Combine: Team Studying Defensive Linemen

It's no secret the Vikings are interested in adding a defensive tackle, probably through the draft, but with so many quality tackles in this year's crop it might be hard to tell which ones team officials really like. Their actions at the combine are pointing us to two in particular.

If there were any questions about the Vikings' awareness of their current defensive status, they surely are placing those thoughts to rest.

Within the first hours of the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, the Vikings have set their sights on many of the top-rated defensive players that will be in the NFL draft. Defensive linemen have been the Vikings initial targets, talking to some, watching others.

This is a serious affair for the team that has some significant ground to make up in the 2003 season and this organization completely believes that the 2003 season will be an extremely competitive one for the Minnesota Vikings.

A common belief coming from those in the organization is the coaching staff is downplaying the excitement they have with some of the players spoken with thus far. From film studies and subsequent interviews, the Vikings have their sights set on the best available player. And that player may even be from the offensive side of the ball.

Presently, the Vikings have looked at the usual suspects, defensive linemen Jimmy Kennedy and Michael Haynes from Penn State, Dewayne Robertson from Kentucky, William Joseph and Jerome McDougle from Miami, and Johnathan Sullivan from Georgia.

Indications coming into this column are that the Vikings are extremely impressed with the size, quickness and physical nature of Robertson and Sullivan.

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