CB, OT, WR (C, DT) My Take on the Minnesota Vikings' Offseason Needs
I would love to see Jason Smith come to us in the draft. But how realistic is it to think that the likes of Jason Smith, Michael Oher, and Andre Smith will still be on the board at 22?
I can see Andre Smith possibly falling to 22, but with his on and off field antics and combine cop-out, I would hope the Vikes don't consider him here. I'd rather see them take Eben Britton or Phil Loadholt in the second round.
I'd like to see Minnesota take a corner with their first pick. My heart is set on Alphonso Smith. He is being widely considered as another, younger, version of Antoine Winfield. With his playmaking ability and toughness he'd be a welcome addition in Minnesota alongside Winfield for a few years.
He'd also be a capable replacement for Winfield, when Winfield's time does come. I can only wish that he will fall to us in the second round, but if he does get out of the 1st round, I don't believe he will last that long. So we will most likely have to use 22 on him if he even makes it that far.
A possession receiver is needed but I am reluctant to take a receiver in the 1st round. The mistake that we made with the seventh overall pick we got for dealing Moss in '05 (Troy Williamson anybody?) still hangs over my head from time to time.
There is a need for a WR, but I believe we can use a second or maybe even a later round pick to gather one.
Nicks, Heyward-Bey, and Harvin will most likely not be on the board with a late second round pick, but there is possibility for Kenny Britt to still be on the board, but it's hard to guarantee any real success at the next level with a rookie receiver, unless you've got the second coming of Mr. Fitzgerald or Mr. Boldin.
It sucks to admit, but I think the Vikings may have missed out on the receiver(s) that would fit best with their system.
Sure we didn't offer Houshmandzadeh enough money, but I think it was wise of us not to. He was over-payed by Seattle and I don't think five years at $40m is worth TJ's services. What really bothered me was that we didn't even consider the receiver I really would've liked to see in Minnesota, Nate Washington.
He may not quite be a No. 1 caliber receiver but he would fit well as a go-to guy in Minnesota. I would like to say Marvin Harrison would fit great here, but I truly believe he is very much on the decline as far as his play is concerned.
Also, his asking price for that of an older receiver with his best years behind him, probably would've been more outrageous than what Houshmandzadeh got in Seattle.
The same goes for a receiver like Terrell Owens, who has just been released by the cowboys. With Terrell, I would be willing to overlook his age, but with his off-the-field issues, asking price, and his ability to become a locker room cancer everywhere he goes, the Vikings won't touch 81 with a 10-foot pole (Although it's a neat idea).
Right now, I think the Vikings should first address the CB position preferably in the draft but there are some veterans on the market that would perform for a run at a ring. They should then pursue an OT possibly in Free Agency with Tauscher, but if not, most definitely in the second round.
After Minnesota acquired another solid corner and a solution at right tackle, a WR now makes sense.
With recent signings around the league, I would add a Center through the draft and also a Defensive Tackle. Being careful not to pick any players that need a 3-4 year "grooming period" before they can be at least an average player at the NFL level.
Sorry Coach Childress, we have no time for another 3-4 year project pick, at any of the aforementioned positions. Maybe in three or four years when our chance may have passed us by, then we can start grooming three or four year guys.
Our team is quickly aging and we have the talent to win a super bowl bid now, and it may not be around very much longer. If the Vikings can make some noise in the playoffs in '09, a new stadium would seem closer to being a realistic undertaking.
P.S. It seems only right to express my great distaste for the fact that the Vikings Front Office failed to bring back our very own hometown kid. Matt Birk, an eleven-year veteran, seven time Pro Bowler, Harvard graduate, and Minnesota native signed a three year contract with Baltimore yesterday and will likely retire with the Ravens.
I'd like to tip my hat to the Man of the Year finalist and say thanks for all 11 of those great years in Minnesota.
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