The Minnesota Vikings were widely expected to make a middle linebacker one of their high draft picks to address perhaps the largest void on an otherwise-promising roster.
Their expected starter at this critical position, though, was on the team all along. Erin Henderson, who played the weak side spot last season, has been given the first opportunity to take over. The 26-year-old said Wednesday he was told by the coaches a few months ago to prepare accordingly. So he's put on about 10 pounds to his 6-foot-3 frame to near 250.
''I look forward to the challenge. It's something new for me to learn, something new for me to put my brain to and help me refocus a little bit with the kind of work and time I have to put in in order for us to be successful,'' Henderson said during a break from strength and conditioning drills in the field house at Winter Park.
When Jasper Brinkley signed with Arizona, the Vikings had no obvious replacement. There were veterans available in free agency, incl...