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The DN Mailbag Answers The Meaning Of Life*

*Not really. But we do answer questions. Lots of questions.

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Hi kids, how are things? Apologies for not doing a mailbag in a couple weeks, but I've been hanging out with family on the weekends, and generally enjoying the early spring weather. But we're back, and better than ever.*

*It was a low bar to exceed

As the draft gets closer, we find ourselves really focusing in on mock drafts, prospect visits, and who the Vikings might or might not be focusing on. So naturally, most of our mailbag questions focus on the draft. Again, if you have a question for the mailbag, hit me up on Twitter (@purplebuckeye) and use the #DNMaibag hashtag. If you prefer email, my email address is Send me your questions, and I'll do my best to answer them.

Our first question comes via email, from Romel Morel, not to be confused with Roman Gabriel. Romel asks:

a lot of mocks have us taking josh doctson in the 1st and in the 2nd they have us taking a linebacker but i noticed Michael Thomas got mocked a couple picks later do u think it possible we take doctson in 1st and thomas in 2nd?

This is an interesting question, and although conventional wisdom says the Vikings are only targeting one WR early...I think you could talk me into going WR-WR. I think. Safety is still a need, so if you really want to address safety while still getting two WR's early, I would go WR-S-WR...but if the Vikings somehow ended up with two of the top three WR's in this draft...mercy. Doctson, Thomas, Stefon Diggs, a hopefully re-focused Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson...that almost seems unfair.

The rest of our questions come via Twitter. First up, Jason wants to know about...paint???

Because Roger Goodell ate paint chips as a kid? Allegedly? I got nothin'...

Darren Lunt, hit me with your best shot:

I think at some point during the weekend the Vikings will have accumulated nine or 10 picks, but GM Rick Spielman will wheel and deal up and down in most rounds. I think it begins in the first round, when he trades down 2-3 spots, maybe four. When the smoke clears, I'm going to say the Vikings have six draft picks in their 2016 class, with a first rounder, two second rounders, a third rounder, a fourth rounder, and a sixth rounder.

Friend Of The Norseman and serial mailbag questioner Troy Podoll is up next. He asked several questions, and we'll answer another one later:

Yeah, I think so. Maybe not first round, although I think they go LB in round one. Another athletic LB along the lines of Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr gives the Vikings multiple look options for almost every down and distance situation. I love Chad Greenway, but he's a limited ability guy at this point in his career, and Kendricks struggled a lot last year in short to medium pass coverage. If they can get a LB that can move laterally, blow up the point of attack, and drop back and be okay in short to medium coverage situations, and this really good defense is going to be elite. They could even go 4-3 in certain passing situations, and not have to necessarily commit to a pure base nickel. I just think a guy like Darron Lee or Leonard Floyd (and even Reggie Ragland, to a lesser extent) would really transform this defense into the Purple People Redux.

Alex Goble is next, asking about...wait for it...the draft!

I think it is. That said, the draft always plays out in ways we don't expect, and players we're sure will be gone in the top five or 10 are still around late in the first round. So you never say never, because Mike Zimmer's coaching roots are with defensive backs. But unless an immediate impact CB drops, I don't see it. And to be honest, I don't see an immediate impact, game changing CB in the draft worth using that pick on.

Tim Clark is next. TIM-MEH!

To answer your first question, it's tough to say, but he'd compete and be given a fair opportunity to win the job, for sure. For WR, if you're talking the top WR in the draft class, I'm going to go with Laquon Treadwell, then a pick 'em between Michael Thomas and Josh Doctson (but I think Braxton Miller has a great chance to be the best WR in this class when it's all said and done 10 years from now). If you're asking who I think WR1 is on the Vikings right now, I'm going with Stefon Diggs. Keeping in mind that other than first round/second round guys, my college football knowledge is Big Ten-centric, I'll give you some names. Some later round sleepers, like say 4th and beyond...I like MSU WR Aaron Burbridge and Minnesota WR KJ Maye. S Michael Caputo out of Wisconsin strikes me as a poor man's Harrison Smith, and I think he could be a pretty solid guy. I also like Penn State DE Anthony Zettel.

Oh hey, it's Troy again:

Really good question. I think it's fair to say that punter is a position that needs to be addressed, but I don't know that you need to do so in the draft. Resident draft guru MarkSP18 is still fuming that we wasted a draft pick on a punter, and I sympathize. Yes, I think they will address punter, but probably with an undrafted free agent, and not necessarily a draft pick.

