Monday, April 29, 2013

Overview of Vikings Draft

The Minnesota Vikings get an A- during the NFL Draft. Of course the Vikings hit it big with three first round draft picks in Sharrif Floyd DT from Florida, CB Xavier Rhodes from Florida State and WR Cordarrelle Patterson Tennessee. I believe each one of these guys can make an immediate impact this year.

Rick Spielman lost out on some good talent in rounds 2-3 by trading away picks to New England to grab Patterson. Cordarrelle must be a home run pick in order for this draft to become an A or A+.

The Vikings then in the fourth round drafted Gerald Hodges a Linebacker out of Penn State. Hodges has good football IQ and instincts. He is a solid fourth round pick with some upside. He needs to improve his man coverage skills and speed. He is a very good tackler and can play very well in zone defense.

With their fifth round pick the Vikings drafted Punter Jeff Locke from UCLA. The Vikings loved this guy before the draft and might of reached a bit for him, but I am sure are excited to have a guy with such a huge leg and accuracy. Look for the Vikings to either trade or cut current Punter Chris Kluwe.

In the sixth round the Minnesota Vikings selected Jeff Baca UCLA Guard. Jeff is a guy who should fit our scheme well and has the ability to play Guard and Tackle. He has great pass blocking skills and needs to improve moving big defensive lineman in run blocking.

With the seventh round the Vikings get Linebacker Michael Mauti. Mauti is all around good in the run and passing game. He tackles well and has good instincts. Michael has injury issues over the years that has limited his productivity and must prove he can still play football at a high level.

Also in the seventh round the Vikings take Travis Bond OL North Carolina. Travis can play either Guard or the Tackle position and needs to improve his footwork and hands. He adds depth to this line and could possibly fill in if the line has injury issues.

Yes, the Vikings also got another seventh round pick in Everett Dawkins DT from Florida State. Dawkins isn't a very big defensive tackle and needs to put on some weight to play at the next level. He has a quick first step and could be a surprising seventh round pick.

Overall the Minnesota Vikings filled some major holes on offense and defense and even picked up a Special teams stud. Rick Spielman always says you can't grade a draft until after 3 years, so as of now I give it an A- and I hope this draft class will be better than that. We can't afford to not have our first round picks not live up to expectation and we need to have found some gems with our late round picks.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Vikings Draft Weekend Prediction

The Vikings will be silent rounds 2 and 3, but who knows Rick Spielman might trade up to snag another pick in either round. The Vikings still need to draft a Linebacker and I don't think we will have a shot at guys like Mani Te'o or Arthur Brown. Here are a few players the Minnesota Vikings should consider drafting this weekend.

Linebacker Kevin Reddick from North Carolina- Kevin could step right in and be a productive Linebacker. He is well rounded and can make big tackles, cover and pass rush.

Wide Receiver Ryan Swope Texas A&M- Ryan is a nice slot receiver who can make defenders miss, he is quick and has great hands.

Tyranna Mathieu CB LSU- The "Honey Badger" is still available and could fall to round 4, but Spielman may have to move up to round 3 to get him. I really would love taking a chance on a guy like this who is such a great player. Of course he has off the field issues, but would be a game changer if can shy away from off the field issues.

Punter Jeff Locke from UCLA- Spielman and the Vikings have had interest in Locke and could be taken in the 6th round.

J.C. Tretter Offensive Lineman from Cornell- He is a player who can play either Tackle or the Guard position. We need depth on the line and to get someone who can fill in and do what he is asked to do.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

1st round = A+

The Minnesota Vikings and Rick Spielman drafted some great players tonight who can step in and make a huge difference!

With the 23rd pick the Vikings got a top 5 pick Sharrif Floyd DT. This guy is a stud and I am so surprised he fell to us and was a must pick guy at #23. He will fit in nicely next to Kevin Williams and will provide pressure in the middle.

#25 The Vikings take Xavier Rhodes out of Florida State. This was another quick decision by Spielman and his staff, I thought for sure Indianapolis was going to take him at #24. He is a great addition to our secondary!

