Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2013 Tight End Position

Grade: 2

The Vikings have an outstanding Tight End in Kyle Rudolph who was selected to his first ever Pro Bowl last season. The Vikings also gave ex Seattle Seahawks TE John Carlson a 5 year $25 million deal last offseason. They also have a guy by the name of Rhett Ellison who is more of a run blocker.

Congratulations to Kyle Rudolph and the year he had last year with 53 catches, 493 yards and 9 touchdowns. He is a big target at 6-6 and 253 lbs, who can create havoc for defenses. Kyle really emerged last season and we should see him develop into an elite tight end in this league. He has great hands who can catch the ball in traffic and also make sideline catches, but where he really exploits defenses is up the middle of the field with his speed and route running ability. We should see his yards production increase next year and be a big key to the Vikings offensive success.

John Carlson can’t stay healthy and this is a major concern. He has all the tools to be a good tight end in the NFL, but his production is low because he is always trying to come back after an injury. Injuries will kill a career in football and hopefully we can see a healthy Carlson in 2013. He could be a huge piece to our success with two tight end sets and really create matchup problems for defenses. Look for a bounce back year from John Carlson next year and see a nice 1-2 combo.

Who is Rhett Ellison? This guy had a nice rookie season as a run blocking tight end and even caught a few passes for decent gains. He isn’t flashy, but reminds me a lot of someone name Jimmy Kleinsasser and even wears #40. Rhett isn’t going to get you a handful of catches each game but defenses aren’t expecting him to get the ball and can create some key first downs.

Overall look for the Vikings to create matchup problems with all of their tight ends next season and get them all involved in what they are trying to do with this offense. Successful tight end play can help the Vikings running game by not allowing them to put 8-9 guys in the box and create either big plays down the field or bigger holes for Adrian Peterson.

Monday, February 18, 2013

2013 Wide Receiver Position

Grade: 9.5

The Wide Receiver position is by far the biggest need this offseason and that is why I gave it a 9.5 out of 10. We have plenty of questions regarding who will be on this roster from last year. Will Percy Harvin be traded? Will he get a new contract? Will he holdout? Will the Vikings bring back unrestricted free agent Devin Aromashodu? How about Jerome Simpson? Will they cut Michael Jenkins? Who will they draft? Who will they target in the free agent market? All these questions make my head spin; I can’t imagine how Rick Spielman feels.

I do know Christian Ponder can’t improve significantly without significantly improving this receiving corp. Why can’t our receivers get open or at least create separation? Our offense should be able to run a deadly play action with having every defenders eyes on Adrian Peterson. Our Wide Receivers lack speed, quickness, good hands, ability to change direction, route running skills and the ability to beat man to man coverage or find a hole in a zone defense. The only skill it seems our wide receivers have is that they know how to block. Shouldn’t every receiver know how to block? Is Jenkins that valuable as a run blocker?

Let’s talk about our guys from last year at this position!

Percy Harvin is a rare talent in this league and creates problems for defenses. Harvin is the most intriguing offseason story for the Minnesota Vikings this year. According to the media and other individuals close to the situation, Percy Harvin got into it with Leslie Frazier and possibly other Vikings personal over the quarterback situation last year. He only played 9 games in 2012 after having season ending knee surgery. He has one more year left on his rookie contract and many speculate he wants to get paid as an elite WR in the NFL and could even hold out. Should the Vikings lock him up long-term with big bucks? As much as I love Percy on the field and how he creates something out of nothing, he isn’t worth big bucks. If we could give him a 5 year deal worth $50 million and $20 million guaranteed, then done deal. But it sounds like he wants Fitzgerald type money $120 million with $50 guaranteed over 8 years. No thanks, with all the off the field issues and the physical player that he is. Should we trade him? Depends on what Spielman can get for him, if he can get a 1st round pick, sure. Second round pick I don’t feel is worth it. Unless you can somehow get a second this year and a second next year or something. I would love to see Percy Harvin wearing purple next season, but I won’t be upset if he isn’t.

Guys we should let go

#1 Michael Jenkins- Cut him, he can’t create separation!
#2 Devin Aromashodu- Let him walk, he has not shown much in 4 years!

Guys we should think about keeping
#1 Jerome Simpson- If you can get him cheap, why not? He is athletic and may just need to be healthier to really show us what he is worth.

Guys who should be around in 2013

#1 Jarius Wright- Could be the next Percy Harvin, he has the speed and just might need some more experience to really show his skills.
#2 Stephen Burton- Hasn’t shown much, but is young and a pretty decent size target.
#3 Greg Childs- Hopefully this young 6 foot 3 inch receiver can get healthy and be a big surprise in 2013.