I don't want Mark's head to explode.

Andy Carlson is up next. If you're not familiar with Andy's work, he's a serial podcaster, talking about everything from the Vikings, to sports in general, to fatherhood. Check him out over on Cold Omaha if you get a chance. Anyway, what's up, Andy?

It sure feels like it. Rudolph is a guy you look at on the practice field and think he's going to be something special. He signed a big contract extension, but has battled injuries for two of the last three years, and really seemed to disappear for long stretches of time in what is considered a tight end friendly offense. Of his nearly 500 yards receiving last year, he got 20% of those in the blowout loss at home to Green Bay (106 receiving yards). His typical statline has been 2 catches for 25-35 yards, and maybe a red zone score now and then. After starting out with back to back 5 reception games to open last season, he went seven straight weeks where he caught only one or two passes. He finished stronger, notching six or more catches in three of the last six games, but had no catches and only one targeted throw in the Vikings most important game of the season to that point, the regular season Sunday night game at Lambeau.

So yeah, Rudolph really needs to step up and prove it this year, or I can see the Vikings starting to look at other options.

Sam Schreier is up next. Go ahead Sam:

Sam, I think they need a starting safety opposite Harrison Smith and some linebacker depth. I could be talked into another CB because Captain Munnerlyn won't be around forever, but for now I really like the Rhodes/Waynes/Munnerlyn trio. This defense is really, really close to becoming dominant, like the Broncos. It's pretty amazing, considering where this defense was at the end of 2013.

Scott Biddle is next.

It sure seems like Zimmer wants to see improvement on that side of the ball, but I also think it says a lot about Zimmer himself. He's not afraid to have strong personalities on his staff to get the most out of his team. Both Pat Shurmur and Tony Sparano have been head coaches and bring a lot of expertise to the Vikings, in areas they need help at. I don't know that he's particularly dissatisfied with Norv Turner, but he wants the team to get better, and he's not afraid to go out and get guys that will speak their mind and give him good ideas. A lot of guys coughbradchildresscough thought they were the smartest guy in the room and it was their way or the highway. With Zimmer, there's no doubt he's the boss, but he'll get the best guys he can for his staff to get the absolute most out of the players. I like it, a lot.

Okay, time for two more questions. Jeremy, you're up:

No, I don't think so. Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer like first round picks, for one thing. And the last time the Vikings traded out of the first round and into the second, it was 2010, and that draft class turned out to be horrid. I would favor trading down in the first round a few spots like I mentioned earlier, and pick up maybe an extra  second or third rounder, but I'm not a fan of trading out of the first round at all.

Finally, Vikings beat writer for the Star Tribune Matt Vensel asks the maibag a question. Welcome, Matt:

Matt, The Daily Norseman is your one stop shop for almost anything. For example, Chris Gates, our Fearless Leader, was a mercenary in South Africa for 17 years smuggling blood diamonds out of the continent, before settling down to a successful blogging career. Eric Thompson went to Grenada for medical school and now specializes in butt cheek wart removal. Di Murphy got her teaching degree by saving UPC codes off of General Mills cereal boxes and mailing them in to the Battle Creek, Michigan headquarters.When not teaching impressionable children, she specializes as a one on one trainer and life coach for Fucking Refinement and Etiquette.

Arif Hasan eschewed traditional schooling and set off to the West Coast at an early age, seeking fame and fortune. Although acting wasn't in the cards, he did become one of the most well respected stunt doubles in Hollywood, standing in for look alikes Leonardo DeCaprio, Peter Dinklage, and Rosie O'Donnell.  After that, he traveled the country with nothing but a backpack, his intelligence, and a keyboard, and now he's settled down back in Minnesota. You can find him throughout the Twin Cities as an oh-face coach, working exclusively through Caribou coffee shops.

Kyle Segall got his Divinity Degree from a reputable on line college that might or might not be accredited and was able to print up his degree right at home. He now ministers to the needs of his Holy Order Of The Tightie Whitie flock at the former compound of Jim Jones in Jonestown, Guyana, and I'm told he has quite the captive audience. And me? Well, I got my law degree by attending an on-line night school and watching re-runs of Night Court, Matlock, Perry Mason, Saved By The Bell, and Baywatch. I am now one of the foremost experts in Oceanic Beach Law, and have won many cases, including Hasselhoff v. Burger, Costa v. Concordia, and Beach Blanket v. Bingo.

And you ask if we babysit. Do we babysit? Do the Twins win? Wait...