Spencer a Wait-and-See Option

Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer has received strong praise from some of the top offensive tackles in the draft, and the Vikings were represented at his pro day last week. Find out more about Spencer's possibilities and the compliments he received.

Purdue had 18 NFL teams attending its pro day late last week, according to the Boilermakers' official web site, and the Vikings were among those in attendance, according to published reports.

The most likely interest for the Minnesota Vikings would be Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer.

The 6-foot-3, 262-pounder is projected to be a late first- or early second-round draft pick, and if the Vikings don't select an end with their No. 7 overall pick and Spencer is still available when they choose in the second round, he likely would receive strong consideration.

The NFL Scouting Combine in February offered a mixed bag for Spencer. Although he wasn't satisfied by running the 40-yard dash in 4.70 at the Combine, he did receive strong reviews from some of the best offensive tackles in the draft – Joe Thomas, Levi Brown and Ryan Harris – who cited Spencer among the best defensive ends they faced.

"I think throughout my career I've played a number of guys who've gone on and had successful careers in the NFL. Whether it's only a couple years into it or guys who I think are going to go on to have successful years, like Tamba Hali last year, Lamar Woodley, guys like Anthony Spencer," Thomas said when asked about the best defensive end he's faced. "I think when you play in the Big Ten, you're going to play a lot of guys who play defensive line who you're going to see in the NFL and are going to be successful."

Notre Dame's Harris ranked Spencer similarly.

"Mathias Kiwanuka was pretty good when he was at Boston College.
Anthony Spencer was also pretty good this last year at Purdue.
Every year there are defensive ends who are very good, but those two stood out in my four years," Harris said.

Spencer has been training with Brown and Harris in Orlando, but ultimately it will come down to Spencer's own ability.

Since he was somewhat disappointed with his time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine, Spencer ran again last week at his pro day and improved from 4.70 in Indianapolis to 4.64 at Purdue.

With his speed being one of his biggest assets, some teams are even considering his potential as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, but the Vikings' interest likely is limited to his pass-rush ability from the defensive end spot, which seems to be Spencer's preference as well.

"It depends on what kind of schemes the teams are using," Spencer told the Lafayette-West Lafayette Journal and Courrier in Indiana. "If it's a 3-4, they're looking at me as an outside linebacker. If it's a 4-3, then I'd have my hand down in the dirt as a defensive end."

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