We are always seeing likely plans Minnesota will do in the off-season. The Vikings biggest needs are WR, DT & LB, so that seems the likely direction we will go. And what about decisions on several of our own players; how will that turn out? From the outside looking in, it seems pretty obvious what needs to be done. Easy job for Spielman right, trim the fat and draft and pick up the best players available.
Well what if things did not go as expected, what would the landscape look like next season in Minnesota? The Vikings are going to push hard to keep Loadholt, but will another team offer him more than he would get in Minnesota. Felton did a great job this past year and will want a raise, but Ellison did well also when lining up as fullback for Peterson and is younger and cheaper. They would like to restructure contracts for J Allen, K Williams and from what I've heard a couple times A Winfield. What if only one of them will budge? They cut loose several vets last off-season, surely they won't again, will they? Of the three, Allen is owed the most by far at around 17 million for next year. There is likely no trade partner, what if they just flat out released him if he wouldn't restructure with the depth behind him? They also may be looking at finally replacing C Johnson with him being such a liability in pass protection and would free up more cap space. Most of these players are likely to return, but would not expect all of them.
Depending on where the Vikings are at after free agency and possible cuts, the draft could end up going a little different than most expect. It's also still hard to say who is going to be there when the Vikings are on the clock. There very well could be a better CB or even guard on the board than WR, DT or LB. And why not go BPA every round instead of reaching. Yeah, we could look for someone to trade back, but it's a lot better if a team is calling us wanting to trade up for a player they think they need, and it may happen. We need all the extra picks we can get. Holding the 23rd pick, according to CBS the 22nd, 23rd and 24th best rated prospects are OT D.J. Fluker, TE Tyler Eifert and WR Tavon Austin. Holding the 54th pick the 53-55th best rated are OT Kyle Long, C Barret Jones and CB Jordan Poyer. With the 85th, the best rated now at 84-86th are QB Tyler Bray, CB Dwayne Gratz and DE John Simon. In the forth round picks at 101 and 119 the best rated prospects 100-102 are FS Tony Jefferson, CB Blidi Wren-Wilson and OT Oday Aboushi, and the 2nd forth round picks best rated where we pick are OG Brian Winters, DE Devin Taylor and OLB Jelani Jenkns.
Now if we just go with the best rated prospects as of now within reason and lets say no one falls to us TE Tylet Eifert is the 23rd best and will likely have a solid career, but depending on how things turn out with Harvin and Loadholt there is OT D.J. Fluker and WR Tavon Austin. In the 2nd there is a couple of other solid linemen and a CB, in the 3rd interestingly enough there's QB Tyler Bray, CB Dwayne Gratz and DE John Simon. The best two picks in the 4th, going off best rated look to me to be CB Blidi Wren-Wilson with the 1st and OLB Jelani Jenkins with the 2nd. If that came to be our first 4 rounds would look something like this.
23 WR Tavon Austin
54 C Barret Jones
85 QB Tyler Bray/ Trade Pick
101 CB Blidi Wren-Wilson
119 OLB Jelani Jenkins
The next three rounds would end up CBs I am not familiar with, but with in a few spots of our last pick is P Quinn Sharp who would take over for Kluwe. Now I don't see Spielman drafting most of these guys especially Bray, and with the DTs that should be available early, but it is within reason that one or two of these unlikely prospects ends up being picked up by the purple.