With the eighth pick of the 2014 NFL draft the Minnesota Vikings select to trade down...and take a backseat while teams pay ransoms for guys like Bridgewater, Clowney, Manziel, Etc..etc.. IF the Vikes could find themselves in a position this year to trade up from their two fourths, and potentially land another fourth for Gerhart, there might be a chance to get back into the second round . Similar to last year, when we traded extras to move back up, I could see them doing the same here, but in the second round instead of the first. Here's why...
We have Cassel... I know, I know. And there are Quarterbacks... plenty of them. So it might not pay off to go all in unless Bridgewater falls. Also Zimmer loves his defenses, and I'm pretty sure Spielman likes to be employed.
The other thing is, What's Zimmer going to do with the defense? Are we going to stay 3-4? Or switch to 4-3? Either one would have huge implications on who or when we pick in this years draft. Alright, lets say we switch to 4-3, and re-sign Griffen. Now he could be considered as a Hybrid Linebacker/Defensive End, and this could ultimately change things as well. So not looking at depth, just the starters, the D-line is set...possibly. The Linebackers could look like Greenway, ( if he restructures ) Mauti or Cole or both with possibly Hodges on the outside, or Griffen perhaps? The secondary looks like Rhodes, Cook, Sanford/Sendejo, and Smith.
Now if it's a 3-4, we would again hopefully re-sign Griffen, as well as Williams, to potentially have, Griffen, Williams, Floyd, and Robison. The linebackers could be Greenway, again if he restructures, Cole, and Hodges, with the secondary staying the same.
Now mock drafts are fun, and we can't really account for trades, but as far as trading back goes I think the Vikes could/should drop back to get this defense where it needs to be to contend, not just in the North, but for a Lombardi trophy.
So if the Vikes drop back in the first and resign Griffen and restructure Greenway, here's what I'd like to see happen.
1. Offseason spending on a guy like Verner, or Cromartie if he doesn't retire. Any upgrade at the Cornerback position that won't cost a fortune.
2. Finding a way to have two seconds will do wonders for their defense, with so many Offensive Lineman projected to be taken early, it's quite possible the Vikes could end up with Free Safety Ha'Sean Clinton Dix in the first, and possibly Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner or Aaron Colvin to go with Kyle Van Noy, or Shane Skov at Linebacker. I don't think it's entirely unreasonable for a scenario to play out like this and I believe most people would generally be happy about it.
3. Round 3. Here comes the Flyer, ( drumroll )..... Wyoming Quarterback Brett Smith!!!
In three years he posted these numbers in total..
751 completions on 1212 attempts for 8834 yards ( 93 yards was his longest ) for a 62% completion rating. He had 76 Touchdowns compared to only 28 Interceptions on an average of 252 yards a game. Not mind blowing but extremely efficient.
378 attempts for 1531 yards with a 4.1 yards per carry average with 20 touchdowns ( 74 was his longest ) averaging almost 44 yards per game.
He has the size at 6-3 206, and a frame that could add weight. He has the speed and the elusiveness of a Manziel without the maturity issues, and was selected captain his sophomore year. That to me screams leadership and his stats say potential, and by taking him in the third, it wouldn't put a ton of pressure on Spielman, we could develop him under Cassel and Turner, and we would have addressed the Quarterback issue for at least this season, leaving an opportunity to go back to the draft next year if need be because we didn't go 'all in'.