Who will the Vikings target at the Wide Receiver position in this years draft?

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Tennessee- Try tackling him! He reminds me of an Anquan Boldin, big guy who you can just throw the ball up to and will adjust.

Terrance Williams: WR Baylor- This guy is an outstanding deep threat and could fall to us at #23. Don’t be surprised if he isn’t there!

Keenan Allen, WR California- He could be the best WR out of this class; he has great size, speed and physical ability. He has battled injuries, beware. I think he might be the WR the Vikings will target at #23.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR Clemson- Great route runner who has big play potential. He always is hungry for the ball and the endzone.

Justin Hunter, WR Tennessee- Big deep threat, but has had injury issues.

Robert Woods, WR USC- Can be a huge threat if can stay healthy.

Marcus Davis, WR Virginia Tech- 6-4 and 232 is all you need to know, he could be a sneaky 3rd-4th round pick.

Free Agents to keep an eye on!

Dwayne Bowe- Can you image getting a guy like Bowe? Bowe and Harvin together would be nice!

Greg Jennings- Don’t be surprised if Jennings is a Viking before it’s all said and done. He is the #1 WR guy we are looking for, but has had injury issues in the past. He might cost us some money, but is very talented.

Victor Cruz- He is a restricted free agent! J The Vikings would fix a lot of problems if they added Cruz, ain’t gonna happen! We can all DREAM!

Mike Wallace- HELLO! Might cost a lot, but is a nice #1.

Brian Hartline- He can flat out catch! He won’t get you glaring touchdown numbers, but might be a nice addition.

Kevin Ogletree- He might be a great value for the money type guy.

Donnie Avery- He is only 28 years old and has shown flashes and may fit in nice here as a down the middle deep threat.

Ramses Barden- Why not? He is a 6-6 WR who hasn’t been given much opportunity behind the wealth of receivers in New York.

Steve Smith- Remember him back in the Giants days? He is only 27 years old!


Rick Spielman and Leslie Frazier have a lot of work to do regarding the Wide Receiver postion in 2013. It should be a very active offseason at this position, they cannot build a receiver corp just in the draft and must make moves that will help Christian Ponder develeop. Look for Zigi Wilf to spend some money at this position in free agency and let Spielman bring in the talent. Don't expect 2013 to be a 360 degree turnaround, it takes time to find the right pieces and the offense to gel.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

2013 Running Back/Fullback Position


Grade: 2

Congratulations All-Day Adrian Peterson!!!
The Minnesota Vikings don’t just have an MVP, Offensive player of the year, we have the best running back to ever play the game. Adrian Peterson is at a different level, this guy runs with a purpose. He is fast, quick and will make you pay for trying to tackle him. I consider AP a freak! Adrian was just 9 yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s record this year by finishing with 2,097 yards rushing. I don’t know about you, but Peterson is not done or satisfied yet. He is already talking about 2,500 yards next season. The sky is the limit for this guy and he can do anything he puts his mind to. Look for Adrian Peterson to have another fantastic season and break Dickerson’s record. Back to Back MVP’s?

The Vikings #2 RB Toby Gerhart has had some decent performances over his short career, but has not been the player I thought he would be. Now it’s tough to be in the shadow of a guy like AP and when you do get your chances we look for freakish runs like Peterson. Toby isn’t Adrian and will never be Adrian, he is a change of pace guy who can run between the tackles and wear out defenses. He is a backup running back who lacks speed, vision and cutting ability. He is a solid backup and should only improve over time watching Adrian Peterson prepare and execute.

I think our third running back should be an area where we can improve just in case. Last year Matt Asiata filled that role as a rookie, he had 3 carries for 9 yards all season. He is a short running back with some size, he isn’t a fast, quick guy. He is a project like most third string RB’s in this league. I wouldn’t mind trying to get a quicker guy in the late 7th round or even an undrafted player. It’s not a position we need to focus on, but if there is a someone sitting there with some potential upside sure why not.

Let’s talk about our Fullback and Pro Bowler Jerome Felton. Can you say success? Again Rick Spielman hit on another fantastic player. I think we need to give Felton some credit for Adrian’s success during his MVP season. Jerome is a guy who can punish lineman and linebackers to spring AP loose and to that next level. He isn’t going to run the ball much, but may a bit more after a fantastic performance running the ball in the Pro Bowl. Expect Jerome to get even better next season and create some more gigantic holes for All Day.

Overall our running backs and fullbacks is our least concern and should only get better over the years to come. Just give AP the ball and watch what he can do!