Pretty much every post I've made for the last week has had some sort of focus on Jared Allen. There was a good reason for that, obviously, but now that one of the game's best pass rushers is signed, sealed and delivered to Minnesota, let's take a new look at the Beloved Purple.
As I've said numerous times, we've fulfilled a vast majority of our biggest needs this off-season with solid talent that SHOULD be entering the prime of their careers. But what do we have left to look at with the six draft picks we have remaining this coming weekend? Personally, I think our biggest needs are as follows.
1) Offensive tackle - If you've been reading the site for any length of time, you know I'm no fan of Ryan Cook. I thought it was a bad selection when the pick was made, and he hasn't done a whole hell of a lot to change my mind. Sure, he's had his moments, but he's also very inconsistent. Then there's Marcus Johnson, part of what will go down as the Great Draft Disaster of ought-five. I've said pretty much all that needs to be said there.
With the one first-day pick we have remaining at this point. . .unless we trade down in Round 2, which is something I'd love to see. . .I think we could very easily go for an offensive tackle like Virginia Tech's Duane Brown, Nebraska's Carl Nicks, Oniel Cousins of Texas El-Paso, or Sam Baker of Southern Cal. I don't think Baker will drop, but there's a chance that Brown will be there at #47, and Nicks and Cousins should definitely be there. Brown, however, would be my first choice.
2) Development QB - We know Jackson is the starter. We know Frerotte is the backup. But we have GOT to upgrade over Brooks Bollinger at that #3 QB spot, and prepare a guy that can start in the future in the event that Tarvaris Jackson isn't the guy. I think the second round would be too high for that selection, so no Chad Henne's here or anything like that. But looking into the fourth round, we could be looking at guys like Kentucky's Andre Woodson (who I would love), San Diego's Josh Johnson (ditto), Southen Cal's John David Booty, or Erik Ainge out of Tennessee.
3) Receiving tight end - There's going to be value at the TE spot in the later rounds, in my opinion. Unless Visanthe Shiancoe ends up playing up to his contract in 2008, this is something the Vikings need to address. If they went with Southern Cal's Fred Davis or Purdue's Dustin Keller in Round 2, I wouldn't be terribly unhappy. But if we wait until the later rounds, the Beloved Purple could potentially steal somebody like Missouri's Martin Rucker, Jermichael Finley out of Texas, Kellen Davis of Michigan State, or Jacob Tamme from Kentucky.
After that, the rest of our selections could go towards solidifying depth in the secondary, along the D-line, and at linebacker. I have confidence that Rick Spielman and Brad Childress can find quality guys late in the draft to make that possible.
What do you folks think? Have I hit our needs on the head, or am I missing something glaring that our team needs to address?