As the season comes to a close, we all begin to ponder what the off-season holds. Will we get our hands on some top level free agents? What will we draft? How is Adrian Peterson and what does his future hold? Is Christian Ponder made to handle the rigors of NFL life, or will he be injury/concussion prone with a talent deprivated offensive line to protect him?
I believe it will be difficult to attract any upper eschelon talent to Minnesota via free agency. First off, unless you like the outdoors, there are warmer places to live. The stadium is not desirable to play in and the team is in limbo right now. That being said, there's always hope. With personable talent like Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson, we have a chance. I believe the Vikings could be a winning team as soon as next year with a couple free agent signings and a smart draft.
The Vikings have many important decisions to make in regards to personnel and scheme. This will greatly affect the draft.
Many people say draft Kalil. He will probably not be available unless the Rams trade the #2 pick, as i believe they would take kalil, even though they have been OL heavy in the last two drafts. I would rather take adams out of ohio state or even potter out of boise state. The might not be as good, but they are both good, athletic players, an upgrade and could be had in the second, or possibly Potter might slide to the 3rd round(that would be a steal).
Others say draft Claiborne. He doesn't fit the Vikings scheme at all. His strength is man to man, which we
almost never play due to lack of secondary talent. unless you are willing to trade for another cover corner or draft a second corner next year, don't do it. Stephon Gilmore, a junior out of south carolina, is an excellent zone cover man with an eye for the pick and great open field tackling skills. He should be available in the second round. This frees up our first round pick to trade if RG3 is available and we can get a minor ransom.
Strong safety Barron out of alabama has an eye for the ball and is a big time tackler with some real pop. He is a little slow, but has great instinct. If he fell to the second round, he would be a steal. He will probably go to the Jets in the first, but a guy can dream. If the Vikings are able to trade their first round pick for a later first and multiple other picks, this might be a bonus pick.
At WR I like Nick toon out of wisconsin. He has good size, good hands, and he might stretch the field with a 40 time of 4.52 ( Blackmon's 40 is 4.55), he is a threat and could be had by a late second round pick or a absolute steal in the third. Another WR i would love to gamble on is Lewis out of East Carolina. Good size, same 40 as Toon. He has had some injury problems, but could possibly be had in the 6th round. That is a gamble i'm willing to take for the upside of a Sidney Rice.
An upgrade at RG could be had in the third or possibly fourth round in Kevin Zietler out of wisconsin. He is one of the best interior linemen in the country with his long arms, strength, experience, and toughness. He could start at right guard and be the successor to Hutch at left guard.
Riddled with injuries, including the neck, could make Tyler Nielsen out of Iowa a steal. He is a legitimate 3rd rounder, but could slide. I like him in the 4th and love him in the 5th.
As for running back, we look set. I, however, am not convinced that AP will make a speedy recovery and Gerhart just doesn't have the burst to make things happen with an o-line that has difficulty creating holes. I would actually like to see the Vikes take a back in the mid to late rounds if someone slides and is a good value. I would take Ball out of wisconsin in the third or later, and i would take Meggett out of maryland in the 5th or later. Meggett has an NFL pedigree. His father Dave, played for the Giants alongside otis anderson.
If we get extra picks, I would love to get Thompson out of Clemson to play DT. He is an absolute beast. We need to upgrade the interior line with an aging Kevin Williams and take pressure off of Jared Allen. Thompson can generate a pass rush and tackle the runner. We could get back to stopping the run. Although we need offensive linemen more, and everyone seems to think kalil is a can't miss, I wish the Vikings would take this guy in the first by trading down and acquiring more picks. Adams, Potter, and Zietler are all 2-3 round picks and i like all 3.
Now it's time to put yourself in the Vikings WAR room on draft day and make the picks that will transform the Purple and Gold's future for years to come. Bring your best board and explain why and how you got there.