Vikings look to youth movement along defensive line


Move over age and experience, the Minnesota Vikings are in the midst of a youth movement along the defensive line.

With Jared Allen signing in Chicago, Letroy Guion in Green Bay and Kevin Williams knowing his days in Vikings purple are over, the team has brought in a group of young free-agent defensive linemen to try to rebuild their defensive front.

Brian Robison is the only full-time starter remaining from last season, according to FOX Sports Net. Robison, 31, knows things are going to be quite different for the Vikings next year.

"We played with the same guys pretty much throughout our career," Robison told FOX Sports Net. "You've still got some guys there but I mean the core guys really, it's going to be very different for us. At the same time, it's exciting whenever you get new guys because you see the possibilities that can happen."

Robison became a starter along the defensive line in 2011. He is coming off of his best year as a pro. Robison finished the season with a career-high nine sacks. Since becoming a starter, Robison has had at least eight sacks in all three seasons.

After years of looking to Allen and Williams for leadership, Robison told FOX Sports Net he's ready to assume the leadership role now.

The Vikings made a commitment to get younger upfront. Instead of re-signing Allen, the Vikings gave a new contract to the younger and ever promising Everson Griffen. Griffen, 26, has had 17.5 sacks over the last three seasons playing as a part-time pass rusher along the defensive line.

The Vikings hope Griffen can regain the promise he showed in 2012 when he had eight sacks. That total dipped to 5.5 sacks last season. The Vikings also signed defensive end Corey Wootton from Chicago.

Instead of bringing back Kevin Williams, they added former New York Giant Linval Joseph. Additionally, they re-signed Fred Evans and brought in New Orleans defensive lineman Tom Johnson.

Floyd, who the Vikings selected in the first round of the 2013 draft, is expected to become a full-time starter.

"I think it's our time to show what we can do," Floyd told FOX Sports Net. "I'm not saying it's going to be any better than what it was or its going to be great. But we're going to do what we have to do and we're going to play ball."

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