Guest Post

It’s Yay or Nay Time for the Minnesota Vikings

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from www.purplePTSD writer and editor of purplePTSD and VikingsTerritory, Joe Oberle.

That’s right—Yay! and Nay!—as it is (and has been) decision time for the Minnesota Vikings. A lot of decisions, in fact. The offseason breeds the potential for many decisions for the Vikings (for Minnesotans, however, it is whether to plow and shovel this latest white blessing from above or stubbornly and defiantly let it melt—but that’s another story). For the Vikings, there have been plenty of decisions made and there are plenty of questions still out there to ponder (and no Ponder to further question—sorry), so let’s take a look.

Nick Easton has decided to sign his free agent tender. That is a Yay! for the Vikings, as the offensive line took a hit this offseason with the defection of Jeremiah Sirles and retirement of Joe Berger. That left the guard position depleted (and we hope the Vikings make the decision to fill it back in the first round of the coming draft with another guard—that would be a Yay!), so the return of Easton at left guard is huge. There was never a huge question as to whether this would happen, but there is always a chance. We just home that Easton will come back healthy and strong form his late season broken ankle.

Say Nay! to acquiring free agent wide receiver Dez Bryant. Although the Vikings have been looking for some depth at the position behind starters Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, they have already made some free agent moves in the signings of Kendall Wright and Tavarres King and don’t need the instant attitude of Bryant. Things did not end well for Bryant in Dallas, and they haven’t gone too well previously on the field for him. He would want too much money and the ball far too often to do anything but divide a locker room that is pretty tight right now.

One of my biggest offseason concerns was the Vikings solidifying that No. 1 defense. And locking up linebacker Eric Kendricks with a five-year extension is a huge start in the right direction. There are other things to do in this regard in the near future (re-signing Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter, for example, and not to mention Stefon Diggs on offense), but getting the man in the middle, who has lead the team in tackles several times in his young career, is great news and a definite Yay! for the defense.

“The hype is real,” Kendricks said about his team. “Everybody is super excited. We’re always excited to play football here. The locker room is one of the best, I think it’s the best locker room I’ve ever been in. We’ve got the best defense I’ve ever been on. I’m just excited to play for this team. With the addition of Kirk Cousins, it’s not going to hurt us by any means at all. I’m just excited to see how he can sling the rock. I’m excited to practice against him especially.”

General manager Rick Spielman loves to make draft day deals—and they have served him well in the past. But this year I am saying Nay! to trading down to compile more picks for “more bites at the apple.” The Vikings currently have eight picks in the draft, and their first pick comes at the end of the first round—No. 30. They can get a decent offensive lineman at that spot and trading down for more picks could dilute the opportunity.

Too often, Spielman is amassing late-round picks with all his dealing and while the picks rise in quantity, they often decrease in quality. This team has few holes in the starting lineup, although plenty of openings for depth. So, I say stand pat at 30 (unless you can move up somehow) and grab another starter for the offensive line. They did pick up Pat Elflein in the third-round last year, but it would be nice to grab one of the best guards in the reportedly guard-heavy draft. Even though trading out of the first round would make purplePTSD.com’s Day 2 Draft Party at Townhall Brewery even better, just say “nay” Rick!

Along those lines, I would say the Vikings should say Nay! To the best player available, regardless of position, if they do stay at No. 30. They don’t need a great running back (as the French castle guard says in Monty Python and the Holy Grail: “We’ve already got one!” in Dalvin Cook), they don’t need to spend a first-round pick on a wide-receiver (been there, done that), and they don’t need another developmental quarterback who will do the practice squad dance all season—they are pretty good at the position. If an incredible find at defensive end or cornerback should still be sitting there and he has not dropped for off-field issues, well, then, I would reconsider my stance. But an offensive lineman (preferably one with size, speed and versatility) is the way to go, in my opinion. A relatively boring but solid pick. Just what the quarterback ordered.

And speaking of the quarterback (who the Vikings definitely said “Yay! to), I am wondering, on this that day that marked Kirk Cousins’ first workouts with the new team, whether or not there was any hardy Minnesotans who were lining up to plow out his driveway (if in fact he bought a house yet) as they did for departed QB Case Keenum? It is the Minnesota nice thing to do.

But it would have been a tall order to fill after digging yourself out from this record-breaking April snowfall, but hey, we want him to feel welcome right? We want him to win the Super Bowl and start fulfilling the incentives of that new contract, so need to pull muscles shoveling mounds of wet snow.

