First off, I have a question for my fellow Viking fans. I heard that because Jared Allen was leaving that the Vikings could receive as high as a third-round Compensatory Pick. What are these compensatory picks and how do they work?
Second, Who to re-sign and who to let walk.
Re-sign: Marcus Sherels, Jerome Simpson, Everson Griffen (Unless he wants big money, and he might want to test Free Agency, but I think Zimmer will love his versatility, and re-signing him makes D End less of a need in the draft), Joe Berger, Matt Asiata,
Not Re-sign: Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Chris Cook, Erin Henderson, Joe Webb, Josh Freeman, Toby Gerhart, Fred Evans, Charlie Johnson, Marvin Mitchell, Larry Dean, Desmond Bishop (?? Question Mark by this because I do not know how he will bounce back from his injury), D’marcus Webb
Free Agents to Seriously Look at:
326 Pound run stuffer, has said he wants to return to the Giants but they spent draft picks on DT last year and have depth there. He could be had for 7-8 million a year, and would be a plug and play starter at a weak position on the team. Will only be 26 years old by the time the next season starts.
Solid cover corner, on a team that just signed another corner to an extension and drafted two last year, including one in the third round. He will most likely test the free agent market which is deep at the CB position, which means he might be able to be had cheaper. Just turned 25 years old.
Munnerlyn is one of many players for the panthers looking to be re-signed, they will more than likely look for secondary in the draft, however. Munnerlyn could also look for top dollar but the deep position could mean he could be had for cheaper. Part of a very good Panthers defense. Only 26 years old.
Michael Johnson, Defensive End, Current Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Franchise tagged this past season, will more than likely not return to Cincinnati. Only had 3.5 sacks this last year but has had success previously. The lack of production this last season could mean he could be had for less. His ties with his former D coordinator could make Minnesota a very strong candidate. 27 years old
TJ Ward, Safety, Current Team: Cleveland Browns
Walterfootball.com says that Ward is a top safety with no weaknesses. I do not know if I necessarily agree with that huge statement but he is a player that can play at a very high level at his position. Slightly undersized at only 5-10 but he is not a liability in coverage. He will not demand the same amount of money as fellow free agent safety Jairus Byrd, who wants to be paid the BIG BUCKS.
Good size for a guard at 6’5 340. Only four years in the league and is getting paid less than two million a year by the dolphins. Offensive line depth and potential starter is never a bad thing.
(Note: I am not saying I think the Vikings will sign all of these players, just to look at them. However I do think Defense needs to be addressed in the draft so we can go all in for a QB)
Release: Christian Ponder. I don’t know his contract situation, or how difficult it would be to have him off the team, I just want it done. Please.
Round One: Blake Bortles, Quarterback, Central Florida
Now I know, that because Bortles is one of the big four QB’s, everyone has an opinion on him. Many people will argue that he will not be available at 8, but people fall in drafts all the time. It could happen, and I would be thrilled. I believe that a new coach combined with a new QB could be deadly for years to come. Bortles has a better arm than any of the current QB’s on the roster and is accurate. Some may argue that he does not go through his progressions but he often times goes to the check-down instead of throwing into coverage. NFL level coaching can help with this too, I believe that a year on the bench would be great for any QB that we draft this year. Rushing a rookie into a starting spot can ruin a career. NFL fans have been spoiled with guys like Luck and Wilson coming in as rookies and turning a team around and now that’s what everyone expects from rookie QB’s.
Round Two: Lamarcus Joyner, Cornerback, Florida State
Joyner is a shorter defensive back, but has been a stud for FSU for years now. He has chemistry with current Viking Xavier Rhodes and would add more speed and hard hits to a defensive backfield that allowed so many yards and points this year. He played safety the two years before this national title run for the Seminoles but they played him at slot corner quite a bit this year and he filled the role almost perfectly. Slot corner is a position the Vikings have been lacking since the departure of Winfield.
Round Three: Shayne Skov, Linebacker, Stanford
Leader of a very good Stanford defense and a ferocious run stuffer. Skov has good size and average speed. He is not a huge liability in coverage but he definitely has room to improve. Good leader, same type of guy as Mauti just without the injury problems. A favorite among his team mates.
Round Three: Anthony Steen, Guard, Alabama
More offensive line depth is never a bad thing, and Steen has been a part of a dominant offensive line in Alabama for the better part of three years. He has good size and strength and can push people around run blocking while proving to be a good pass blocker. Depth at the interior line positions in the draft (Gabe Jackson, Cyril Richardson, David Yankey, Xavier Su’a-Filo, Zack Martin) could cause a potential starter to fall to late third round.
Round Four: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Cornerback, Nebraska
Looking around at other SB nation sites, everyone wants this guy, but no one wants to spend a high pick on him. He doesn’t have a lot of experience at the CB position or in football for that matter, but he has the size that the Seattle Seahawks have put into the legion of boom (6’3 220) and good speed. He is a stud in run support and a very aggressive corner in pass coverage.
Round Five: Derrick Hopkins, Nose Tackle, Virginia Tech
Hopkins may be short (only 6’0) but he is wide (320). He is very hard to push around and occupies two to three blockers on every play. He creates turmoil in the middle of the line on every run play. In Virginia Tech’s bowl game, on most pass plays Virginia tech dropped some d-lineman back, but not to cover, to spy Brett Hundley because he scrambled and found holes in the middle quite a bit. That is when I fell in love with Hopkins. Any 320 pound man that has quick enough feet to not get his ankles broken by a running QB deserves a look.
Round Six: Raijun Neal, Running back, Tennessee
With the loss of Gerhart to free agency we need another running back other than Asiata. Neal led Tennessee’s offense to just about any points they scored this year after they lost Tyler Bray, Cordarelle Patterson, and Justin Hunter last year. He averaged 5.2 yards a carry and 1,124 yards with 12 touchdowns. He lacks elite speed but he can definitely run the ball.
Round Seven: Connor Shaw, Quarterback, South Carolina
More QB to bring in and compete with Cassel and Bortles. Shaw is tough and has proven he can win games in the SEC. He is on the shorter side but does not lack arm strength and doesn’t fail to make the occasional crazy play.
(Note: Please do not focus all of your comments on my QB choice only, I put time into the rest of these draft choices also)