Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Barr, Brown, Bridgewater set for Top 30; record-setting RB to visit

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion under Vikings, Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway Updated: April 14, 2014 - 3:20 PM

UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr and Louisville inside linebacker Preston Brown will both visit the Vikings for their “top 30” event on Monday and Tuesday, according to two NFL sources.

Barr could be an option for the Vikings with their eighth overall pick. The projected first round pick switched from running back to linebacker two years ago and started every game during his junior and senior seasons. Barr was a first-team All-American last year and led the Bruins in sacks (10) and tackles for loss (20).

Listed at 6-5 and 255 pounds, Barr ran the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds and finished the three-cone drill in 6.82 seconds, third among linebackers.

Brown led the Cardinals with 98 tackles last season. The second-team All-AAC linebacker posted 13 tackles in Louisville's Sugar Bowl victory over Florida in 2011. Listed at 6-1 and 251 pounds, Brown ran the 40-yard dash in 4.86 seconds. NFL.com’s Nolan Nawrocki described Brown as an “aggressive, high-collision Mike linebacker best paired with a demanding position coach who will extract the most from him.”

Adam Zimmer is the Vikings' linebackers coach and could fit that description if he's like his father, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.

The Vikings have a need at linebacker heading into the draft. They signed Jasper Brinkley to a one-year deal in free agency as they seek two starters to play alongside Chad Greenway. The Vikings have three young, but still unproven, linebackers in Audie Cole, Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti on the roster.

Along with Brown, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is expected to attend the event according to ESPN. 

  • The Vikings will also host Towson running back Terrance West before the draft, a league source confirmed. Powerfully built at 5-foot-9 and 225 pounds, the 23-year-old set the Div. I FCS (formally I-AA) single-season rushing record in 2013 with 2,519 yards. He also scored 42 total touchdowns while leading Towson to the FCS championship game. The Vikings are looking for depth behind starting running back Adrian Peterson after losing Toby Gerhart in free agency.

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