The Vikings then traded a lot to move up and take Cordarrelle Patterson WR out of Tennessee. Yes, we gave up a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 7th round pick, but man this guy has a lot of upside and gives Ponder another weapon on offense.

The Vikings get an A+ and fill 3 holes on this squad. We got guys who dropped to us and Rick Spielman got excited and so did I. I don't even care what happens round 2-7, we got 3 guys who can make a big difference and Vikings fans should be so pumped!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Who's Wearing Purple?

Let me breakdown what to expect Thursday night.

The Minnesota Vikings currently have the 23rd and 25th pick in this years NFL draft. Who will they select? Who will be wearing purple? Rick Spielman has been pretty successful drafting players who fit our system, last year he drafted LT Matt Kalil with the 4th overall pick and was a huge addition to our offensive line. Rick then traded to snag Safety Harrison Smith with the 29th overall pick in the first round. Both first round picks were huge contributors last season. Can they repeat a successful first round draft this year?

Scenario 1:
I think the Vikings will do whatever they can to grab WR Cordaralle Patterson from Tennessee with the 23rd pick. He will be a huge addition to this slim wide receiver corp. Patterson reminds me of Demaryius Thomas of Denver, he can do so much off the line and can create space from his first steps. He is a big target who can run slants, screens, posts, quick routes, drag routes, etc. His hands are above average but tends to use his body a bit too much. If you can get him the ball in open space he can make defenders miss and go the distance. Cordaralle would be a great #2 wideout opposite Greg Jennings, he can learn from Greg on how to find holes in the defense. I would absolutely be a fan of this pick and could be a nice offensive weapon.

With the 25th overall pick the Vikings will be in a tough position. I feel the two guys they wanted here were CB Xavior Rhodes of Florida State but will probably be selected 24th overall to the Colts and DT Sylvester Williams will be taken earlier by Dallas. I see the Vikings then trading this pick to the New York Jets who will trade their 39th overall pick and a mid round pick to move up and jump ahead of Green Bay to draft Alabama RB Eddie Lacey. The Vikings don't want the Packers to get a guy like Lacey and would be willing to trade back and get someone like S Matt Elam from Florida at #39. Matt Elam is a stud! Big hitting guy who is versatile and a game changer.

Scenario 2
Rick Spielman will snag CB Desmond Trufant from Washington with the #23rd pick. Trufant could fall to them her and would get a fantastic corner here who has all the making of being a solid #1 cornerback. He is lean, but has the ability to be physical with run support and can make Qaurtebacks look away from his side of the field. He is a true playmaker who can fight for the ball and is known for defending passes and occasionally making turnovers. If he is anything like his brothers the Vikings shouldn't pass on him.

With the #25th pick the Minnesota Vikings will solidify their void at Middle Linebacker and draft Manti Te'o. I know he has issues and didn't play well in the National Championship, but Manti is a guy who has a Ray Lewis feel. If he is in the right situation and locker room he could be a fantastic pick at #25. Many Vikings fans may disagree with my take on Te'o and I think he will show critics he is a franchise linebacker. I think he would fit great with Chad Greenway and Chad would give Manti the ability to take chances getting to the Quarterback and Runningbacks. I don't know how great of a coverage linebacker he will be going against elite TE's. He has quick feet and has great instincts on the football field.

Scenario 3
Vikings trade #23rd pick to Tennessee and get the #40th pick in the second round. I think the Titans want to jump up and grab WR Robert Woods. The Vikings then would take LB Arthur Brown from Kansas State at #40. Arthur Brown would be a good value early in the second round and would give Frazier a solid Linebacker who can do so much in run support and coverage. Brown is a high motor guy who would solidify a major hole in this defense.

