Monday, May 01, 2006

Vikings Draft thoughts

I like: Finding two players that they believe will fit the Cover 2. Ernie Sims might have more potential than Chad Greenway, but Sims tends to freelance and miss assignments. It’s doubtful Greenway will be Brian Urlacher, but the Vikings don’t hold that expectation either. Greenway should start on the outside immediately. Michael Huff got a lot of praise, but Cedric Griffin is pretty good too…Trading a sixth rounder for Guard Artis Hicks is nice. It is unlikely anyone in the sixth round will start this year, while Hicks probably will…The Vikings had a plan to draft certain players, and it appears they did.

I’m not sure:The initial reaction is, “I hope they know what they’re doing.” I have no problem with taking players considered “stretches”. Many underrated prospects become excellent players. Drafting too many projects however, is a potential problem. Every coaching staff believes they can turn coal into diamonds. When ego gets in the way, it can blind objectivity. We’ll see in two to three years…The draft really hinges on QB Tavaris Jackson. The Vikings could have reasonably traded for Jay Cutler or drafted Brodie Croyle, Charlie Whitehurst or Kellen Clemens. Drafting Jackson basically says this was their first choice among quarterbacks. Does Brad Childress believe he has the next Donovan McNabb or did the team outsmart themselves? Instead of trading their two #3’s, Jackson probably would have been around in the third round.

I don’t like: The other downside to drafting too many projects is a lack of immediate depth. DE Ray Edwards and S/LB Greg Blue might become the thefts of 2006. In the meantime, the Vikings only drafted one linebacker, and besides Jackson, zero skill position players. Further, only Greenway, and Griffin are ready to play immediately. Include Hicks and that’s three players out of seven. The Vikings may think they are deep enough to afford so few impact players, but I don’t…Prior to the draft, the Vikings front office claimed character was key. Then they drafted Griffin and Edwards, both with character questions. I have no problem with the picks. However, if you publicly say you won’t tolerate poor characters, and then add two to your roster, you better be accountable if they mess up...Drafting Ryan Cook in round 2. The second round is a place to find players (excluding QB's) that can play immediately or within a year. Cook is a project without a position, two strikes right away. If they wanted an oversized, intriguing project, they should have resigned Tonui Fonoti. All he cost was this year's 7th rounder.