebacker. With Jared Allen and Brian Robison as the starting defensive ends, there isn't much of a chance for Griffen to crack the starting lineup there. But at linebacker, where depth has been an issue during organized team activities and minicamp because of Jasper Brinkley's hip and groin injuries and Chad's Greenway ailing father, there is a need.
"With Everson, he's an excellent athlete. We want to get him more than 10 or 15 snaps a game and this is a way to possibly do that. So, we'll explore it and see how he comes along in Mankato," Frazier said.
If that's where Griffen can contribute the most on the field, that's fine by him. Entering his third NFL season and with two years left on his rookie contract, he's sounding anxious to find the field more often.
"I'm just coming and just trying to contribute as fast as possible. I just want to play right away. I'm just trying to show the coaches that I'm maturing and ready to take the next step," he said. "Whatever that is and whatever they want me to do, I'm willing to do and that's part of being a professional athlete. You've just got to be a professional and adapt to the situation and that's what I'm trying to do."
He also played in almost 64 percent of the special-teams snaps last year, but somewhere, anywhere, on defense, he'd like to make a bigger impression.
"Last season we used him in situations where he was a linebacker in some of our third-down defense. We'd like to be able to escalate that a little bit, and even in the early downs get him on the field," Frazier said.
Said Griffen: "I just feel like I'm capable and just ready to become one of their guys and something they count on day in and day out."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.