Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mock draft dodging

I signed on for gymrome's TSN Mock Draft, to take care of the Vikings' business a few weeks ago. I know that a while back, before free agency, I suggested against a defensive end in the first round, thinking that the team was well enough set at the position and that we had needs elsewhere. Now that those needs have been largely addressed -- most notably at wide receiver and safety, I'm starting to think defensive end might be the best option, especially if the team fails to land a significant free agent in the draft. Wide receiver is almost a non-issue now (and almost looks deep), and Madieu Williams has shored up the safety position.

I still think the offensive line could use an upgrade on the right side, the tight ends could be improved, and quarterback is obviously an issue, though unless Brian Brohm falls in our lap, there probably won't be a first-round talent at the position available, and there could be some decent talent (like Joe Flacco or Andre Woodson) available in the second. Anyway, I've posted a poll to the right to get feedback on how you think the Vikings' #1 pick should be spent. Give me some advice, people. Your mock future depends on it!

* For reasons not entirely clear, the Vikings re-signed Robert Ferguson to a one-year deal worth, according to the link, "approximately $1 million, with a possible $500,000 to $600,000 in incentives." Considering that Ferguson will enter the season as no better than the team's number-four wide receiver -- likely behind Bernard Berrian, Bobby Wade, and Sidney Rice -- and with Aundrae Allison at least likely to figure into the mix near the bottom of the wide-receiver depth chart, it's a bit of an odd move. I suppose someone has to drop passes now that Troy Williamson is gone.

* And just because your team went 1-15 doesn't mean other teams don't want your players. He's no Zach Thomas, but linebacker Derrick Pope is apparently a pretty good special-teams player, and the Vikings inked him to a one-year contract last week. Rufus Alexander, a sixth-round draft pick from 2007 was also expected to contribute on special teams before suffering a season-ending injury in preseason, so the Vikings have essentially added two potentially solid special teams players for 2008. The team ranked 23rd in the league last year on opponents' punt returns and 13th in kickoff returns -- not too awful when you consider that we face Devin Hester twice a year -- so there's room for improvement.

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