Tuesday, December 1, 2015

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

March was an interesting month that included a whole lot of wheel-spinning on the Adrian Peterson front, a trade that brought deep threat Mike Wallace to town and sent Greg Jennings packing, and also an extremely measured approach to free agency.

Before we get going on this week’s links, I want to take a look back at March and the most popular articles penned by each of our writers here at VT:

ARIF HASANA month ago, we published a sourced report that the Vikings were determined to get rid of Adrian Peterson.

DARREN PAGEAn incredibly detailed comparison of Teddy Bridgewater’s rookie season to those of other NFL quarterbacks.

ADAM WARWASTwist number 78 (give or take) in the Adrian Peterson “news” cycle was a report that the Arizona Cardinals were prepared to make a trade offer to acquire the superstar running back.

BRENT LABATHE: A look at how the fates of the Minnesota Vikings and the Cleveland Browns have been intertwining in recent years.

LINDSEY YOUNG: Defensive end Michael Johnson is once again “the one that got away” for the Minnesota Vikings.

AUSTIN BELISLE: There is a perception out there that the Vikings have backed Adrian Peterson into a corner.

BRETT ANDERSON: Partnering with Luke Inman to produce scouting reports of 2015’s top draft prospects has been a fun addition for the draft geeks around here (I love them, anyways). DeVante Parker’s scouting report has been the most popular of them all.

CARL KNOWLESOur “Sleeper Sunday” events have seemed like a nice distraction during these quiet weekends, but the evaluation of quarterback Brandon Bridge was particularly popular.

ANDY CARLSON: Taking the leap into the deep end of the pool, Andy gave us his first written opinion articles during the month of March, including one about the release of Greg Jennings being a justified move.

If you like all the content here at VT and want to support this fine group of writers, then we have a no-pressure option for you! Simply visit out Fan Cave store and do your online shopping through our Amazon links. After all, you know you want one of these. Or two.

Okay, onto our Links of the Week:

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This week’s Vikings Fan Spotlight is the final segment of a 3-week project. I had such an amazing response on Twitter from Vikings fans all over the world, and I decided to break this feature into three separate parts. 

Simon Bruus – Denmark – @Bruusen

SimonQ: How did you first become a Vikings fan?
A: My grandfather’s great grandfather is from Minneapolis, and my grandfather […] calls himself “The biggest Vikings fan in Europe.” He religiously follows the Vikings every Sunday when they’re on, and he also religiously watch[es] the University of Minnesota’s football team, the Golden Gophers. Sometimes when I was younger, [I would] stay at my grandparents’ just to watch the Vikings with him, therefore the transition to becoming a Vikings fan was very easy.

Q: Are there a lot of other Vikings fans in Denmark?
A: In Norway [where I am studying abroad], there are almost none as I know of, but in Denmark there is a huge Vikings community. Denmark in general is a very “NFL-happy” nation and as far as I know one of the biggest followers of the sport outside the U.S.

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Last week we talked all about defense, so you can guess where we’re headed this week …

Which Offensive Player will Have the Most Standout Season for the Vikings in 2015?

Lindsey: Teddy Bridgewater
From Day 1, I’ve been a Bridgewater believer. I was pumped when we drafted him, and last season just affirmed his potential. Bridgewater got thrown into the fire last year when Cassel got injured, and the AP fiasco didn’t make things any easier. However, the QB still finished with incredibly solid numbers for a rookie: 2,919 passing yards, a 64.4 percent completion rate and only three fumbles. Bridgewater has a quiet confidence about him, and he’s not easily rattled. He grew his confidence in a rocky 2014 situation, and I expect him to come out ready to rock for 2015.

Andy: Kyle Rudolph
People always talk about how Norv’s offense being so “tight end friendly.” If Rudy can stay healthy for a full season, I think he and Teddy will do some good things together and he’ll make his extension look like a bargain. A lot of variables, but we all believe Rudolph has the ability to be a top-five tight end in the league. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. Plus, we know Teddy loves his tight ends. #Reisner

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Spielman meeting Teddy
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[NOTE FROM ADAM: We are thrilled to welcome back the knowledge and insight we’ve grown to expect out of Ryan Boser. Ryan contributes a number of places, with very valuable draft and fantasy takes, and we encourage you to follow him on Twitter to keep track of everything he is doing.]


From Adrian Peterson to Jabari Price, Rick Spielman has had varying degrees of involvement in 65 rookie selections during his eight-draft Minnesota Vikings tenure. While “need” is an ever-changing variable, we have a large enough sample size to begin to glean some of his general philosophical tendencies.

1. Spielman is fearlessly aggressive with offensive skill position players in the first two rounds.


With his first pick as VP of Player Personnel, Spielman eschewed infinitely more pressing defensive needs to select a supremely talented RB with durability concerns. Meanwhile, Chester Taylor had just eclipsed 1,500 YFS in the first year of his 4-year contract.

Two drafts later, Spielman & Co. snatched Percy Harvin in R1 despite a failed Combine drug test.

Spielman reached wildly for Christian Ponder, and traded up for backup Toby Gerhart, an ultra-raw Cordarrelle Patterson and Pro Day flop Teddy Bridgewater.

What it Means: Kevin White almost certainly ran himself out of the Vikings’ range, but if Amari Cooper slips, he’d be the odds-on favorite at 11. If both White and Cooper are gone, DeVante Parker would surely get a long look, and I wouldn’t count out stud RB Todd Gurley (pending Peterson) despite last season’s ACL tear — the precedent is there for such a pick. Monstrous WR Dorial Green-Beckham is a textbook Spielman pick in R2 (or late R1 via trade-up). He comes with drug and violence-against-women baggage, which will make him an especially tough sell at this juncture, but the team is officially kicking the tires.

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Quarterback Mike Kafka was signed by the Vikings after apparently impressing at the first annual veteran combine. He isn’t the only veteran that found work in Minnesota after working out in front of Rick Spielman, however.

Defensive end Caesar Rayford was also signed and will compete for a spot near the bottom of the Vikings depth chart. The agreement was announced by Rayford’s agent on Twitter.

Rayford spent 2014 playing arena football and in the CFL. He last played in the NFL in 2013 as a member of the Dallas Cowboys where he played in his only NFL games. In seven games with the Cowboys he is credited with being in on five tackles.

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