This may not be the most popular thought with some members of our DN family but I believe this train of thought deserves consideration.
Superbowls aren’t always won behind the arm of a QB. Defense and RBs can be just as pivotal and quite possibly more important. Take for example the Superbowl run of Denver in 1998 (Yes I know, the accursed season that should not be mentioned among Viking fans). Terrell Davis had a monster season, over 2,000 yards behind one of the legendary O-lines of Denver that produced so many 1,000 yard rushers from mediocare backs. He carried the Broncos through the postseason, registering over 100 yards each game, allowing an aging Elway to manage the game. Now the Broncos may have leaned too heavily on Terrell during the 97 and 98 seasons because he was never quite the same back. High use and injuries will do that to someone. Then there is the Superbowl runs of both Tampa Bay and Baltimore. The Defense was the cornerstone of both teams and those defenses allowed them to smother their opponents helpless and unable to score. Pittsburgh won 4 SuperBowl titles behind the Steel Curtain with what the stats would indicate a very average QB in Bradshaw. Someone else can feel free to correct me because I never saw him plan and Terry frequently mentions he wasn’t as good as the other greats.
So the point of my post: Defense and ball control. Build the team around our strongest assests. On offense, without question, All-Day Adrian Peterson, Purple Jesus, The Smacketh layer, He-whom-the-secondary-fears, whatever you want to call him, is our biggest asset. He is the most explosive combination of speed, agility, power, and vision the NFL has EVER seen. He is also one of the most conditioned and determined athletes in the NFL right now, if not ever. He doesn’t give up, he doesn’t go down easily, and he always willing to give more if you ask it. Now that I’ve said a bunch of stuff we all can agree on, hopefully, the Vikings need to build around him. Give him an elite O-line to clear the path. Switch our blocking scheme to allow our roadgraders to pave a path. Find a QB that can manage the game well, not turn the ball over but can heave the ball downfield to Rice or Harvin when the time is right. We don’t necessarily need a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady at QB. Would it be nice? Hell yeah but not necessary.
Now what does that mean for our draft? Well since you are asking my opinion, which if you are still reading I have to assume you mildly care, if the right QB isn’t there this year, don’t draft him. Spend a later round draft pick on potential QB, even if it may take him 1-3 years to develop. Invest in the O-Line. Fill the holes and let AD strike fear into the hearts of our opponents and destroy defenses with his Purple Jesus glory!
On Defense, I think we have several valuable assets. Greenway, K-Will and Allen namely. These guys are play makers. Greenway never stops moving and always seems to be near the ball, making plays and wrapping guys up. Allen draws the attention of the best tackles in football and the fear of QBs. This year was an off year for him but when you consider 10.5 sacks an off year, you must be pretty darn good. K-Will is huge to our run defense and he’s a threat to hit the QB with his size and speed. He needs someone next to him, much like Phat Pat, and Fred or Jimmy may be able to fill that role but K-Will demands so much attention in the center of the line it allows our LBs to swarm the ball carrier and hit the holes hard and fast. Winfield and Henderson are critical too but Winfield is 33 and not an asset you want to build around. Rather the Vikings should be looking for his replacement or a nickel back if Griffen and Cook can handle the CB duties.
Now for the rest of the draft idea, get some more play makers on defense to compliment our core guys. Find either a game changing safety, CB or LB that will help stifle the opposing offense. Let some of the depth in our DL shine. Put guys in that will collapse the pocket, letting Allen and Robison/Griffen feast on a rattled QB. Force quick passes that our Zone D can knock down, intercept or stop for little to no gain. Smash them in the face and when they get up, smash ‘em again!
I know I’m not providing people I would draft but rather idea but that is because I know my weakness and that is I don’t watch much college football. I cannot accurately and legitimately evaluate the draft players. I see what everyone else is saying and there are so many opinions on the QBs entering the draft that it seems noone is sold on there being a knockdown, drag out, clear cut #1 QB. Last year there was Bradford, the year before that Stafford, Flacco, and Ryan. This year, based on the comments of everyone, there doesn’t seem to be “That Guy”. So wait. Don’t pick up a guy this year that will take 1-3 years to develop in the higher rounds when that guy will likely be there next years or you may get something similar in the later rounds. Who knows, but Webb could end up being the answer and the Vikings at least owe him a chance to compete. Personally, I think the QB situation could be answered in free agency or a trade. Moving around in the draft to get the guys we need later in the first round could supply us with the picks to trade if need be.
I’m not going to claim to have the right answer but I want to present something for everyone to discuss, not drafting one of the “top tier” QBs. Discuss and Fight on Savage Norsemen!