Monday, April 30, 2007

2007 Draft Review

Well the draft is over, the Vikings are signing a bunch of undrafted free agents who are all sure to be the next John Randle. But lets worry about the actual draft picks. Here are my thoughts...

1st round (#7) - Adrian Peterson - as discussed before I think this was absolutely the right pick. Tremendous upside to be an elusive and fast game breaker at RB. If our OL can gel better than they did last year we could move from a good ground game to one of the best in the league. Rumors of his injured clavical do not concern me at this point. Even if he elects to have surgery and miss the early part of 2007. We still have Chester and we are not expecting AP to carry the load with this offense just yet.

Rick Spielman was interviewed on ESPN radio and brought up an excellent point that most successful teams have a couple reliable and often diverse RBs that they count on. I like this pick, AP may not be the next Barry Sanders but he should be successful and I don't see any argument that this was not the correct pick at this point. Years down the road we may look back and dream of Brady Quinn in purple but we weren't the only ones to pass on him. And most importantly is that in my quick math QBs drafted in the top 10 have about a 50% success rate, whereas RBs have a much higher success rate. You can't fault this pick and now we hope for health and improved OL play.

2nd Round (#44) - Sydney Rice, WR, SC - This will be the controversial pick of the weekend, we traded down in the 2nd round since there were a handful of WRs still available. We then passed on Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith of USC and took Rice of South Carolina. Some reports are that he is very talented and some reports are less flattering. The Good? He is 6'3" with a near 40" vertical. Brad the Red Hot Childress Pepper (BRHCP) tells us that he has good hands. So combine those and you have a playmaker who can be your possession and red zone guy. Other reports are that he is immature and overly confident in his abilities. I am not a fan of Jarrett or Smith really so I'm OK with this pick. Drafting AP in the first was the right move regardless of what happens down the road, this pick however will surely be debated down the road.

3rd Round - Marcus McCauley, CB, Fresno State - I like this pick a LOT. Many reports are that after his Jr year MM was a 1st round lock and maybe a top 10 or 15 pick. He has good size and speed. So why did he drop to the 3rd round you ask? Well, he kind of sucked his Sr. year and was even benched. Ooooh great we spent our 3rd round pick on a guy who was benched at Fresno State on a team that went 4-8! Obviously your Kool Aid has gone stale in the offseason. Here is the RIGHT way to view this pick. MM's soph and jr seasons were fantastic because he had others around him who knew how to do their own jobs. His Sr. year they all graduated and he tried to make up for the mistakes of the guys around him. When he tried to do too much he wasn't able to perform his own job. Well this is the NFL, he can concentrate on doing his own job and he'll be JUST FINE. And really with a 3rd round pick taking a gamble on a guy with 1st round talent is one worth taking.

The rest of the picks...
4th - Brian Robison, DE, Texas - good size, "blue collar" work ethic and big vertical.
5th - Aundrae Allison, WR, East Carolina - scoutsInc had him as high as a 3rd round pick so this is at least good value.
6th - Rufus Alexander, OLB, Oklahoma
7th - Tyler Thigpen, QB, Coastal Carolina - this one seems odd but rumors are that they'll convert Thigpen to another position.
7th - Chandler Williams, WR, Florida International

Friday, April 27, 2007

Here is what I'd like to see...

After addressing the #7 pick, here is what I'd like to see the Vikings do tomorrow...

1. Get a WR or 2 - after Calvin Johnson I don't know that any other 1st round talent is worth it to me. I feel strongly that I do not want to see Teddy Ginn Jr. in purple and here is why. We have the fast, elusive guy in Williamson. If you can guarantee me that TG Jr will have a Devin Hester impact on this team then trade down and take him. But if not, then we are still lacking someone with reliable hands, who can run crisp routes to get open and can be a big target in the middle of the field. Outside of TG Jr I think there number of good WRs out there. Remember that last year's most successful rookie WRs were taken in the 2nd through 7th rounds so there can always be late value found at this position. It is my hope that 2 WRs are taken, one on Sat and one on Sun.

2. Get some C/G/RT help - somewhere in the 2nd or 3rd round I expect a G or maybe a RT will be drafted. Some help is needed here and I think they'll have someone in mind they hope they can get a little later.

3. Matt Speath would look good in purple - a big TE who can catch and block would be a nice mid-round pick if he's still around.

I love the draft and look forward to scrutinizing it on Monday.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What to do with the 7th pick...

I was thinking about doing an unimaginative and boring draft anlysis based on position (Monday - WRs, Tues - QBs, etc), but that is boring. So instead I'll provide you with an unimaginative and boring breakdown of our #7 possibities. Here is my list of top 7 things the Vikings should be doing on Saturday.

1. Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech - the best talent in the draft and the Viking's biggest need. This is a no brainer that if he is there at #7 you take him even if Mike Ditka calls to offer you all of his picks. He won't be there at #7 but I think this is the 1 guy you try to trade up for.
2. Joe Thomas, OL, Wisconsin - he won't be there when we pick but he is a sure bet and would help us dramatically. The problem with this pick is that we gave a truckload of $$ to McKinnie, I am not super high on Mt. McKinnie but that is a lot of cash to ignore.
3. Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma - a lot of people are saying that he is a game changer and has HoF credentials. Injuries are a concern, but if he falls to #7 there is no reason to pass on him (even with Chester in your backfield).
4. Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame - QBs are always a coin flip in the top 10 of the draft. For every Peyton Manning there are Tim Couches and Ryan Leaves. But Quinn comes from ND and I have always like his QB skills. I'm tempted to say trade the pick at this point but I wouldn't fault them for drafting Quinn.
5. TRADE the pick - I know I haven't listed a few big names yet, but that's because if JaMarcus Russell is still here either there is a reason(drugs, injury, jail, etc.) OR you can trade him for a ton of picks. I put Quinn above Russell because you'll get way more for Russell than Quinn at this point. But he won't be there so don't get too worked up. Realistically LeRon Landry may be here and you could trade him to New England for possibly both of their 1st round picks (24 and 28). I'd make that deal.
6. Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson - every player at this point is if you CAN'T work out a good trade. Adams would be good to have but realistically he might be our #3 DE for this year. You can argue that you need to look longterm and I'm throwing out a perennial All Pro DE because I want a short term impact. But what I really want is both, an impact player who will be here for years to come.
7. LeRon Landry, S - this is an update to the original post, but if LeRon is sitting here and you don't have a suitable trade, I have no problem drafting him. By all accounts he is a great talent and would be an outstanding safety for as long as we keep him under contract. Safety is supposedly an important cog to the Tampa-2 machine so there is no harm in locking down that position for the next 5+ years.

8. TRADE down
- I know I already used this one, but #5 was a scenario when a top notch guy was there and you can get significant value. At this point, nobody hits me as an impact player. Move down to the middle of the 1st round and add a 2nd or 3rd round pick. I can see an argument for Levi Brown, Jamaal Anderson or even Leon Hall; but I can make just as strong an argument for one of the mid-1st round WRs or Marshawn Lynch or another good but not projected at GREAT player.

I think I'll address WRs tomorrow since that is such a high need and deep position in this draft. ( I will NOT be addressing WRs, sorry)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Vikings Draft Needs

As the initial NFL Draft post, this one is easy...

There isn't a position on the field that couldn't be upgraded even a little bit. We obviously need somethings more than others but for the purposes of this post a small need is equal to a bigger need.

QB - TJackson is not just unproven but he is a complete unknown. Would anybody argue that Brady Quinn wouldn't be an upgrade and make you feel more comfortable about our longerm QB situation?
RB - Chester was very nice last year. But RB is a fragile position where depth is always needed AND Chester wasn't exactly a game changer. If the Viking's front office felt that Adriann Peterson was the next LT or LJ, would anybody have a problem drafting him?
WR - well this is the most glaring need. We have nothing this position will HAVE to be addressed at some point this weekend.
TE - Wiggins is gone and NYG TE2 is a complete unknown. A 2nd day pick at TE wouldn't be at all shocking.
OL - the left side is pretty well set, but an early G or T pick could be a huge upgrade, especially for an essential rookie at QB.

DL - we NEED a DE to put pressure on the QB. We are set at DT, but Pat Williams is aging and drafting insurance or at least an eventual replacement wouldn't be a bad idea either.
LB - I think they have starters set and I'd be SHOCKED to see the #7 pick go towards LB, but depth and someone to push the the current starters would upgrade the position.
CB - I like Winfield and Griffin, but you have to have at least 3 or 4 CBs you can count on. The Vikings do not have that.
S - seems like we have a handful of safeties (Doss, Sharper, Smith), but it is a KEY position in the Tampa 2 defense and there is speculation we'll draft a safety with the #7 pick.

I implore you to defy my logic that we could use an upgrade at any position on the field. But this is an exciting week! Will we land the next Randy Moss, Culpepper, Robert Smith? Or will we get to add a new name to the likes of Dimitrius Underwood, Derrick Alexander, Troy Williamson :)!

Saturday, April 21, 2007


All right, it is time to wake from the most boring off season in the history of off seasons. Seriously here is the list of the most exciting off season moves for the Vikings.

  1. EJ Henderson moves to MLB (that's middle linebacker, not Major League Baseball). This was his "natural" position. He did struggle at MLB in the past so it will actually be important to the defense that he succeed in this new position but not exactly compelling season ticket renewals.
  2. Free Agent signings!!! - we were major players this year and by major players I mean we signed a back up TE (I can't spell his name so I'll just refer to him as NYG TE 2), we signed Bobby Wade and Mike Doss. Doss is actually a great value and a player who will contribute next year, but again I didn't exactly call all my friends (read friend) about any of these moves.
  3. Police Blotter News - even this was boring (and we are talking the Vikings here)! Ronyell Whitaker was arrested for an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court on a careless driving charge. And Cedric Griffin was maced for refusing to pull up his pants while trying to gain entrance into a downtown nightclub. Somewhere Keith Millard is wondering how these Vikings went so soft!
  4. And finally we have some exciting stadium news. Oh wait, nope this is the lamest of them all. The Vikings unveiled plans for a new stadium to be built on the Metrodome footprint, but there are no plans to actually finance the stadium.
But there is hope, the NFL draft is next weekend! I love the draft and I can't wait to see what the Vikings do with their pick? Brady Quinn? Adrian Peterson? a move for Calvin Johnson? Gaines Adams? So much to think about and I'll have some positional previews this week!!!

Kool Aid Drinkers