With the 25th pick Minnesota would take CB D.J. Hayden from Houston. D.J. has been medically cleared after a life threatening heart issue when he tore a major vein in his heart. He is explosive with top end speed and is so good at making big plays. He could be the best corner in this draft and would be a steal at #25. I love this guy and his heartbreaking story!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Minnesota Vikings Draft Insider

Can you believe it's almost here! The Minnesota Vikings head into this year’s draft with the 23rd and 25th pick in the first round. Look for the Vikings to make some trades Thursday night to move back and get more picks in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. This is a very deep draft at certain positions and the Vikings must find value in rounds 1-4. They could also move up to grab a guy like Tavon Austin, but I don't see the Vikings trading draft picks to move up. Areas of needs are WR, CB, S, LB, DT and you can never use enough depth on the offensive line. Here are some guys I see the Vikings willing to take at 23rd or the 25th pick.

WR Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee)-If he is there at #23, we can't pass on a guy with this much upside. Patterson is a playmaker who can stretch the field and also has the speed to create separation at the line of scrimmage in the slot. He makes the loss of Percy Harvin hurt far less.

CB Xavier Rhodes (Florida St.)-He is a guy who can also fill a huge whole in this secondary with a loss of Antoine Winfield. Our cornerback position needs help and Xavier can step right in and make a difference.

LB Kevin Minter (LSU)-Minter isn't flashy, but the bottom line he can tackle, cover and makes outstanding reads. He could be a franchise type middle linebacker the Vikings need.

 LB Arthur Brown (Kansas St.)-Arthur is all over draft boards and some have him going in the mid-1st round and some have him going mid-late second round. I don't know about you, but I love this guy. He can flat out make plays and has the speed to bring pressure and also has the ability to drop back in coverage. The Minnesota Vikings need a linebacker who is has this versatility.

DT Sylvester Williams (North Carolina)-I don't know if he will be there at #23, a lot of teams are starting to fall in love with Williams. He is an outstanding defensive tackle who can create havoc in the middle. Maybe the Vikings will get lucky and have another "Williams Wall"! He also would be a replacement for an aging Kevin Williams.

WR DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson)-Hopkins is a deep threat who can adjust well to the ball and make big plays. He does lack the ability to break on cuts, but does find holes in coverage.

Guys I would enjoy seeing the Vikings getting a chance to grab in the 2nd or 3rd round.

S Matt Elam (Florida)-I think Matt Elam would be a great addition and would be great to see playing next to Harrison Smith. He lacks height, but Elam is a guy who can play up on the line and rush the QB and also can be a big time hitter in run support and in coverage.

WR Keenan Allen (Cal)-I like Keenan and I also liked him much more a month ago. I wouldn't hate drafting him; I just think he has the potential of being a bust in the NFL. I hope I am wrong!

S D.J. Swearinger (South Carolina)-If you can't land Elam, take D.J. He does things very similar to Elam but just isn't Matt Elam.

CB Tyrann Mathieu (LSU)-High Risk = High Reward! I know I would love to get "Honey Badger"; I don't care about his past. The guy can flat out play the game of football! Yes, he may have a lot of issues off the field, but I guarantee you when Sunday comes he will show up to play! If he had no issues off the field, he is a top 5 pick!

DT John Jenkins (Georgia)-Nearly 350 lbs., he plugs the middle and moves pretty well. Look at this beast, if he can provide run support I don't know who can.

Sleepers we can get late in the draft

CB B.w. Webb (William & Mary)-Talk about a shutdown corner, Webb is known for his great coverage skills and would be a great addition to the Vikings secondary.

WR Ryan Swope (Teaxs A&M)-Replacement for Percy Harvin, he has the competitive nature and isn't scared to work the middle of the field.

LB Kevin Reddick (North Carolina)-Reddick is a hard hitting linebacker who has great speed and closing ability. He can make big plays as a strong run defender and is NFL ready.

DT Nicholas Willams (Samford)-Big frame guy who is raw and needs development, but can be a big presence up front and has the ability to be a solid run stopper.

Overall the Minnesota Vikings need to hit on draft picks and need to fill some holes both offensively and defensively. Look for Rick Spielman to be creative and make some trades again this year to improve this roster. Spielman could also look at trading RB Toby Gerhart if the right value is there. It should be an exciting weekend and look I look forward to the Vikings to be aggressive and draft players that can step right in and make a difference immediately.