The Vikings felt that wide receiver was a huge need that needed to be addressed. With a proven deep threat in Bernard Berrian and a nice slot guy in Bobby Wade, the Vikings thought the missing piece to the puzzle was another wide receiver.
With Sidney Rice spending a lot of his rookie year learning the Vikings' scheme and adjusting to our frigid weather, he didn't get a ton of playing time.
In 2008, Rice spent much of the year on the sidelines injured. He ended a disappointing 2008 campaign with 15 receptions for 141 yards and four touchdowns.
Running back is actually a need for the Vikings who have no one behind their star running back duo of Adrian Peterson and Chestor Taylor. The third string back last season, Maurice Hicks, never really played at the running back position and was cut early this offseason.
So, with running back and wide receiver as a need, the Vikings believe they have solved both problems with one pick, Percy Harvin.
The 20-year old wide receiver/running back hybrid had a good year last season for the National Champions catching 40 passes for 644 yards and 7 touchdowns. In addition to those, he also ran the ball 70 times for 659 yards and ten touchdowns.
It's all good until you factor in that before the NFL combine, this guy was lighting up the pipe.
I know many of you think that it's not that big of a deal and you're probably right. The only problem I have is the fact that common sense has to kick in sooner or later for this kid. Why would you, before the biggest day of your life, choose to smoke pot when you know you're going to get tested for it at the combine?
Sorry, but that comes off as a little, well, stupid. This raises huge questions about him.
Other than his alleged character issues, what's wrong with drafting this kid?
One reason is that this guy is not an everyday receiver. He's a hybrid. How many carries will this guy get with Peterson and Taylor in the mix? It's unlikely that he'll get more than 15 carries all season unless one of the two gets hurt.
He's fast and there's no denying that. Will that really matter in the long run? This guy reminds me so much of Reggie Bush, but that's not what we needed.
The biggest and most disturbing reason is two of the top five tackles were still available at pick 22. Michael Oher or Eben Britton would have addressed the biggest need outside of quarterback for the Vikings. Oher is a dominant tackle who started over 40 plus games in college while Britton was just a beast in college.
The Vikings surenderd 43 sacks last season, good for 26th in the league. I know many of those can be attributed to a lack of mobility at the quarterback position, but still, 43 in inexcusable for what was supposed to be a dominant offensive line.
I'm sorry if I sound like this was a terrible pick...oh wait, it was.
While there are many good tackles in this years' draft, it's hard to argue that any could be as good as Oher or Britton.
A quarterback without an offensive line to protect him won't be able to get the ball to his receivers. This is one Vikings' fan who strongly believes this pick was one of the worst draft moves in the Brad Childress era.
The second round redeemed Childress only a little.
The Vikings did finally draft their offensive tackle. The Vikings decided to go with the big man Phil Loadholt out of Oklahoma.
At 6'8'' and 337 pounds, Loadholt was the biggest tackle in the NFL draft.
At the NFL combine, Loadholt ran an unimpressive 5.53 40-yard dash and benched an equally unimpressive 225 pounds 24 times (unimpressive compared to other tackles of course).
Don't let those numbers fool you though. Loadholt uses his massive frame to bull defenders out of the way. He is one of the better run-blocking lineman in the draft.
While I think he is going to be a good lineman for the Vikings, I can't help but think another certain lineman would have been the better choice here.
I was more than angry when the Vikings decided to pass on Oher in the first round. That same feeling crept back up when the Vikings selected Loadholt.
William Beatty, projected as the fifth best tackle in the draft was still sitting without a team when the Vikings second round pick was came up. It was a no brainer in my mind, but the wonderful head coach that is Brad Childress decided to pass up another great player.
Beatty performed much better at the combine than his counterpart Loadholt. He ran a rather impressive 40 at 5.12 and benched 27 times.
While I strongly disagree with the first round pick, I can live with the second. At least they addressed the tackle position with someone of merit.
I can only hope that Childress proves us all wrong on his first round selection, but I highly doubt it.
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