With all drafts, teams face an immediate situation as well as future considerations. Since the Minnesota Vikings are my favorite team and were just one less turnover (if you will) away from heading to the Super Bowl, we (fans) gather together to feel the excitement of this year’s draft.
As I said earlier, teams look to the immediate future, so here are my thoughts on the direction the Vikings should go in the draft. Bear in mind that unless you are in the locker room or the so-called war room, you have no idea what their draft board looks like or what their thoughts are on any given player.
In other words this is one big guessing game, so let’s have some fun.
I always judge a draft this way and it’s pretty simple: A first round pick is someone you expect to start year one; a second round pick can start year one, but most likely year two; a third-rounder, year three, and rounds four through seven fall into the three year expectation.
Now that does not figure into special teams, because some guys are strictly special teams players and can start year one. I didn’t say it was a scientific formula. It's just my take on it.
First, let’s look at some immediate needs for the Vikings.
One area is in the defensive backfield. With Winfield getting up there in years, Griffin coming off ACL surgery, and questions as to whether Johnson or Williams can handle the safety duties, this area is a must-need. Need scale from 1-10: Eight
Second, middle linebacker: With the loss of Henderson to a horrific injury, one must ask whether Brinkley can fill in so the Vikings don't need to address this area.
There doesn’t seem to be any real depth here because it is apparent that Farwell is basically a special teams star and the jury is out on Onatolu, who seems too light at 227 lbs. I am going to take a stab at this: Leber moves to the middle and the Vikings draft an OLB because there are more choices and the position is deeper. Need scale from 1-10: Six
Third, the Vikings could use some reassurance along the offensive line. It’s a solid unit, but it had some really shaky moments and a great defense will exploit that. McKinnie is still a solid LT, although a trade would not surprise me if they could land a pick in that area, or they can move Loadholt to LT and someone else out to RT, or draft a RT a little later in the third or fourth round. Need scale from 1-10: Seven
Fourth, running back: I think the Vikings are pretty happy with what they have here because they could have easily signed LT or Westbrook, but they chose not to. So my take is that they might address this during the draft, but unless some unbelievable opportunity presents itself, they feel pretty good with Peterson, Young, Johnson and now Reynaud.
Plus, don’t forget about Harvin as an added dimension to the running game. I loved Taylor, though. Man, losing him was like losing one of your best dogs on a sled team, no disrespect intended. Need scale from 1-10: Three
Lastly, quarterback: I have to say that I am a believer in Favre. In the past I saw him play maybe four or five times a year, but this past year I saw him play about 17 times and the legend is reality. Too bad we couldn’t get him about four years ago, I know we’d be toting some Super Bowl bling.
Anyhow, I am hopeful that he returns, but if the Vikings have an opportunity to draft a QB they should do it. But more on that later—that's looking to the future. For now, he’s as good as there is. With him we are a perennial 12-4 team, without him 10-6 or 9-7. He’s worth at least three more victories a year. Need scale from 1-10: Eight (if they can get the right guy)
Okay, so here we go: It’s draft day and as of today (Friday, April 16) the Vikings draft at Nos. 30, 62, 93, 128, 161, 167, 199, and 237. Here is my dream draft with a few other possibilities thrown in for each round.
Colt McCoy, Texas—Here’s why: Yeah, he’s only 6’1”, but he is the most accurate QB coming out of the draft. He is a winner. He is smart and athletic. Will he be there at No. 30? If he is and the Vikings pass, then the interest in a franchise QB is not there and if they draft a QB it will be third or fourth round.
Possibility: Tim Tebow, Florida—This is an intriguing pick because everyone knows Tim is not ready for NFL play yet, but Lord knows his leadership is without equal and he will outwork everybody else. Again, I say intriguing because you are going to have to wait on him at least 2 years. Can the Vikings afford that? If so, don’t be surprised.
Earlier I had Dan LeFevour from Central Michigan, but there seems to be problems with arm strength, and Childress seems to desire really strong arms. I don’t know, maybe it was because it sounded like Favre.
Rodger Saffold, T, Indiana—There is a lot of good stuff written about this kid, but since he plays at Indiana you don’t see a lot of press on him. Could be a sleeper pick, and could definitely be there in round two.
Vladimir Ducasse, T, UMass—Another intriguing pick that could be a sleeper or a bust. Book on him says great upside, but UMASS is not known for its NFL lineage.
Jon Asamoah, G, Illinois—Pretty solid all around. This does not seem to be a deep position in this year’s draft, so it’s likely that the top two or three guards will go fast, and Asamoah is top two. Whether he is worth a No. 30 pick if a better positioned athlete is there remains to be seen, but if he’s there at the end of round two (doubtful), it would be a bounty type pick for the Vikings.
