Imagine you could reach up to Valhalla and pull down eight of the all time Vikings greats to play on our current roster. Or say you had the technology to clone eight players from past or present Vikings teams and draft them this May. Who would you choose and why? That's the purpose of this mock draft, to fill the holes on our roster with all time greats to create a team destined to win at least the next ten superbowls. Of course that assumes all of these clones decide to give a hometown discount when their rookie contracts expire. But I digress.
Prowling the Daily Norseman for the last few months, it's obvious there are many opinions on what positions we should target in the draft and in what round we should target them. After much debate with myself, I ended up with the following positions and draft order. Okay it wasn't that much debate. I have a life.
1.8 - QB
2.8 - OLB
3.8 - ILB
3.32 - CB
4.8 - OG
5.8 - RB
6.8 - Wildcard (DE, DT, S or WR)
7.8 - Wildcard (DE, DT, S or WR)
So sadly, in this edition of Vikings Clone Mock Draft, we will not be seeing Offensive Tackles, Tight Ends, Centers, Punters or Kickers. Sorry Fred Cox fan boys.
A few considerations. Anyone who was a Viking, even for a single season, is eligible to be drafted. Also, players may have been signed as free agents, drafted or acquired in a trade. It doesn't matter how you got here, just that you were a Viking. Contributions to Vikings lore and a player's accomplishments are considered, but so is their potential to impact the game today. So, without further ado.
Pick 1.8 - Brett Favre - QB
Others considered: Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham and Fran Tarkenton.
Grade: A (what did you expect?)
Analysis: This may be one of the most controversial picks of this draft. Yes, he only led us to one really good year, and yes he's bound to throw interceptions and drive us crazy on the way to hoisting ten consecutive Lombardi trophies, but if you have a chance to draft a 22 year old clone of Brett Favre, you take it.
How He Fits: After a 1-3 start in 2014, the clone of Brett Favre replaces Matt Cassell and leads the Vikings to the first of ten superbowl victories. Packer fans everywhere commit seppuku.
Pick 2.8 - Matt Blair - OLB
Others considered: Wally Hilgenberg, Roy Winston, Fred McNeill
Analysis: Unfortunately, I never saw any of these guys play and I don't think any of them could carry Lawrence Taylor's jock. That said, Blair was 6'5" and described as a freakish athlete. That sounds like someone who could play in any era.
How He Fits: The clone of Matt Blair quickly locks down one of the OLB spots, turning a position of weakness into a strength. The original Matt Blair made six consecutive pro bowls. His clone makes six as well, but skips them to work on his album.
Pick 3.8 - Scott Studwell - MLB
Others considered: Jeff Siemon
Analysis: Scott Studwell is one of my favorite players from the 80s. Simply put, he was a tackling machine. He was undersized even in his day, but it didn't matter. He's the Vikings' all time leader in tackles. He's the best linebacker I've ever seen who donned the purple and gold.
How He Fits: The clone of Scott Studwell crushes his competition for the MLB spot, bleeding all over them in the process. He starts from opening day, returning three interceptions for touchdowns on consecutive plays. An NFL record. Take that Audie Cole.
Pick 3.32 - Bobby Bryant - CB
Others considered: Antoine Winfield, Carl Lee, Ed Sharockman
Analysis: This was one of my toughest choices. Again, this is a position where we don't have too many players considered all time NFL greats. I went back and forth between Winfield and Bryant and ended up on Bryant. I never saw him play, and that picture makes him look like Lennie from Of Mice and Men, but Bryant had more picks and more passes defended than Winfield. Bryant was also clutch in playoffs and five inches taller, which is helpful in today's NFL. Winfield was a great leader and a great tackler, but the ability to generate turnovers is key.
How He Fits: The clone of Bobby Bryant locks down the corner spot opposite Xavier Rhodes, creating the youngest, most talented duo in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers is benched in favor of Matt Flynn after throwing five first half picks. Rodgers is further humiliated when the clone of Bobby Bryant pets his soft mustache and says "Tell me about the rabbits, George".
Pick 4.8 - Randall McDaniel - OG
Others considered: No one really.
Analysis: The guy was a 12 time pro bowler and possibly the best interior lineman to ever play the game.
How He Fits: Charlie Johnson spots the clone of Randall McDaniel, rolls over and pees on himself. The rest is history repeated.
Pick 5.8 - Adrian Peterson - RB
Others considered: Chuck Foreman...I guess?
Analysis: One of the top ten running backs to ever play the game. The only dominant rusher in the modern NFL. By far, the best running back the Vikings have ever had.
How He Fits: The only player who could possibly wrestle away the starting job from Adrian Peterson is the clone of Adrian Peterson. Their epic training camp battle sends shockwaves throughout the multiverse. As the smoke clears, the clone of Adrian Peterson stands victorious. Current AP is traded to the Dallas Cowboys for three 1st round picks, three 2nd round picks, a 3rd and a 6th. It's forever known as the Adrian Peterson Trade.
Pick 6.8 - Alan Page - DE
Others considered: Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, Chris Doleman and Jared Allen
Analysis: Page is one of two defensive players to be named the NFL MVP. He was selected to nine pro bowls. Page played DT, however, in today's NFL he would project as a DE and a good one at that. In today's NFL, you can never have enough pass rushers. He's arguably the best in a very strong pool of past Vikings pass rushers, so he gets the nod.
How He Fits: The clone of Alan Page pushes newly signed Griffen to the left side and Robison to rotation duty. The clone of Alan Page grows a mullet, which enhances his powers and propels him to the Defensive Rookie of the Year award and inevitable NFL stardom.
Pick 7.8 - Randy Moss - WR
Others considered: Chris Carter, John Randle, Paul Krause, Joey Browner and Anthony Carter
Analysis: As you can see, there were a number of directions I could go. I already picked a pass rusher, so Randle is out, though he's one of my favorite Vikings. We could really use another stud safety, but I decided that a WR would have more impact in the pass happy NFL. From there it was easy to go Randy Moss. Many would argue he's the most physically gifted WR to ever play.
How He Fits: The clone of Randy Moss comes to the NFL without all the baggage and lights up defenses for fifteen years. In his rookie year, he has 17 receiving touchdowns, matched only by his teammate Cordarrelle Patterson. The clone of Randy Moss does what the original Randy Moss should have done, breaking every receiving record ever conceived. On his death bed, Jerry Rice utters "curse you clone of Randy Moss!" Actually, Rice is too nice of a guy to do that, but it makes for a better story.
What conclusions can be drawn from the Vikings Clone Mock Draft? Well, just like with every other mock draft, the answer is none. We're all just trying to kill time until May 8th. To that end, who would you pick in the Vikings Clone Mock Draft?