With Organized Team Activites officially underway, the battles for position have officially started. The Vikings don't have a lot of intrigue as far as who the starters are going to be in many cases, but the battle for roster spots should prove to be fairly interesting at a few positions. We'll start by taking a look at the quarterback position.
|4||John David Booty||6'3"||215||R||Southern California|
|6||Kyle Wright||6'3"||220||R||Miami (FL)|
|7||Tarvaris Jackson||6'2"||230||3||Alabama State|
This is one of those positions where there's not a lot of intrigue taking place. We know that Tarvaris Jackson is the starter, that Gus Frerotte is the primary backup, and that John David Booty is going to be the third-string.
Honestly, there's no reason for Jackson to not be productive in 2008. He's got the best rushing attack in the NFC, if not the entire NFL, at his disposal. He's got a neat new toy to play with in the passing game in Bernard Berrian. He's got a budding superstar on the other side in Sidney Rice. But most importantly, he's got a full year of experience in this offense, as does pretty much everyone around him. Think about it. . .with the exception of Stone Hands Williamson, every receiver that took the field for the Vikings in 2007 was brand new to the offense. Bobby Wade, Sidney Rice, Aundrae Allison, Robert Ferguson. . .all either rookies or guys brought in from other teams. Now they've all been in the system for a year and are familiar with each other, and I can't possibly see that being anything but a help to their productivity.
Gus Frerotte. . .say what you will about the guy headbutting concrete walls and stuff like that, but when I filled out the table above, I couldn't believe it when I read that he's been in the NFL for 15 years. He's the embodiment of a journeyman quarterback, having played for roughly half the teams in the NFL over those 15 years. . .or, at least, it seems that way. . .but that's part of the reason he's here. He's going to help mentor the two youngsters on the Vikings' roster and help them become better quarterbacks. Also, he won't whine about his station on the team, unlike some other backup-caliber quarterbacks in recent Vikings history. *cough*BradJohnson*cough*
John David Booty was an outstanding choice for the Vikings in the 5th round of this year's draft. He's accurate, he's got a quick release, and he was very productive at Southern Cal. While it's fairly insane to suggest that he's going to push for playing time in 2008, he's clearly the best long-term developmental type that the Vikings have.
As any of you that have read this site for a while know, I'm not a huge Brooks Bollinger fan. With Jackson, Frerotte, and Booty in the fold, I just don't see anything earth-shattering that Bollinger can bring to the table for the Vikings at this point, and this team would be crazy to keep four quarterbacks, so I'm pretty sure that he's not long for the roster. Whether he just gets outright cut or the Vikings manage to deal him for a low round draft choice somewhere down the line is something to watch for, but I'd be very surprised if he has any trade value.
Kyle Wright. . .well, unless the Vikings want to try to get him onto the practice squad, I don't think he's got much of a future in Minnesota. He was highly recruited in high school, and managed to parlay that into, really, a whole lot of nothing down at the U. I don't see a whole lot to get excited about with him.
So, to review:
Starter: Tarvaris Jackson
Backup: Obi-Wan Frerotte
Long-Term Project: John David Booty
Trade Bait: Brooks Bollinger
Practice Squad (if he's lucky): Kyle Wright
So there's three spots on the roster. . .only 50 more to project! Tomorrow we'll come back with the running backs, which should be incredibly tough to sort out as well (he said sarcastically).
I hope that everyone's long weekend has started off well, and we'll see you back here as the weekend progresses!