What a great week end; Spielman made a very controversial trade in he eyes of many to give the Vikings a total three first round draft picks. And I'm mainly just going to focus on the first rounders. Whether people like it or not; these prospects drafted by Rick are part of the team now. Shariff Floyd is arguably the best defensive tackle in this year's draft class. Xavier Rhodes is arguably the best orner in this year's draft class and Corraderralle Patterson is also arguably the best receiver in this year's draft class and is also pretty good coming out of the back field and a very good return man. Now, he just doesn't return kick offs, he also returns punts; which most teams rarely acquire a player that is a good punt returner; it is just more difficult returning punts than kick offs.
I've listened to several analysts and commentators reviewing and grading teams performances in the draft. The general consensus is that Minnesota fared well. Though, I can't help but notice the negativity and obvious Vikings' haters when I hear things like, 'well, they should have done well-they had three first round picks.' If that isn't the sound of a sore loser; I don't know what is. I also read a few articles grading team's draft and Minnesota in most of the is given a B and isn't even the team with the best grade in our own division. People that do not like us will not acknowledge even obvious givens because it bothers them that much. The only way I know that you could go about grading a draft so early, would be to base it off the mock draft rankings and by doing that; there is no other team that would come close to a high score as Minnesota did. Some of these writers and analysts actually change their philosophy just because they refuse to concede that the Vikings have indeed likely not just done well, but have had the very best draft, hands down this year.
Looking just at the first round this year; we have added not just three starters; but three potential stars. Add that in with Kalil and Smith from last year's first round and wow; Minnesota is heading in the right direction and fast.
I think Kalil is going to be one of the elite left tackles for a decade and see Smith as one of the elite at hi position as well. I see the very same thing with all three off our first rounder from this year. Five, not just starters, but elite starters; this team is truly better than a year ago and not just barely-clearly. This of course is just my opinion, but I think more and eventually all Vikings' fans will come around to the idea that the guys selected Thursday are really that good.
Our receiving core looks like this now: Jennings, Patterson, Wright, Simpson, Webb and TBD-very impressive. Our eventual starting corners will be Cook(who I think will have his best year as pro this year), Rhodes and Robinson in the slot-Pretty damn good. I also think A J Jefferson is going to grow into a solid CB and will be glad we have him. Putting Floyd beside Kevin Williams will allow Kevin to do much better with out so much pressure being on him. Yes, I know most think they play the same positions and they do, but not this year; those two side by side are going to put a better product out on the field than we have seen in a couple years at least.
Minnesota is going o have a great year and all of our NFC North rivals know how much better we are now and going to get, and they all know they have a problem on their hands. All three of their QBs know how much of hard hitters we were last year and adding Rhodes and Floyd, to give a guy named Jared Allen even just another half a second is a terrifying thought to all of them, and they aren't even think about how good Griffen is going to be this year. Many are still worried about the LB position, but I think we are going to be fine. I don't know definitively what the answer will be, but I do know we have a few options and one of them could be one of our rookie LBs, or Urlacher, but whoever it is; their job just got a whole lot easier.
In time, I think most will be happy we didn't take LB early and went with who we have. Now, no one knows for sure, but I think we have become legitimate contenders as long as we see the Christian Ponder we all saw in the season finale last year. Yes that is a big if, but right or wrong Ponder is our guy and with an offensive line that will be more familiar with itself, it will be better. Peterson has had more time to completely get to 100% and I think we will see his best year of his life this year, and a receiving core that looks to potentially be better than we have seen it since the Carter/Moss days. Yes that's expecting a lot, but our receivers can be just as good, but even better than '09 WR core. Al our rookies from last year are going to be better and all our rookies from Ponder's draft class are also going to be presumably better.
Like it or not; we're all in and the Vikings aren't just trying to get to the play offs-we did that last year-the Vikings are trying to get to the Super Bowl and win it. Sound far fetched? Let's see what Ponder can do, because we do have a real shot his year. We are not just another team; we are one of the best trying to become the best.