Friday, February 23, 2007

Offseason NEEDS

Here is the PKA assesment of the Viking's needs in order...

1. WR - this position is embarassingly bad. Upgrade at any cost. The problem is that the free agent class is headlined by Kevin Curtis. Not exactly a marque name, I mean 40 receptions, 479 yards and 4 TDs is really good and all but um help from the free agent pool might not actually be of any help. Other free agent WRs include...

Donte Stallworth
Travis Taylor
Drew Bennett
Bethel Johnson
The other obvious source of help is the Draft. In this case the draft's deepest position might be WR. Most mock drafts currently have the Vikings taking Ted Ginn Jr. He is the 2nd highest rated WR by most ratings, but he is eerily similar to Williamson (small, fast, questionable routes and hands). Ginn is supposed to be a dynamic punt/kick returner which would be a nice weapon to have but Williamson was supposed to be that same threat which goes to show that there is no sure thing. Here are some potential early picks at WR...
Calvin Johnson - super talent who is big, fast and has great hands, likely gone by #7
Ted Ginn Jr. - small SUPER fast (4.30 40 by some accounts)
Dwayne Jarret - USC WR who is big but questions surround his character and not likely a guy the Vikes will covet
Sidney Rice - S. Carolina guy (like Williamson) but could be the real sleeper of the draft. Potential Vikings pick should they trade down in the 1st round. A guy the PKA covets!
Robert Meachem - Tenn, I don't know much about him other than a 1st round talent
Craig Davis - LSU, see Meachem
2. Right side of the OL - Hutchinson anchors the right side and McKinnie is OK (although overrated), but the right side is brutal. Landing a G and a T is like asking for an XBox 360 and a PS3 for Christmas it's just plain greedy. I think that Marcus Johnson and Cook have shown a bit of talent and maybe some experience will allow them to be adequate. My hope is that we find an answer for RG. If we get down to just 1 hole on the right side we can concentrate on helping that leak. I don't claim to be a great offensive line mind but lists the following OGs as 4 or 5 star free agenst...
Eric Steinbach - Cin, 5 stars
Mike Gandy - Buf, 4 stars
I'm too lazy to look up their contract status at this point but I'm going to assume they are still available and as far as I know they'd look good in purple.

3. Defensive End - many would likely put this as #2 or even #1 on the Vikings offseason priority list. The defense was not the problem in 2006 and the areas above would dramatically improve the offense without a complete overhaul. And this position might be upgraded by Erasmus James returning from injury. James has shown signs of being a very good DE. James and Udeze figure to be the starting ends in 2007. The big name free agent DEs were either Restricted or Franchised so that would leave the draft as the next best option. But there is no guarantee that said drafted DE would be a better option that the 2 projected starters.
Gaines Adams - Clemson, figures to be a top 7 pick (hey, we pick 7th). Gaines might be gone by the time we pick but if he is around chances are good that he'll be a Viking. Pass rusher but his "motor" and size have come into question.
Jamaal Anderson - Arkansas, also figures to be available or a recent pick when the Vikes are on the clock. Anderson's motor doesn't come into question but his upside probably isn't as high as Adams'.
4. Middle Linebacker - Napo is a free agent and I'll be surprised by not shocked if he comes back. He was better than expected last year but he had his breakdowns to do along with this "moments." I suppose the answer is Greenway but if he is as out of shape as I hear he is then we may need some help. I'd expect a 2nd day LB draft pick and some free agents coming through town. The only thing that excites me outside of Napo would be enticing Adalius Thomas to come here and leanr MLB! He is a stud and probably the best defensive FA out there but I'm not holding my breath.

5. Tight End
- we could use an upgrade here in my opinion, especially if Kleinsasser is gone then depth is an issue as well.

6. Depth at Corner - Winfield and Griffin are solid, but with the expected release of Smoot we have little depth.

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