Obviously my draft assumes the Vikings will have no major veteran additions or losses in the next month. And it includes Favre returning!
1. Devin McCourty-CB
For years I've suggested that Griffin has a better future inside. He's a very effective Cover-2 zone corner, but if defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier wanted to get more flexible in his coverages, someone with more diversity of talent would be necessary outside.
Griff's solid tackling, football instincts, and ball skills would allow him to slide inside, regardless of scheme. If McCourty and Allen pan out, letting Griff return as a safety will put less strain on his healing ACL as well.
It's easier to protect a less-than-100 percent knee inside than it is out on an island.
One alternative would be C/G Maurkice Pouncey, who many have slated to be gone by the time the Vikes get on the clock.
2. Montario Hardesty-RB
Amongst Hardesty's many strengths is his excellent ball security—maybe some of that can rub off on Peterson. If another team makes an offer you can't refuse to move up to this pick, though, then I'd trade down and get more shots on goal.
In that case, I'd pick up one of the alternate third-rounders below as well as a RB, either Ben Tate in the fourth or Joique Bell later.
3. Mitch Petrus-G/C
Other third-rounders I like are guard John Jerry (cousin of Jamarca Sanford), DT/DE Mike Neal, and a couple of corners, Chris Cook and Javier Arenas.
4. Torrell Troup-NT
5. Blair White-WR/gunner
5. Jevan Snead-QB
6. Tony Washington-LT
7. Barry Church-S
Some folks will sneer at the Snead pick. It's only a fifth-rounder, and it's not like I'm anointing him as Jackson's immediate replacement, much less Favre's. But he's got talent and if you have any questions about your future at QB, throwing a fifth-rounder at Snead is not a bad bet.
Plus, I'm thinking Snead has a better chance to get into Favre's inner circle than most rookie QBs, even those who will be drafted higher. He's got a little bit of Favre in him (good arm and a non-conformist, I-did-it-my-way attitude).
I'd be willing to bet a fifth-rounder his problems last year have less to do with his true NFL potential than being mishandled by his college coach, spread offense nut Houston Nutt. Given Favre's willingness to take Percy Harvin under his wing last season, it could be a real factor in a rookie QB's chances.
Real NFL executives can't afford to rely on guesses or go out on a limb as much as we fans can. Even if every single guy we drool over turn into busts, we still get to keep our jobs.
But, boy, wouldn't it be fun to be Rick Spielman for a day?