NFL Draft 2015Question Of The Week

VT Question of the Week: What is the Top Position the Vikings Need to Address in the Draft?

Andy: Left Guard
Charlie Johnson wasn’t retained (for good reason), and last year’s fifth-round pick David Yankey is a wildcard; we have no idea where he’ll be at in 2015 since he was basically given a redshirt season. I like Brandon Scherff and La’el Collins as far as the top-tier guys, with Laken Tomlinson and Ali Marpet in the second-third round area. Cornerback is also a position of need, but I feel this Draft is pretty deep at that position. Lock up the most glaring need with elite talent first (if the board breaks right), and worry about cornerback later–especially since guard is seen as top heavy and not deep this year.

Arif: Linebacker
Assuming they don’t trade Peterson, I would say linebacker. The presumed starter outside (Chad Greenway) is long past his prime, and he’s set to start, according to both himself and Zimmer, over any viable alternatives—which tells me the coaches are not that keen on Gerald Hodges despite his performance. In the middle, the Vikings let Jasper Brinkley walk and even though Audie Cole was fine at the end of the season, he still doesn’t seem like a starting linebacker to me. Even if I’m wrong on one of them, I could be right on the other, so the Vikings may need to draft a linebacker just to play the odds. At receiver, Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson are set to start, which feels better than Greenway/Cole to me, especially because the depth at receiver is better than at linebacker. Ditto for safety.

Carl: Fix the Running Back Situation
After inheriting a five-win team that surrendered the most points in the NFL in 2013, Mike Zimmer went to work vowing to fix the defense. In 2014, the defense allowed nine fewer points per game, top pick Anthony Barr, re-signed DE Everson Griffen, former first round picks Xavier Rhodes, Sharriff Floyd and Harrison Smith formed the new nucleus of a tough, ascending defense. Cornerback, linebacker and safety are the few positions still in need of an upgrade. But is another first round defender the top priority?

My answer is no! Teddy needs more talent around him. Too many major question marks right now at running back, wide receiver and along the offensive line for me to look defense first. If Todd Gurley, DeVante Parker or Brandon Scherff are still on the board, one of those players must absolutely be the top pick. If the Vikings keep trying to sweep the offensive short comings and question marks under the rug, this season might turn into a train wreck.

The Adrian Peterson situation needs fixed. The sooner the better!

Brent: Offensive Line
You could argue that Zimmer could do more with a top middle linebacker, but I’m fairly confident that Chad Greenway will be a 3 down linebacker in ’15. Knowing how often Anthony Barr stayed in the game on 3rd down, picking a top linebacker would be investing a high draft pick on a player who would leave the field on nickel situations. Keep Teddy healthy and upright by making your offensive line a priority.

Adam: Strong Safety, Left Guard, Inside Linebacker
I think the perceived “needs” comes down to three positions in terms of needing an upgrade at starter: Strong Safety, Left Guard, and Inside Linebacker. I think there are some rotational options at linebacker and Audie Cole hasn’t shown me he can’t be a solution, that’s for sure. Strong safety didn’t get any worse this offseason and, while I’d love to see an upgrade, a combination of Robert Blanton and Andrew Sendejo could be tolerable for another season. That leaves left guard where I see no viable options on the current roster. I think this spot is the weakest link on the entire depth chart and would love to see the Vikings make yet another large investment into their offensive line.

Lindsey: Offensive Line
The entire line needs to be strengthened in my opinion, and that probably starts with left guard. Teddy Bridgewater showed a huge amount of talent last season as a rookie, and I expect him to have a big year, but he went from never been sacked at Louisville to being leveled time and time again as a pro. The bottom line is that the QB needs better protection. Protect the QB, and you’ll get better results out of both your receivers and your running backs. I would still love the see the Vikes pick up Brandon Scherff in the first round.

Guest of the Week

Michael Rand, The Star Tribune: Offensive Line
I think the primary position of need the Vikings need to address is offensive line. The concern with playing Bridgewater last season, in the minds of some, started with the idea that he would take a physical pounding because of weaknesses along the line. Injuries didn’t help, but it’s also clear this team can upgrade at guard and tackle — or at the very least add more depth there to create competition. I’m convinced they come out of the first round with an O-lineman or pass rusher. Frankly, I hope it’s the former.

 

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Lindsey Young

Lindsey Young (Featured Columnist) is a graduate of University of Northwestern – St. Paul and is an avid Minnesota sports fan[atic]. It’s been argued females don’t know much about sports, but she begs to differ. Her work has been featured on Bleacher Report, KSTP.com, and Fox Sports North. In addition to her work with VT, Lindsey is a contributing writer for Canis Hoopus, runs a bi-monthly fan feature for Timberwolves.com and is a freelance writer for Vikings.com. You can read her blog at Making the Call and follow her on Twitter.

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3 Comments

  1. I feel the O-line needs the most help, like most of the people who have voted so far. With that said, it doesn’t need to come with the first or even second pick. With the first pick, grab the bap. Pick #2, see how the board falls.

    Just get somebody by the 3rd pick and another by the 5th. I’d like to have 2 by the 4th, but it depends on who is available and the Adrian situation.

    I’d love to trade down and with an early 2nd pick if he’s there, get Bryon Jones. Freak of an athlete and a solid citizen. 3 older brothers, 2 are serving in the military and the other an electrician working on subs. His father was a state trooper. You don’t have to worry about him popping up in the newspapers for something negative.

  2. Adam, I could not agree more. In this draft, they should be able to address Guard, Strong Safety and Inside linebacker. I would add corner back in there too. Depending on how the draft unfolds and assuming AP returns, there are potential starters available in the 1st 4 rounds of the 2015 draft.
    Players that may be available for those 4 positions:

    Round 1
    OT/G – Sherf, Peat, Collins
    CB – Waynes

    Round 2
    G – A.J. Cann
    S – D. Randle
    LB – Kendricks, Perryman, McKinney
    CB – Jones, Rowe, Darby

    Round 3
    G – Douglas, Marpet
    S – Derron Smith, Jaquiski Tartt
    CB – PJ Williams (slips)

    Round 4
    G – Jackson, Morse, Glowinski, Harrison

    Guard – there should be value available in round 4.
    Safety – there should be value available in round 3.
    ILB – there bulk is predicted to go the end of the 1st round into the 2nd round. They may have to trade up to get their guy.
    CB – There is 1st round talent there and maybe a guy like PJ Williams is there in round 3?

    Although this is not a sexy draft, this would cover the needs you called out in this article.

    1- CB – Trae Waynes
    2- ILB – Benardrick McKinney
    3- S – Jaquiski Tartt
    4- G – Tre Jackson or Mitch Morse
    5- WR – Jamison Crowder

    Seems kind of boring but the team would be improved. My vote is for Spielman to pull a rabbit out his hat and grab a sexy 1st rounder like Gruly or Parker and still fill in starters at guard, inside linebacker and strong safety.

    I read there was mention from Spielman that there was a focus on stopping the run 1st. How about NT Shelton in round 1 and ILB Perryman in round 2. I know there is not a big need at NT but I can’t imagine this not improving the run defense.

    What do you think?

    Regards,

    Joe from NJ who is having fun thinking about the possibilities. Sure to be surprised in a few hours. See you all in the chat room?

  3. Zimmer clearly said towards the end of last year that he was going to fix the run D and get more weapons for Teddy.
    This close to the draft I think a run stuffing LB is priority #1.

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