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Wednesday Open Thread: April 21, 2021

The draft is only a week away.....plus a day

Leroy Hoard #44...

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Well, the draft is getting closer and closer. I’m much more excited for the draft than I was a couple months ago. I think the team has done a very good job of adding talent, filling many of the voids that were in the roster (and doing so with very little capital to work with), vastly improved the defense, and put themselves in a position where they should have a legitimate chance to contend, IF. There’s that “if”, and I think there are a couple of them.

1) If they can avoid the injury bug that bit them hard last year, and ultimately decimated the defense. This is key, they can’t have the number of injuries they had last year, and they shouldn’t, they should have better luck with injuries this year. One reason for this is that their roster will be younger. According to Football Outsiders, the Vikings were 23rd on defense and 20th on offense for snap-weighted roster age in 2020 (average player age of 26.3 years on offense and 26.0 years on defense). I couldn’t find any data for 2021, so my friend Mr. Excel and I used the roster from Vikings.com, and calculated that the defense’s average age is currently 25.1, nearly a full year younger. That will change after the draft, camp cuts, etc., but for now, they’re much younger. Another reason they should have better luck with injuries this year is that they simply had horrible luck last year, and the odds are that their luck will be better this year.

2) They need to have a good draft. I don’t think you approach the draft trying to fill holes in your roster, but with the team’s cap situation, which will only be worse next year, the team will need to add players in the draft who will be able to provide quality depth, and provide starts within a year or two. The Vikings have been having some quality drafts recently (most years, there was still a couple which smelled a bit), so let’s hope they have another great one. SKOL!

Around the DN since our last open thread:

wludford looks at which NFL teams are the best at drafting players.

In the SB Nation Writer’s Mock Draft, the Vikings selected Christian Darrisaw, posted by Chris. SBNation also announced the DN’s selection.

Other Vikings/NFL news and random oddities and annoyances:

From SI.com, Ryan Fitzpatrick shared a story about the single worst text he’s ever sent, one to Alex Smith after his injury. I can relate, I’m very good at saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, it’s a skill.

From FoxSports, Marshaun Lynch spent part of yesterday (4/20) being a budtender in San Jose, where marijuana is legal. I wonder how many bags of Skittles he ate.

From NFL.com, Adrian Peterson wants to continue to play, and says that he’s looking for a contender. I’d love to see AD finish his career in Minnesota, he and Cook would be a hell of a one-two punch.

Again, we all know the rules, but in case someone is new:

-No discussion of politics or religion
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-Keep the bad language to a minimum (using the spoiler tags, if you must)
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-If you can’t disagree in a civil manner, feel free to go away
-While navigating the open thread, just assume it’s sarcasm.

With that, the beer light is on and the bar is open. Belly up & tie one on, don’t forget to tip the cows, and settle in, it’s starting to get exciting.