It goes without saying the Minnesota Vikings will add a defensive lineman or two in this week’s draft, but that does not mean adding a veteran is out of the question at some point. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN-Twin Cities reported defensive end Lawrence Jackson visited and worked out for the Vikings late last week, and there seems to be some mutual interest even though a formal offer was not extended.
Jackson was selected in the first round (28th overall) by the Seattle Seahawks in 2008, and has spent the past three seasons with the Detroit Lions. He has 19.5 sacks, with a career-high of six for the Lions in 2010, along with four forced fumbles in 69 career games (24 starts).
Jackson had an excellent college career at USC, starting 51 games and totaling 30.5 sacks (two seasons with 10 or more sacks). His NFL career has obviously not lived up to the hype fitting a former first-round pick, and he has not even started a game since being traded by the Seahawks. Jackson served as a rotational player behind Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril with the Lions, and he would fit similarly with the Vikings as a backup to starting defensive ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison.
The Lions reportedly have had some interest in bringing Jackson back, and he himself said via Twitter they have made an offer recently. A bidding war is unlikely to ensue between the two NFC North rivals, but with Vanden Bosch and Avril gone Detroit can theoretically offer more playing time if money is equal.
The Vikings do need to add some depth at defensive end with Allen and Robison entering contract years, but Jackson is not enough of a difference-maker to keep their attention if they add someone via the draft.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.