Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vikes Offseason/Draft Preview

So far this offseason, the Vikes have really made four big moves.

1) Minnesota traded away disgruntled and often injured playmaking receiver Percy Harvin to Seattle for their 1st Round & 7th Round picks this year and their 3rd Round pick next year.

2) To help make up for the huge hole left at wide receiver, the Vikes signed former Packer receiver Greg Jennings. Jennings is 29, but still appears to have a lot of good football in him and now gives the Vikes a legit number one wide out.

3) Also the Vikes addressed the MUCH needed backup quarterback position by signing former Chief and former Patriot quarterback, Matt Cassel. Cassel will push Christian Ponder for the starting role, but it appears Ponder will be the starter once the season begins. Thankfully this should end the Joe Webb era in Minnesota.

4) The Vikes cut cornerback, Antoine Winfield due to his high salary. The Winfield cut was a surprise, but for not an every down player, his salary was huge. Winfield is amazing against the run and one of the best tacklers in the league. He also was a leader on the Vikes. There is some talk that he would return to the Vikings at a lower salary, but he will test the market first. He is rumored to be on the Redskins radar.

With the NFL Draft less than a month away (April 25-27) and the Vikes with 11 picks in the draft, it is time to start getting excited again about football season.

Last year the Vikes nailed the draft by selecting: Matt Kalil, OT (1st Round), Harrison Smith, S (1st Round) and the Blair Walsh Project, K (6th Round). They also drafted some guys that appear to have some potential in: Josh Robinson, CB (3rd Round), Jarius Wright, WR (4th Round) and Rhett Ellison, TE (4th Round).

Minnesota has the following picks in the NFL Draft: First Round #23 & #25, Second Round #52 overall, Third Round #83 overall, Fourth Round #102 overall and #120 overall, Fifth Round #155 overall, Sixth Round #189 overall and Seventh Round #213 overall, #229 overall and #231 overall.

Heading into the draft, the Vikes have several holes, but not necessarily a must draft position in the first round. Although I really hope they go wide receiver with one of the first two picks. Minnesota needs help at WR, CB, LB, DT and QB (although they don’t admit this).

In the first round, several options will likely exist for them with their first two picks. At wide receiver, Tavon Austin (West Virginia) is a burner/playmaker in the Percy Harvin mold who is pictured above. Other options are Keenan Allen (California) who has some injury concerns, Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee) and Justin Hunter (Tennessee).

Desmond Trufant (Washington) is a candidate at cornerback to be selected by the Vikes in the First Round.

Linebacker options in the First Round include Manti Te’o (Notre Dame) and his imaginary girlfriend. Not sure if we’d have to spend both picks to get them or just one.

Sylvester Williams (North Carolina) or Sheldon Richardson (Missouri) would both be options at Defensive Tackle.

The two I want are Austin and Trufant. Both are playmaker  at spots where we have some serious need. In less than a month we will find out if Rick Spielman hits another home run in this year’s NFL Draft.

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