Vikings Visit with Linebacker

The Vikings were using their predraft visits to get to know more about a linebacker who surprised many in declaring for the 2008 NFL Draft. Find out more inside.

The Vikings have used predraft visits to gain more information about players with which they still have questions, so it's no surprise that Louisville linebacker Lamar Myles is among the Vikings' predraft visits.

Rick Spielman, Vikings vice president of player personnel, has said that the NFL Scouting Combine is a prime time to gather more information on all players, but especially juniors who have declared themselves eligible for the NFL draft. The problem with Miles is that he wasn't invited to the Combine, an apparent sore spot with his agent.

"It's a shame he didn't get an invite," Myles' agent Nate Haber told the Louisville Courier Journal. "He was made to believe he was in the top 200 or 220 after receiving a draft grade. He decided to come out early based off of that projection. Now he's not at the Combine? There's a major inconsistency here."

Myles' forced absence from the Combine is a likely reason the Vikings wanted to visit with him, as the team has done its due diligence gathering information and interviews from hundreds of pro prospects at the all-star games, NFL Scouting Combine and pro days.

Myles led the Cardinals as a junior in 2007 with 128 tackles, including eight for a loss, two sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumbles recoveries, but one of the questions scouts have about him is his lack of relative size playing linebacker.

"Little guy (220 max), who was tough and competitive," wrote former NFL scout Tom Marino in his evaluation of Myles for "Out of position playing on the inside, but may not be athlete enough to line up at the Will (weakside) backer position. A good deal stiffer than I would have expected. Adequate to process, but I didn't think he showed A-1 playing instincts. Runs around and made plays, but don't know where he fits in a pro scheme."

Myles told that he enjoys playing the most in a Tampa-2 defensive scheme, the one often used by the Vikings.

Besides his size, his relative lack of experience – he didn't become a full-time starter until his junior season – likely means he will be a late-round selection or priority signing in rookie free agency immediately following the April 26-27 draft. But he does offer some intrigue for observers trying to get to know him better.

Pro Football Weekly says that Myles "uses his hands extremely well to play off blocks, filters through traffic, and has a nose for the ball."

The Vikings have complemented their 2007 starting linebacker corps with the addition of Derrick Pope and Dallas Sartz, along with re-signing Heath Farwell and the return of Rufus Alexander off the injured-reserve list. Those additions are weighed against the free-agent loss of Dontarrious Thomas, who signed with San Francisco. While the Vikings were relatively healthy at linebacker last year, their emphasis on adding solid special teams players could be another reason for the extra look at the Louisville linebacker.

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