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Quarterbacks, Centers, and Tackles... Oh, My!

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In the upcoming 2009 Draft, the Vikings could go any number of different ways. Josh Freeman; the Jackson-esque quarterback from Kansas State? Alex Mack; the stud center from California? Eben Britton; the huge offensive tackle from Arizona?

I would be satisfied with many of the numerous options the Vikings have, but unless your name is Bill Belichick, it's pretty darn hard to cheat on draft day. More than likely, the Vikings will only announce one first round draft pick.

This has been endlessly debated among fans of the Purple, but who should that be?

Quarterback?

Peyton Manning. Tom Brady. Tarvaris Jackson? The name doesn't exactly inspire confidence in fans, nor does it instill fear in opponents. When the going gets tough, Jackson is probably to blame.

Rare is the person (outside of Childress) who thinks that Tarvaris will be an elite quarterback. Jackson has plenty of tools... but... he just isn't that good. Minnesota is the home of the best running back in the game, but one of the worst quarterbacks.

As VikesSince85 pointed out in this FanPost, a team has a better chance of contending for a Super Bowl if they have an elite quarterback but lack an elite running back. The Vikings have the inverse of this recipe, and it showed against the Eagles.

A quarterback is essential. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. But should the Vikings spend their first round pick on an unproven guy like Josh Freeman in the hopes that he becomes the next Big Ben?

Center?

As Gonzo mentioned in his Pre-Combine Mock, a new quarterback is worthless without an offensive line. There is an order to how things should be fixed, and the Lions are in about the same position. They could do what everybody says and draft Stafford... but their offensive line is a joke. The smart thing for them to do would be to help anchor that line and look for a quarterback in other places. It's not the most glamorous thing to do, but it's the smartest.

Should the Vikings operate under the assumption that Matt Birk won't be back? A guy like Alex Mack not only has an easy name to remember (and type), but is a super athlete. Gonzo summed it up best:

"Yeah, [Alex Mack is] not the most glamorous pick the Beloved Purple could make, but it's one that I think we'll be reaping the benefits of for a long time."

Offensive/Defensive Tackle?

Let's face it, Vikings fans have taken for granted having the best run-stopping duo in the game in the Williames. Both are getting up there in years, and might not be around long enough to see a new stadium. Should the Vikings build for the future and solidify that position with a guy like BJ Raji, or Peria Jerry?

Or how about the offensive tackle position? There is really only one hole on that line, and his name is Ryan Cook. Should the Vikings draft any of the plethora of offensive tackles available in this draft to make life easier for whoever is taking snaps from whoever the center is?

 

Clearly, a lot of options. Should we be satisfied with any of these options, or is there one that deserves to be prioritized higher than the others?

Please discuss and let us know what the most crucial need of the Vikings is, and how these needs should be prioritized.

 

Andersklasen is the alias of Andrew Kneeland. He blogs at VikingVigil.com, and can be reached by email at akneeland@bleacherreport.com.