Given the enormous defensive needs of our Vikes and that the top three QBs are expected be off the board when it comes to the 8th pick, the Vikings will select a defensive player. The defensive needs are well documented. Clearly the biggest needs exist at DT & CB. Possible needs exist at SS, OLB, ILB and DE. Vikings are likely to address the OLB position first if either Barr or Mack are available. If not, this position will be addressed w/ the likes of VanNoy in the second. The need is for a lean fast cover linebacker that could be confused w/ a big safety. FSU Jones in the third or Oregon’s Lokombo in the fifth are other possible options.
Our second round will likely go to a DT. You are looking at LSU Ferguson or Pitts Donald there. I believe that bigger is better on the football field. If the likes of Ferguson’s 6’3" frame isn’t available we could go w/ the monster Tennessee’s McCullers in the third round. I throw Donald in there because he can play and I believe that a change in elevation, causing a offensive lineman to adjust either up or down in their stance will cause a change leverage points and will create problems. So, next to 6’3" Floyd you have a 3" adjustment in either McCullers or Donald.
With the resigning of Cook, who will eventually be serving his leadership role as a backup, I’d like to focus one of our third round picks on addressing our CB position. Size does matter and here we’ll go w/ Utahs’ McGill or Nebraska’s Jean-Baptiste. Not only are these guys 6’2"+, they have good to great wing span which will allow them to make plays on the ball in the air. Wouldn’t that be nice? Cook can cover, but when the ball gets close he closes his eyes and looks away. These two are getting a lot chatter recently and will move up but consider that many pundits had Jean-Baptiste as a sixth rounder before the Senior Bowl workouts.
The reason we are allowed to make so many defensive selections is our hiring of Norv Turner. Why not see what the famed OC Turner can do w/ Ponder. He’s turned clubs into offensive powers in as little as one year without significant improvements in personnel. He made Hoyer look like one of the best QBs in the NFL last year before he went down w/ an injury. Troy Aikman went from a 53% passer w/ 12 TDs to 24 INT prior to Norv’s arrival to 61% and 16:12 TD:INT. It could be said that Turner made Aikman a HOF NLF QB from a Sam Bradford. Turners eight NFL stops have resulted in better regular season records four times. Passing yardage and yards per attempt has increased 6 times and the TD:INT ratio has improved in seven of his eight stops.
Ponder is under contract for one more year. His game doesn’t fit perfectly w/what is needed in a Norv offense but with some improvements on his long ball he could get it done. Stretching the field vertically will allow Christian the opportunity to pick up more than his 5.1 avg. yards on his many runs out of the pocket. He will likely start the year as a back up to Cassell but will get a chance to start. I for one, am interested to see how it goes.
All emotions aside, it’s the perfect answer to address the biggest needs of this team.