It's been a wild couple of weeks here in North-East Minnesota and Western North Dakota. I haven't had much time to contribute to Bleacher Report. In case you're wondering, we're kind of battling a historic flood that has destroyed many houses, businesses, and even schools.
But with things finally calming down, I have time to write about the subject that has bothered me most this off-season surrounding the Minnesota Vikings draft.
It all started with Mel Kiper Jr. Soon, Todd McShay followed. Now it seems like nearly 90 percent of Vikings' fans want a wide receiver chosen with the 22nd overall pick. My only question is, Why?
If you hadn't noticed, the last few Vikings receivers drafted haven't really panned out. Sidney Rice has been injured for much of his stay, Aundrae Allison was a good special teams player last year, but clearly lost a step, and Jaymar Johnson didn't touch so much as the turf at the Metrodome all season.
Do we really need a wide receiver? Berrian is a proven deep threat and managed to catch for nearly 1,000 yards last season without a decent quarterback at the helm. Bobby Wade is a very talented slot receiver who is quick and agile.
The only thing missing is a possession receiver. That's something Sidney Rice has the potential for, but hasn't proven it yet.
Are you all really ready to put your faith on another wide receiver? Let's take a look at some of the best wide receivers in the draft and see how they would fit in the Vikings' scheme.
Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin: There is no chance of the Vikings acquiring either of these guys. If you think they can get one, you're insane.
Percy Harvin: He was a running back and wide receiver hybrid player at Florida. The Vikings could use another running back as there is no depth behind Peterson and Taylor. He is not a possession receiver nor is he a deep threat like Berrian. He is a slot runner and good in open space, that's it.
He has a knock on his behavior, but if someone could enlighten us all of exactly what problems that would be great. He hasn't had any problems that I'm aware of. Maybe in high school, but not in college.
Why don't the Vikings need him? He is not a full time receiver and lacks the ideal size to be possession receiver. We don't need another Bobby Wade.
Darrius Heyward-Bey: He has lacked consistency and had a less than mediocre 2008 season. He is a pure deep threat and nothing else. We are already stretching the field with Berrian. Adding a deep threat would be pointless and render our passing game even less pointless than it already is.
He has a sick 40-yard dash time at 4.30 and has a little height to him. I think scouts look at these two combinations and automatically think he's great. You have to look at a receivers hands and route running, something Heyward-Bey lacked in both 2007 and 2008.
Kenny Britt: If the Vikings decide on a wide receiver at all, I would pick this guy. He is a possession receiver and the strongest receiver in the draft. He doesn't have the ideal speed, but his hands are amazing and the combination of his height and vertical jump could be deadly.
The Vikings have another receiver like this. His name is Sidney Rice. He has been injured and hasn't been tested fully. He's still very young and has yet to get solid playing time. Get off of Rice's back and give him a chance to flourish next season.
Hakeem Nicks: He put on over 12 pounds after the combine and refused to run the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. This raises serious questions about his willingness to play in the NFL as well as his work ethic. If he thinks he's going to get a free ride in the NFL, he's sorely mistaken. The Vikings don't need a locker room distraction right now.
He's one of the slower wide receivers picked to be a first rounder. I hope this guy ends up in the second round because that's where he belongs. He put up great numbers last season, but I'm not going anywhere near that bandwagon.
Those are the top four receivers that the Vikings have a chance at getting in the first round. They could also look at Brian Robiskie, but he should be a second rounder.
None of these receivers other than Kenny Britt really belong to be on the Vikings. We don't need a deep threat or locker room distraction. We need someone who can play without getting angry at only catching three balls per game.
Here are the two biggest reasons the Vikings don't need to draft a wide receiver in the first round.
Secondary Reason: There is no quarterback to throw the ball. If you think Jackson can improve and become a decent starter, you're one of the few. He had a great run at the end of the season, but fell apart against a blitz-happy Philly team.
Sage Rosenfels has never been a career starter. What makes you think he can become one now? His numbers last year were terrible, but his completion percentage is very nice. Do you believe in Sage bringing us to the promised land?
Primary Reason: The Vikings need a right tackle who can protect the front side. Ryan Cook is terrible and his backups aren't any better. Get a decent right tackle in there to help our quarterback out. Giving up forty-three sacks in a season is ridiculous. There is no excuse for that.
The answer is simple. Draft a tackle and give Sage/Tarvaris more time to throw. This will make our receivers more effective and open up the field for Peterson and Taylor.
You need to have an offensive line for a quarterback to be successful. With even three-tenths of a second, a quarterback can drastically improve his accuracy and make smarter throws.
Another wide receiver isn't going to help this team. Wide receivers take the longest to develop of any other position on an offense. It usually takes between three to four years to get solid production out of a receiver. Randy Moss was a once in a lifetime chance and the Vikings let him go for Troy Williamson.
Offensive tackles can make an immediate impact. They usually start within their first two years and develop very quickly. Look at Ryan Clady and what he has done for the Broncos offensive line. They gave up only twelve sacks all season, giving Cutler plenty of time to throw the ball.
This team is ready to win now. Our defense isn't getting any younger and neither is part of our offense. We don't have time to draft a wide receiver and develop him into an elite player. You think Childress can really make a receiver look good?
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