This is the beginning of a new future for the Minnesota Vikings. New Uniforms this year, a new coaching staff for next year, and a new stadium a couple years down the road. It is an exciting time to be a fan of this franchise and I think that Speilman and Zimmer are just the people along with Norv Turner, to help turn this roster into a winner. With that being said I will be taking the part of Speilman for this offseason. First of all we need to decide the future of our own free agents.
The whole list:
Jared Allen - Allen relents on his playing-time demands and signs with a contender as a situational pass rusher. Denver had expressed interest in him at the trade deadline last year, and could be a good landing spot for him.
Toby Gerhart - Gerhart leaves, even though I would like to keep him. But his market value is high and the I don’t think he would be a smart investment.
Jerome Simpson – We let Simpson walk, with the development of Patterson and the WR depth of this draft we don’t need to spend the money on Jerome.
J'Marcus Webb - Webb heads elsewhere to compete for a starting job, while the we try to find another young tackle in the draft we can mold behind our two well-entrenched starters.
Charlie Johnson - Johnson leaves and catches on with another team, possibly as a starter but also conceivably as a swing lineman.
Everson Griffen - Griffen comes back on a "prove-it" deal -- a two-year contract for $8 or $10 million that will keep him hungry to really emerge and earn a big contract down the road.
Joe Berger - Good back up that is versatile, again, if someone wants to pay him more, then let him go, but we should be able to retain him.
Desmond Bishop – I believe that this draft is especially deep on solid linebacking talent along with the talent on our roster we don’t need Bishop’s services any longer.
Josh Freeman – I don’t think I even want to start with this guy. Bottom Line: He isn’t a Viking next year.
Chris Cook - I think Zimmer can make him a good corner, but im not risking more then 1 or 2 years or more then 2 mil on it.
Kevin Williams - Williams moves on, signing a one-year deal with another team as we look to get younger on the defensive line.
Fred Evans – We put him on a prove it deal for some decent depth.
Marcus Sherels – Sherels provides good depth at corner and is one of the best punt returners in the league. We give him a two year deal for his good work on special teams.
Joe Webb – Great locker room guy, and it doesn’t hurt to let him get another year of experience under his belt
Matt Asiata – With the RB depth in this draft we can afford to find a more dynamic player elsewhere.
Along with these moves I would like to restructure Chad Greenways contract making his salary cap number far more reasonable.
Now for free agency, Speilman typically doesn’t like spending too much in free agency so I will differ from that road and since we didn’t spend a lot on our own players the free agents I will sign are…
Walter Thurmond – He was in some trouble with the league last year but at age 26 and with Zimmer’s watchful eye, he will be a great addition to our team. He primarily is a slot corner, which we need desperately.
Sam Shields – You didn’t think that we would go an off season without an ex-cheesehead coming to the good side. A young, good cornerback with NFC North experience. Should command a reasonable contract and he would complete a solid group of corners.
Brian Orakpo – I believe Zimmer will try to install a 3-4 and we need a dominant outside linebacker that can get after the passer. It will cost big money but he is young enough that it is a great deal.
That is it except for maybe a few depth players (Maybe a backup tackle or guard with expierence). This draft is loaded with talent and that brings me to the draft. I did a mock on the first-pick.com website which allows for trades and overall is a good simulation of a real draft. So before I disclose the picks, I will tell you the two trades I made.
1. I traded the 8th overall pick to the Rams for their Round 1 Pick 13, Round 2 - Pick 12, Round 3 – Pick 11, and Round 4 – Pick 10.
2. I traded the 13th overall pick to the Ravens for their Round 1 Pick 16, Round 2 Pick 15, and Round 3 Pick 14
Giving us 13 picks, and 8 in the first 3 rounds! Well without further babbiling here are my 2014 Minnesota Vikings draft picks.
Round 1 Pick 16 (BALT): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M - You either like him or you don’t. I do and at 16, it is a steal to get a playmaker like Johnny Football. You all know his skill set so I wont explain it. But we needed a quarterback badly and in my opinion it doesn’t get better than Manzeil.
Round 2 Pick 8: David Yankey, OG, Stanford – Sets up quickly and gets into position with good base width. Not easily redirected with good core strength and strong hands. Very good initial surge as a lead blocker through the hole. Highly intelligent with above average instincts and awareness.
Round 2 Pick 12 (STL): Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State – Best attribute may be his explosive hitting, as Bucannon at times appears as though he is shot out of a cannon, unloading on runners and receivers crossing the middle and forcing fumbles. Doesn't only rely on his big hits to create fumbles, also demonstrating the wherewithal to rip at the ball as he's making the tackle.
Round 2 Pick 15 (BALT): Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State - Shazier flies around the field and his unique athletic ability stands out. Offers a tremendous combination of speed, tackling and coverage skills to become a playmaker as a run-and-hit 4-3 Will or perhaps a 3-4 weakside 'backer.
Round 3 Pick 8: Christian Jones, ILB, Florida State - Tremendous athlete with has fluid footwork who flawlessly flips his hips to blanket tight ends or receivers down the field in coverage. Tall and long, which he uses well in coverage. Plays with excellent range and speed to chase down the action, taking proper angles in pursuit. Flashes the take-on strength to blow past blockers when he uses proper technique.
Round 3 Pick 11 (STL): Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt - At 6-3, he’s tough to deal with because he does a remarkable job finding the football and winning position for the catch. Drops have been few and far between.
Round 3 Pick 14 (BALT): Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina – At 6’6’’ and 230 Martin is a load to deal with. He can play both DE and DT. It is a bit of a reach in the 3rd round but this guy is a great young talent that Zimmer can mold into a superstar.
Round 3 Pick 32: Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State – Had a great year at Ohio State. A few years under AP and Hyde will be the Vikings RB of the future.
Round 4 Pick 8: Christian Kirksey, OLB, Iowa - The Big Ten remains one of college football’s most consistent producers of pro-ready linebackers, and Kirksey turned heads with his athleticism and instincts. I think he would be a great fit in a 3-4.
Round 4 Pick 10 (STL): Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee - McCullers' size (6’6’’ 350) and ability to disrupt things from the middle often made him the focus of an opponent's blocking scheme. And would fit that Vince Wilfork type defensive tackle
Round 5 Pick 8: A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama – This is the surprise pick of the draft. I think taking two quarterbacks in the same draft is a good idea for the fact that both are solid prospects and we could always flip one for a draft pick later on. (Hopefully McCarron is the one we trade.)
Round 6 Pick 8: Ricardo Allen, CB, Purdue, Round 7 Pick 8: Michael Schofield, OT, Michigan - Both depth guys who had some success in college. And rounding out a solid draft.
In my estimation there is 5 week one starters and great depth along with great developmental talent. Well now its up to you guys. Tell me how I did!