Welcome back to the mailbag, kids. As usual, if you have a question about the Vikings, the draft, free agency, or life in general, hit us up on Twitter to ask your question, and make sure you use the hashtag #DNMailbag in your tweet.
If you don't use Twitter, email me at email@example.com. This week, our first question comes from Andy Stravers, who asks:
I don't think so, to be honest. Emmanuel Lamur was signed primarily for depth and special teams, and with Audie Cole coming back, I can see a scenario where Cole is put back at Mike, and Barr and Kendricks are kicked outside. And if Chad Greenway comes back for one more year, as has been rumored, the chances of Lamur cracking the starting lineup are even longer.
Next up, Tyler Carmer. Tyler, what's your question?
I am just not sold on Josh Doctson, and I know I'm in the minority on this. Doctson looks good, but he got most of his catches and yards against absolutely terrible Big XII defenses, so I am a bit suspect about his production and transition to the next level. I completely understand the Vikings need another body or two at wide receiver, but I am leery of taking WR's early in the draft. It's really a crapshoot, even more so than other positions. I'm actually thinking they go defense early, and if they address WR after that, I'd actually like Braxton Miller (Ohio State) or Leonte Carroo (Rutgers) over Higgins, but that's just me.
The Tweetist is up next...and he might or might not need to seek professional help:
You definitely need to seek professional help. Also, no.
Hi there, Purple People Readers. Love the Twitter handle. His question is:
Depends on what your definition of good is. He's had good seasons, but has also been wildly inconsistent, and wasn't all that good last year. PFF had him graded lower than Matt Kalil, for example, and Kalil is kind of a punching bag around here. Is he an upgrade over Kalil, T.J. Clemmings, or Phil Loadholt? No, I don't think so, although I think he could be better than Clemmings. The Vikings are trying to create as much competition for all the offensive line spots, and I have no problem with this. If it turns out they do sign Smith and he beats out one of those three, then fine. If he doesn't, then he doesn't, but either way the Vikings will have more depth on the o-line than they did last year, and that's a good thing.
Troy Podoll had several questions for us this week, so just by sheer volume I feel obligated to answer at least one:
Simple answer is that he trades down a few spots in round one, and picks up an early round pick and a mid round pick. If you value the numbers in the trade value chart, a move down from 23 to the late 20's could garner an additional third and fourth round pick, depending on how low they go. The hard answer is closer to the truth--the Vikings wheel and deal during the draft, and will make several trades before the weekend is out. They'll move up, they'll move down, and when the dust settles, they'll have 6-7 guys, like they always do. I would be surprised if the Vikings don't make at least four trades on draft weekend.
Next up, Judd Zulgad's Hoodie. I don't know how a lifeless piece of clothing can type, much less blessed with sentient thought, but whatever. He still asks a valid question:
Maybe Eric wasn't hugged enough as a kid. Maybe his annual lumberjack beard causes him to be filled with hate and rage. Maybe a lot of OSU fans can be almost insufferable about their team...kind of like NDSU fans are about theirs. Of course, when you cheer for champions, that tends to happen.
Tim Clark is next, and a man that can squeeze three questions into one tweet deserves to be heard:
Should the Vikings fire Norv now? What is the single biggest issue with Vikes' O? Should Norv Manuf. touches 4 CP84? https://t.co/s0msKHl0CO— Tim Clark (@TimClark65DN) March 15, 2016
No. I don't like the 'let's do a trick play to blow up a great drive' mentality he does every now and then, but I like Norv. I think the single biggest issue is that they have a running back that can't run effectively from a shotgun formation, and a QB that can't pass as effectively while working from under center. This offense is either going to be Teddy's or Adrian Peterson's, but they seemingly can't have both at peak effectiveness while not telegraphing what they're probably going to do. As to CP, yes they should, but if they have seemingly moved on from him, they need to manufacture those touches for Stefon Diggs, or draft a guy like Braxton Miller. They need to do something to attack the edges, though.
Next up, DN's own Di Murphy with a fun question:
Man, all time is so tough as there are a ton of guys I absolutely loved watching play. I'm torn between Chuck Foreman, Alan Page, and Scott Studwell, but that does an injustice to guys like Jared Allen, John Randle, Chris Doleman, Cris Carter, and Randy Moss, as they were just as awesome. See what I mean? My current favorite is Teddy Bridgewater, but Alex Boone is a close second. I also really like Stefon Digs, too, with Xavier Rhodes, ANthony Barr, and Eric Kendricks not far behind. So yeah, it looks like asking me to pick just one is like telling a toddler to pick just one piece of candy. My bad.
I'm going to assume by number one you mean first round draft pick; if not please leave a comment and clarify, and I'll answer. They've added an offensive lineman who will start, so I think taking o-line off the board for the first pick is reasonable. Most everyone thinks wide receiver, but I just have a hunch Mike Zimmer wants one more linebacker, I just have a feeling all the top first round prospects will be gone by the time the Vikings selection rolls around, though. I would love to see Darron Lee from Ohio State still on the board at 23, but I don't see a scenario where he is. Could they run the risk and draft Jaylon Smith from Notre Dame, who had his knee pretty much shredded in the Fiesta Bowl? Seems like more of a risk than Rick Spielman would take, at least in the first round. If Smith falls to like the 3rd or 4th, yeah. But I doubt that happens.
So in a roundabout way, I think the Vikings will go best player available, and based on how the draft looks like it will fall, the BPA will probably be a wide receiver, and that will either be Laquon Treadwell, Josh Doctson, or Michael Thomas. One of those three should be around, so I suspect that's who they will select, much to my chagrin. Except Thomas, who is a Buckeye so WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
Tyler G is up next, and he was a free agency question:
This is a profound question, Tyler, as it seems Manny's has trouble closing the deal more than erstwhile '80's Twins 'closer' Ron Davis. As to alternates, I don't live in the Cities anymore, but can you go wrong with a good Juicy Lucy burger?
@purplebuckeye few weeks back Spielman said extension of Harry Smith was imminent, yet still no deal. What's going on with that?— jordOn. (@j_holtzman) March 15, 2016
Whether it happens in two weeks or two months, I'm not worried about it. The Vikings have a very good track record of re-signing and retaining the players they want, and Harrison Smith is a guy they've rightly said they want back. They'll get a deal done, and it will more than likely be done before training camp.
We'll close this week's mailbag with Justin VW, asking a question that will make you think: