As draft day approaches and the mock drafts pile up, there appears to be a growing consensus that Minnesota should be focused on a corner or a wide receiver. To me, this seems to be fantasy or madness, but, either way, we need to wise up.
It is obvious that our teams biggest hole is in the secondary and most notably at cornerback. But, with the 22nd pick, are we really going to fix this? In all likelihood, both Malcolm Jenkins and Vontae Davis are going to be gone. If they are not, then great, it is a no-brainer. But, after this, we move into the second-tier players: Alphonso Smith and D.J. Moore, both of them would be a stretch/reach at this spot.
With regards to a wide receiver, I ask, "Why?" We have a speed guy in Bernard Berrian. We have the complement to him in Sidney Rice. We have a slot receiver in Bobby Wade and our tight end is really starting to blossom. Sure, Harvin would be great in the return game, but like Smith or Moore, it is not worth our top pick and the other receivers (Maclin, Heyward-Bey) are not sure things.
The only available wide receiver (including the draft) that I would like to see in purple and gold is T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and that is because he is a proven threat. He is extremely physical, in his prime, and Rosenfels should be able to get him a jump ball in the endzone. At this point, though, I feel like many other NFL fans who believe every free agent should wind up on their team, and I will likely be disappointed. So, back to the draft.
If Matt Birk does not resign, I could see Rick Spielman, Brad Childress, and Zygi Wilf opting to go for Max Unger, the center from Oregon. They could even drop back a few spots to do this and move up in the second round to take one of the other corners. But, at No. 22, Unger would not be my choice.
And now I become the lone wolf. Why not target a linebacker? I am most fond of James Laurinaitus, who can likely play all three spots, but, either way, he brings more talent to our linebacking corps. Sure, our linebacker crew was not the worst spot on our team, but depth is an issue, and we could definitely upgrade over Ben Leber and Napolean Harris.
Before the storm arrives, I will say that I did not mention quarterback or right tackle for the same reasons as my cornerback decision; they would be taking second-tier players. If Michael Oher or Andre Smith fall that far, I would certainly take them. But, for now, let's get talent!