The Vikings’ recent drafts have transformed the team’s defense through the addition of athletic players who have shone at the NFL combine. So who’s next? Here’s a look at three players whom the Vikings might keep in mind after their performances at the combine:
TAVEN BRYAN, DT, FLORIDA
As the Vikings look for a three-technique tackle to help them replace Sharrif Floyd, they could turn to another former Gator to help at the position. The 6-4, 291-pound Bryan needs some polish, but he put up 30 repetitions on the bench press while running a 4.98-second 40-yard dash.
VITA VEA, DT, WASHINGTON
His size (6-4, 347 pounds) and strength (41 bench press reps) might make him a better fit at nose tackle than three-technique, but the Vikings could add him as a run-stuffing complement to Linval Joseph. Vea would need work as a pass rusher, but his strength and heavy hands would make him hard for blockers to handle on bull rushes.
ADE ARUNA, DE, TULANE
The Vikings have made a habit of looking for athletic pass rushers in the late rounds whom they can develop; Aruna could be the next one on the list. At 6-6 with 34-inch arms, he’s got the body type the Vikings seek at defensive end, and he flashed his athleticism with a 4.6 40 and 38½-inch vertical leap. He’d need to add strength and get some time with defensive line coach Andre Patterson, but he could be a project worth a late pick.