2011 NFL Draft: Minnesota Vikings Are on the Clock with the 12th Pick
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2011 Record: 6-10 (.375)
Team Needs: QB, DL, OL, S
The Vikings are finally rid of the Favre Circus, but that leaves a huge hole at QB where Tavaris Jackson seemingly will never get a chance in the Twin Cities. With such a huge hole in the passing area of their game, the Vikings almost have to take a quarterback at some point.
Minnesota has the misfortune of this lockout, which means they haven't been able to talk trades or hit free agency for a veteran signal-caller. With the absence of a third pick, the aging Vikings may be headed for a few rebuilding seasons.
Replacing two defensive lineman, including Pat Williams, will be an issue. Tyrell Johnson has not developed into the player the Vikings had hoped for in the secondary, and Madieu Williams hasn't been the same since he was injured. But he wasn't showing too much of an up-side before then anyway.
The Vikings also have holes on the O-Line, including left of center and the center position itself. Seeing as the Vikes have so many important needs, it seems odd they would do anything other than take the best available at a needed position with their first-round pick.
They draft almost in the center of the fray, and C Mike Pouncey may be available at that position for them, filling one huge need. If they're able to draft Pouncey, and then a QB in the second round—like Andy Dalton from TCU or Colin Kaepernick out of Nevada—they could have the two develop some good rapport, growing with each other through their careers.
Where do the Vikings go with their draft?
Tyron Smith may be another intriguing pick if he happens to drop a few slots into the 12-spot for the Vikings to nab. An OT that commands a lot of attention and does a great job in the pass-rush, Smith would be perfect for a new QB who should plan on taking some lumps their first year.
As if that situation wasn't enough, the wideout corps is relying primarily on the injury-prone, talented two-some of Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin. If they can't stay healthy in Minnesota's mind, they may use one of their late round picks to take a good project prospect.
The Vikings have needs all over the place, but at least they don't need a RB. Adrian Peterson will continue to be a beast between the tackles, and could be even better with a reformed O-Line.
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