Hi kids, how's your weekend been?
I think, for the most part, Vikings fans are pretty happy with the way the draft turned out. I don't mean to speak for everyone, because I know not everyone is happy about every pick, but for the most part, if you ask most fans to grade the draft they'd give it an A.
But what do our archrivals across the river think? I thought it might be a good idea to see what someone over at Acme Packing Company, the SB Nation Green Bay blog, to give us a review from their perspective.
So I asked Tex Western, the managing editor over at APC, his opinion on the Vikings draft. He obliged.
He was silly enough to do the same with me on their draft, and you can find my thoughts on their draft over at APC. So, please welcome Tex Western, all around good guy but pretty bad decision maker when it comes to cheering for sports teams. Seriously. Like all of them. Take it away, Tex:
Minnesota Vikings 2014 Draft: the View from America's Dairyland
Well, well, well...the esteemed Ted Glover has invited me back to The Daily Norseman, this time to discuss the Minnesota Vikings draft. As a person who can't stand any of Ted's sports allegiances, it's tough for me to take much of what he says seriously, but an invite to talk football will always get me. It doesn't hurt that he offered to throw in a six-pack of beer from Surly as well.
Anyhoo, let's get through this quickly and carefully, and nobody gets hurt. Ted will be doing the same thing in reverse over at APC as well, so come on over and check out what he thinks if the green and gold doesn't bother your eyes too much.
Overall, this draft class for the Vikings looks to me to have a ton of potential, a ton of athleticism, and a ton of questions as well. However, the value Rick Spielman got in his picks appears to be excellent, as he got a few players with picks well later than the value I expected for them. I'll break down a handful of players individually before I get to a few final thoughts on the class as a whole.
Round 1: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
The smartest part of this pick, in my opinion, was Rick Spielman adding a fifth-round pick from the Browns to move back one spot and take the guy he wanted anyway. Seriously, I don't understand just about anything that front office does. Anyway, I'm off track. You guys need linebackers like crazy, and Barr fits the bill. I can't help wondering just how much of an impact he'll have in year one, but he's got all the physical tools you need to be successful at the NFL level; I just think he needs work on his technique to become a truly solid NFL linebacker.
Round 1, part II: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
I saw Ted's mini-twittergasm [ed note: it was a major twittergasm, not gonna lie] when the Vikes traded up to the 32nd pick for Bridgewater. I still don't understand all the Pro Day nonsense that drove Teddy from being in contention for the top pick all the way down to 32. That whole situation made Mike Mayock look like a bigger waffler than Todd McShay or the guy in charge of Eggo. Ultimately, I think Teddy is in the best situation of any of the first-round QBs, and I am admittedly concerned that Minnesota has found a young QB who will actually be able to be a top-15 guy at his position.
Round 3: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
A few places suggested that the Packers might have been interested in Crichton on day two, but I thought he would be a much better fit as an end in a 4-3 defense, if for no other reason than his size. I admittedly don't know much about the guy, but based on most of the draft boards I saw, he appears to have been a great find in round three and should at worst be a good option to rotate in with Robison and Griffen in his rookie year.
Round 3, part II: Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern
This pick was a bit of a head-scratcher for me, especially considering some of the other running backs still on the board. Until I looked at his combine numbers, that is. That guy put up one of the more ridiculous combines as a whole in recent memory. Sub-4.4 speed with a 40" vertical and 32 reps on the bench? Seriously, WTF? If he can figure out how to get the mental side of the game down, that's a ridiculous weapon to put in Norv Turner's hands. I won't be looking forward to watching the Packers' inside linebackers try to track him down if he gets out in space.
Round 5: David Yankey, G, Stanford
There's one team who I feel seems to grab every slipping player on the draft boards each year: the 49ers. This year, it seems a little bit like the Vikings did the same thing. Yankey in the fifth round? Are you kidding me? How does a two-time All-American guard last until round five?
Round 6: Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech
See above. Exum's a guy who I had pegged as a fourth-rounder, so to add him to the fold at corner (or maybe safety?) this late was a nice job.
As for the rest of the late picks, I can't say I really know anything about any of them, but they're seventh-rounders, so if anything comes from those picks at all, that's just icing on the cake.
It seems to me that there's a lot of boom or bust potential in the Vikings' draft this year, but with so many picks at least a few should hit as pretty solid successes. Really, isn't that what you hope to get out of a draft? Maybe one star player and a few solid contributors? I think Spielman and company put themselves in a great spot to land that.
As much as it pains me to say it, that looks like a pretty darn good draft, at least a week after the fact. Now I wish you a lovely 2-14 season (beat the Bears a couple times, okay?) and a top-5 pick in next year's draft.