Monday, February 8, 2016

sharrif floyd

by -
12
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

I know the staff of writers here at Vikings Territory all seem like a happy-go-lucky, friendly, jolly, and devilishly good looking bunch that only ever have great things to say about each other, but we do have differing viewpoints on plenty of occasions.

Many of these opposing opinions surface during our “Question of the Week” segments, but there’s never much teeth behind the conflicts, at least not that you readers can see.

Well, we hope to fix that by dusting off an old bit that Brett Anderson and myself created some time ago that pulls the curtains back and takes you behind the scenes to witness for yourself the heated, venomous, and irrationally tense cat fights that happen every day between the incredibly handsome group of writers that put this site together.

So, here’s how “Coin Toss” works:

  1. An opinion is stated by writer and underwear model A.
  2. Writer and underwear model B then disagrees with that opinion and “throws the challenge flag.”
  3. The arguments are put on paper and posted here on Vikings Territory (along with stunning profile pictures) for you to enjoy.
  4. At the end, you decide who won the “Coin Toss” argument by casting your vote in the poll at the bottom.

Clear? Great, let’s get started!

I was the first among the group to “throw the challenge flag” and I did so after reading “Most Tradable Vikings” by Adam Patrick.

Ranking the Vikings first round selections

[Note: This reflection on the Vikings’ success in the first round of the most recent decade’s worth of drafts is provided courtesy of Matt Falk from Draft Season. We highly recommend checking out their site for scouting reports of this year’s top prospects with a Vikings slant.]

Over the past 10 years, the Vikings have done a decent job finding talent in the first round of the NFL Draft. While they’ve have had their share of big misses, they’ve also hit on some stars along the way.

Let’s take a quick look back and attempt to rank them from worst to best.

#12 – 2011 – Christian Ponder QB, Florida St. (12th overall)

It’s hard to not feel bad for Ponder. He really never should of have been the 12th overall pick. Due to where he was selected, fans had some unrealistic expectations. Unsurprisingly, Ponder never panned out and struggled through a rocky four years in Minnesota. You’ve, gotta give the guy credit though; he acted like a true professional during his time in Minnesota.

#11 – 2013 – Cordarrelle Patterson WR, Tennessee (29th overall)

Patterson toyed with our emotions during his big rookie season, but has been in a nose dive ever since. While he’s still one of the most dangerous return men in the league, he adds absolutely nothing to the team as a wide receiver. Unless he has a huge turnaround, we won’t be seeing him on the field with the offense, except in August. For now, we’ll just have to get excited when he gets the chance to return a kick.

#10 – 2015 – Trae Waynes (11th overall)

The only reason Waynes is so low on the list is because it’s much too soon to know what we really have in the Michigan State cornerback. He barely saw the field as a rookie, but did show some flashes (along with some growing pains). I would feel confident saying that in a few years, we could see him bumping up at least a few spots on this same list.

by -
3

Is Chad Greenway on the way out in 2016?

Vikings NFL Draft Jaylon Smith
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

It’s officially draft season at Vikings Territory, making this the perfect time to begin NFL Draft speculation. Who will the Minnesota Vikings select with the 23rd-overall pick in April? Will general manager Rick Spielman trade back for more ammunition? Does the team need to focus on offense or defense in the first round? Without football on Sundays, there’s more than enough time to second guess what the Vikings will do this offseason.

Matt Miller, Bleacher Report‘s premier draft expert, recently spent some time analyzing Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith. The 6’3″, 240-pound prospect was a consensus top-10 pick before his gruesome knee injury in last month’s Fiesta Bowl, but may see his stock slip while recovering from a torn ACL and LCL. According to Miller, that makes teams like the Vikings a dark horse landing spot for the Fighting Irish superstar:

“If Jaylon Smith falls in the draft, I could see a team like the Minnesota Vikings pairing him with young guys like Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks. Smith could play weak-side linebacker if you want to keep Kendricks in the middle, or, he could play middle linebacker and Kendricks could play that weak-side spot for Mike Zimmer. If you could imagine those three linebackers chasing down Aaron Rodgers, Vikings fans have to be very happy about it.”

It’s unlikely Smith falls that far, but stranger things have happened to the Vikings. In 2013, Minnesota held the same exact pick and was fortunate enough to land defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. The former Florida Gator was labeled the draft’s “No. 1 player on tape” by Greg Cosell, but fell due to concerns over his arm length and injury history. Smith may fall to the Vikings late in the first round, but it would take a miracle from “Trader Rick” to make the dream of a Barr-Kendricks-Smith trio a reality.

by -
10

Newman's prepared to make his first start at safety for the Vikings

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

When the Arizona Cardinals and their top-ranked offense take the field tonight, they won’t have to worry about Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo at safety. With the Minnesota Vikings’ starters sidelined, Anthony Harris and veteran cornerback Terence Newman will take their place in the secondary. It’s not the most ideal situation against a group of wide receivers that includes Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and John Brown, but injuries necessitate the change.

In place of Newman, rookie cornerback Trae Waynes will make the start opposite Xavier Rhodes. He’ll be tested by Carson Palmer and must have a solid night if the Vikings are to have any chance in Arizona. The rest of the Vikings’ inactives include:

Young players will need to step up at every level of the defense, including a handful of rookies and second-year players. Edmond Robinson, Minnesota’s seventh-round draft pick out of Newberry, will start in Anthony Barr’s place. Depending on Mike Zimmer’s strategy, he’ll either play an important role blitzing, or, will be asked to cover the intermediate area of the field. Palmer has been deadly accurate between the numbers this season, putting even more pressure on a relatively inexperienced linebacker corps.

Like last week, Tom Johnson and Sharrif Floyd will start in the middle of the defensive line. According to the team’s official website, Johnson will replace Joseph at nose tackle and Floyd will play his normal defensive tackle position. Arizona is missing its top running back, but rookie David Johnson is a threat running the football, catching out of the backfield, and returning kickoffs. The Vikings had three days to correct their mistakes against Seattle, which may not be enough against Arizona’s high-octane offense.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Given the quick turnaround from Week 13 to Week 14, it’s no surprise that Anthony Barr (Groin), Linval Joseph (Foot), Antone Exum (Ribs/Shoulder), and Harrison Smith (Hamstring) have all been ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. A.J. Mansour of KFAN broke the news early Tuesday morning and cast a dark shadow over the hopes of an optimistic Minnesota Vikings fan base.

Coming off a 38-7 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, the Vikings will need to regain their early season form to retain the NFC’s fifth Wild Card spot. They’re currently a game ahead of the Seahawks and two games ahead of a crowded group of teams “in the hunt.” On paper, Thursday’s game heavily favors the Cardinals, who enter Week 14 with the league’s top-ranked offense and fourth-ranked defense.

Get Social

2,813FansLike
371Subscribers+1
6,827FollowersFollow