Matt is one of the bright minds behind Draft Season and Vikings fans of all sorts should hop over there to check out his work. What’s better than a comprehensive draft site? Well, a comprehensive draft site run by Vikings fans, of course!
Here are the guests we’ve had take part in this series so far if you need to play catch up:
Now, here we go with Matt Falk.
1. Can you talk about a 2017 Draft prospect or two that stick out to you as real possibilities for the Vikings to select?
I’m going to stick strictly to the offensive line for this question, as that is the biggest need the Vikings have headed into the 2017 offseason. One big guy that really sticks out and should be around when the Vikings are on the clock is Western Kentucky’s offensive tackle Forrest Lamp. The 6’4, 300 lb big man is built like a brick wall and still finds a way to move smoothly and bust holes in the running game. The big question mark for Lamp is where he will play in the NFL, tackle or guard. Lucky for the Vikings both are a huge need, so they could take him and play him where they see fit, possibly starting him out at guard early in his career and assess from there. Others that I have my eye on for possible Purple selections are Indiana guard Dan Feeney, Temple offensive tackle Dion Dawkins, Pittsburgh Adam Bisnowaty, and Western Michigan’s Taylor Moton.
2. As of today, who would you peg as the Vikings most under-appreciated player and why?
This is a tough one… I’m going to say Adam Theilen, and some might say that is a given considering he had a breakout year and put up 967 yards and 5 TDs in 2016. But people don’t realize how good he actually is. #19 is a legit receiver in the NFL and only continues to get better. Even when Diggs was out and opposing defenses were putting some of their best corners on Theilen he continued to produce and put up big numbers. Remember, even though Theilen has been around a while, this was pretty much his first opportunity to really play on offense. He makes the tough over the middle catches, diving catches on the sideline, and the big play down the field. Best part about him is he does it all. A few honorable mentions would be Captain Munnerlyn, Terrence Newman, and even Trae Waynes. Sure, Waynes had his moments where he looked a little lost out there, but he has come along way since his rookie year and I expect big things from him in 2017.
3. Is it realistic to expect Rick Spielman to fix this offensive line in one offseason, or no?
Considering how poor the offensive line was in 2016, I think yes, he can fix it in one offseason. People get so down on how bad the offensive line was this past year, but really… what would you expect? They were playing back-ups, and in some cases back-ups to the back-up along the line. You can’t expect ANY team to have a good line when you get down to that level of injury. So I actually do think Spielman can fix the line in only 1 year. I think it will be a combo of both free agency and the draft. I could see the Vikings adding one big name in free agency like a Ricky Wagner, Andrew Whitworth, and Kevin Zeitler along with a few free agent depth players. I also expect them to select a guard/tackle with multiple selections come draft day. Even without a 1st round selection they could land themselves a starting o-lineman with that 2nd round pick of theirs (see question one). Add a healthy Alex Boone to the mix along with guys who are out to prove themselves like Nick Easton, Rashod Hill and Zac Kerin… anything is possible.