My guess if he is not there at all the Vikings will wait until round three or four to grab a backup G/C type, but even the center position does not look deep. A guy like Eric Olsen (C, Notre Dame) could switch to guard, but at 6’4” that seems unlikely.
Other considerations are: Mitch Petrus, G, Arkansas, or Mike Johnson, G, Alabama.
Rolando McClain, Alabama—Will be gone by No. 30, and again, not a real deep position to draft high here.
Another viable choice is Sean Lee, ILB, Penn State. Need I say more about most PSU linebackers? He’s a solid second round pick, but at No. 30, I don’t know if the Vikings take that chance. Is he a Chad Greenway-type pick? Chad was a No. 16 pick, but he's incredibly athletic and plays outside. Sean could be a great stopper in the middle. Intelligence, leadership, and tackling are his high marks.
If ILB is a later round pick there are some possibilities: Brandon Spikes from Florida, or Pat Angerer out of Iowa. With a name like Angerer, you know he’s tough and mean.
Here the field is deeper, which makes me believe the Vikings could switch Leber to middle if they get the right young flyer outside. My guess that the top three of Kindle, Weatherspoon, and Graham are gone by No. 30, but if one is there they might grab him.
Most likely Weatherspoon seems to be the one that might drop to No. 30. Again, this is contingent that my overall first round favorite, McCoy, is not there. However, there are about four guys who are very intriguing and could be solid No. 2 picks: Navorro Bowman of Penn State, Jerry Hughes from TCU, Eric Norwood of South Carolina, and Daryl Washington from TCU.
Now, I know that I gave this an immediate need of eight, but this is a deep field. The Vikings can definitely get the guy they want here at No. 30 because of the depth at the position this year. As for overall blue chippers, there are only about three: Joe Haden of Florida, Earl Thomas from Texas, and Boise State's Kyle Wilson.
There are some marginal blue chippers in Kareem Jackson of Alabama, and Devin McCourty from Rutgers. However, one of these will be there for them if they so choose. Deeper in the draft you could see names like Kevin Thomas of USC, Walter McFadden from Auburn, South Florida's Jerome Murphy.
Well, we know for sure that Eric Berry of Tennessee will NOT be there at No. 30. There is a possibility that Taylor Mays of USC may be there, but the word on Mays is that he is more of an OLB type and has problems in coverage, and with today’s offenses you cannot have someone guessing back there.
If they take Mays I will be disappointed; let Dallas have him. He could turn out to be an Ed Reed type, or a bust, but I don’t think this is the No. 30 pick they need. If it's a second or third round pick my money is on Morgan Burnett of Georgia Tech or Florida's Major Wright.
This department will be looking to the future, because will likely be Pat Williams' last year, and Kevin Williams turns 30. I feel pretty confident in the backups with Guion, Kennedy, and Evans, but if there is a bull-built stud that can plug and disrupt, by all means draft one.
Drafting at No. 30 is a good position because a DT taken 30th doesn’t have the same pressure as one in the upper or middle part of the round. It’s safe to say that Suh of Nebraska, Gerald McCoy from Oklahoma, and Dan Williams of Tennessee will be gone. That leaves a couple of interesting guys like Jared Odrick out of Penn State, although I think he’s too tall and shorter guards can get leverage under the 6’5” Odrick.
Also, there’s Lamarr Houston from Texas. He had a DWI in 2008, but he's been clean since. This guy is an interesting pick because he has good size, strength, and speed. He’s no Kevin Williams, but the problem for the Vikings is that he may be too much like Williams build-wise, whereas a Cam Thomas from North Carolina is 330 lbs.
If you have a typical 4-3 defense most of the time you want a heavyweight and the light-heavyweight together in the middle. One is the big run stuffer, occupying two blockers, while the light-heavyweight scoots through for the glory.
Well, there you have it. Here is my final, final, ultimate results draft; we'll call it a dream draft of No. 1's.
I will only project out to pick No. 128 though, but they have four more picks beyond that.
At pick No. 30: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
No. 62: Major Wright, S, Florida
No. 93: Pat Angerer, ILB, Iowa, or Darryl Washington, OLB, TCU
No. 128: Mitch Petrus, G, Arkansas
Finally, pick No. 237: Best athlete available, regardless of position.
The Vikings will look for DBs, another LB for special teams, and maybe even grab a TE. Don’t be surprised if they take a position that is not necessarily a need because of the best athlete factor.
Also, with eight picks they could package two picks for one to move up if they see someone they like, but feel like they will be gone soon. That would be a good move to give up maybe your 161st pick and 199th pick to move up to a late-140s to mid-150s choice.
Feel free to call me insane, out of my mind, illogical, genius, on the mark, whatever...It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye, but I am willing to take my chances here. Have a great one!