Hi kids, how goes it? With the NFL Draft over, it's time to pick apart and analyze what happened over the course of draft weekend, and try and figure out where the team goes from here. There's lots to talk about, and lots of questions, so here we go.
Wait, if you want to be in the mailbag...wait that sounds kidnapperish, doesn't it? If you want your question answered on the mailbag (there, that sounds better) find me on Twitter with the handle @purplebuckeye and ask me a question using the hashtag #DNMailbag. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and today I took some questions from the daily open thread.
NOW let's get on with it. First up, Troy Podoll, who fires off questions so fast it's like being on the receiving end of a minigun:
Really? I had to step back and take off my 'pissed off Ohio State fan' hat to really look at this draft class, and I'm not disappointed. I absolutely loved the third round trade, as they net a third and a fourth for next year. As a guy that readily admits he's not a draftnik, I like the fact they added an offensive lineman and a linebacker in the middle rounds. I love the Boehringer story, and the Jayron Kearse pick in the 7th round. So to say he was asleep...not sure I agree with it. If there's a beef I have with this draft class, other than the rube fandom opinion of not getting an OSU guy, is that they didn't grab a DT. It was a ridiculously deep class for interior linemen, and the Vikings passed, which I found mildly surprising.
Tim Weinreich is up next:
It's a good question. Whether he starts or not, the transformation of the secondary has been nothing short of incredible. That said, I think yes, he has a shot. My top of the head depth chart is Xavier Rhodes, Terrence Newman, Captain Munnerlyn, Trae Waynes, and Alexander. But I can see a scenario where Newman moves to safety, or runs out of magic, and now you have Waynes and Alexander playing on the outside, with Munnerlyn in the slot in nickel and dime situations. Either way, it's a good problem to have.
Jared Horton, is is probably not related to Jared Allen or Tim Horton, is next:
WR Laquon Treadwell is the obvious choice here, but I'm not going to count out Mackensie Alexander, either. The more I watch Alexander, the more I think he's going to be starting sooner rather than later. As for the rest of the class, I'm having a hard time finding a starter. There's a lot of talent and depth on the roster, and it's tough to find a way that a guy like Willie Beavers or Kentrell Brothers lands a starting gig.
John Quick has a question about depth charts:
Let's take a look at both position groups. At CB, the roster looks like this:
When the Vikings announced their 53 man roster last year, they had nine defensive back, of which five were cornerbacks. Holding to that theme, I have it pretty straightforward with Rhodes, Newman, Munnerlyn, Waynes, and Alexander as the five CB's, nothing surprising there. And yes, let's start the annual 'Marcus Sherels isn't going to make the final 53' talk now, because we do it every year. And although I said I'd never count him out ever again...are the Vikings going to choose Sherels over two first round picks, a second round pick, one of the best slot corners in the game, and last year's starter? Could Newman move to safety, and they only carry three safeties and then add Sherels? Yeah, that's a possibility, too, because somehow, some way, Sherels makes this roster.
For wide receiver, it's going to be pretty interesting. Again, using last year's 53 man roster as a guide, the Vikings broke camp with six wide receivers. Right now, WR's on the roster are:
Diggs and Treadwell are a given, as is Jarius Wright. The remaining three are probably going to be Johnson, Thielen, and Patterson. For wunderkind Moritz Boehringer...my hope is that he can show enough to make the practice squad, but as far as him making the final 53, that would be nothing short of a miracle. Of course, it's almost a miracle he was drafted at all, so never say never.
Travis Schlenger has an interesting hypothetical:
Hmmm...interesting. My knee jerk reaction would be Vonn Bell in the second round, but after reading about Alexander, I like that pick and I'm glad they made it. I'm also a big fan of the third round trade and the Boehringer pick, and after the fourth round, it's a crapshoot, no matter who picks whom where. So, let's go back to the fourth round pick of Willie Beavers. There are mixed reviews on him, and I would have maybe preferred one of three guys--NT Andrew Billings, who was projected to the Vikings as high as the first round early in the off season, RB Devontae Booker, or QB Cardale Jones. Billings seems like a DT the Vikings like, and knee issue aside would have been a huge steal there. Booker would have been a good long term replacement candidate to be a number two guy behind Jerrick McKinnon. As for Jones, I think he has the most natural talent as anyone drafted, and I would like to see the Vikings get more depth behind Teddy Bridgewater.
Next up, from the open thread, we have Gas-House Gorillas:
No, I really don't see it. If they keep six linebackers again, the top three are still going to be Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, and Greenway. You can make the argument that Emmanuel Lamur jumps him, but he's still going to be one of the six best linebackers on the roster.
Adam West is next. Probably not the Batman of my youth (and still the best one hands down) Adam West...but if it is YOU GUYS BATMAN IS A VIKINGS FAN WOOOOOOOOOOOO:
You can take your Bat Tweet and go straight to Bat Hell. Also, the George Clooney Batman was way better. That's right, Clooney.
Travis Schlenger brings the heat, and another good question:
Offensive line and wide receiver. With all the free agent additions, combined with the return of John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt, it's going to be a tooth and nail fight for a starting job. At wide receiver, the two wild cards are Cordarrelle Patterson and Mortiz Boehringer. If Patterson really is born again hard, the Vikings wide receivers are going to be a talented lot. And that begs the question...could Patterson beat out either Stefon Diggs or Laquon Treadwell? And if he can't, that opens things up for Charles Johnson, Adam Thielen, or...MoBo??...as a fourth or fifth guy behind Treadwell, Diggs, and Jarius Wright.
Finally, Carl Ohaus wraps up this edition of the mailbag:
@purplebuckeye Safety wasn't really addressed during the draft, who starts next to Harry week 1 and is that the Achilles heel of the defense— Karl Ohaus (@BuckarrooBanzai) May 2, 2016
I was surprised they didn't do anything to address the issue until the seventh round. I guess the Vikings really do believe that they have the starter opposite Harrison Smith on the roster, and I'm going to guess that Michael Griffin or Andrew Sendejo will be the guy. Is it the Achilles heel? Yeah, probably...but consider that this defense was pretty solid, even borderline elite, with spotty safety play. So yeah, could they have done more to address the issue? Yeah. It's still a heck of a defense, regardless of who is going to start besides the Hitman.