Vikings Taking a Closer Look at DE

It's no secret the Vikings are looking for help at defensive end, especially someone who can provide some pass rush. Find out more about a small-college prospect the team is looking at this week.

According to a league source, Hampton defensive end Kendall Langford was scheduled to visit with the Vikings today.

He played in the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl before being invited to the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, so he's gotten lots of exposure in front of pro scouts.

Langford clearly has the physical tools to make the jump to the NFL, but reviews are somewhat mixed.  Some view him as a potential top-100 pick in the draft; others think his stock has dropped as a result of his post-season activity.

It's safe to say that he at least showed flashes during both his bowl game experiences and his combine workout.

At the East-West Shrine Game he showed some bull-rush potential and also flashed some outside pass rush.  Some felt he continued to improve his technique during Senior Bowl practices and an ability to stand up against the run.  Still, his consistency seemed to fluctuate depending on the level of competition he was facing.

"Langford didn't have success getting in the backfield," according to NFL draft analyst Chris Steuber.  "He had trouble shedding blocks and didn't show much explosion off the line.  Langford was a mid-round prospect entering the Senior Bowl and left Mobile with question marks heading into the Combine."

At Indianapolis, he turned in solid numbers for a big man:  6-foot-5 ½ inches tall, 287 pounds, 24 reps at 225 pounds, 1.62 10-yard dash, 2.84 20-yard dash, 4.95 40-yard dash, 27-inch vertical jump, 9'-6" broad jump, 4.69 short shuttle and a 7.72 three-cone drill time.

Langford still needs a lot of technique work, but could blossom under the tutelage of Vikings defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, who coached him at the East-West Shrine Game.

The key might be where he would be drafted.  He might be a bit of a boom-or-bust selection in the first three rounds, but after that he could represent a worthwhile investment with a lot of upside potential.

Other links:  College bio

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