Speaking of the contract, I am thinking Cousins can afford to hire a plowing service, if and when he needs one. So, I am going to say Nay! to the idea of shoveling him out of the driveway, this time. Perhaps just stop by with some homemade cookies or something. No offense meant, Kirk.

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Joe Oberle

Joe Oberle is a veteran sportswriter/editor/reporter and has covered the Vikings since 2008. The author of three books, he has been published in numerous periodicals and websites. He is the managing editor for VikingsTerritory.com and purplePTSD.com, as well.

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9 Comments

  1. Trading down IF Wynn, Hernandez, and Price are gone at G AND Williams & McGlinchey are gone at T is exactly what I think the Vikings should do. There is a bunch of very solid players from the mid second to early 4th round. If the Vikings can get four picks in that territory (they already have two), in exchange for our 1st rounder would mean the Vikings would get four players at starter quality, with several available at C/G, T, DT, S, CB, RB, & TE. All of these positions could use better depth on the team and this represents a real opportunity to improve those positions. In particular, getting a Starter on the OL and rotational depth at DT are critical. There will be many solid candidates for those positions still available, plus getting two bonus picks to upgrade the nickel DB and 3rd down RB are also very important. There are at least 3 solid TE’s and most likely one of them will still be available late in the 3rd round (Andrews, Gelsicki, and Hayden) and all of which would be a good upgrade to that position.

    Trading up in some drafts makes all the sense in the world but trading down in deep drafts makes just as much sense. Everybody loves Nelson at guard this year and so do I for that matter. I don’t love Nelson more than four quality players in this draft. If this was a thin draft, I would agree with trading up for Nelson. This year moving down is the best play we could hope for to fill out the depth on our roster and stock the team with players capable of starting in the future.

    1. “Trading down IF Wynn, Hernandez, and Price are gone at G AND Williams & McGlinchey are gone at T is exactly what I think the Vikings should do.”

      That’s one of the very few scenarios that I can think of where I would agree with trading down this year, and I still might not do it if Dallas Goedert is still there at #30 because he’s pretty much the only non-interior offensive lineman I’d be willing to draft with our first pick in the draft, whatever round.

      Otherwise, I’m pretty much with Joe across the board, and am especially happy to cheer him on regarding NOT drafting the best player available at #30. I’d expand on that, actually, and say that we do NOT need to draft a safety on either Day 1 or Day 2 of the draft with Harris and Kearse on the roster, and we do not need to draft a 3-tech, under defensive tackle on Days 1 or 2, either, not with Jaleel Johnson around. A cornerback or nose tackle on Day 2, you betcha; corner’s the thinnest unit on the team right now and while it was nice to see Shamar Stephen blossom this year, it took him three years to finally rise to the level of a solid run defender. BPA is fine when we are talking about areas of comparable need, but is silly when comparing apples (as fine a Safety unit as exists in the NFL) to oranges (a CB unit with Marcus Sherels the presumptive CB4).

      1. Completely agree with both of you. We really need to come out of this draft with a starting LG and some competition at OT would be welcome too. Hope we don’t trade down trying to be cute and miss out on the definite starter level guys (Wynn, Hernandez, Williams, and McGlinchey. Might throw Price in there too).

  2. This is a good and enjoyable read with a few laughs to boot ~ Thanks ~

    As for Doug Eppler post just above ~ I can’t say I disagree with the thought of trading down ~ However how far he is willing to trade down might be another story ~ For me anything outside of the top 8 to 10 of the 2nd round is just to much of a drop in talent ~ But we do agree with picking up a higher 4th round pick to do so ~ Again the 5th year option shouldn’t just be given away ~ If they don’t pay we don’t play and stay at #30 because we might need that 5th year option when all is said and done ~ Who is to say the player we would have picked at #30 and still got in the trade down doesn’t end up making the pro bowl 3 times over his first 4 season ~ Again you want to play you got to pay ~ JMHO and it’s not worth much ~ You would get nothing if you tried to sell it ~ LOL

    1. HI Gordon. In answer to your question as to “how low would I drop in the draft” – I would be okay going down nearly a full round if it gets me a lower second rounder with multiple 3rd rounders or a 3rd rounder with a really high 4th rounder + filler to make the points work. Now if a QB fell to the Vikings pick (say Lamar Jackson) and there is a bidding war to get ahead of the Patriots, assuming they didn’t use their first pick to take a QB. Sign me up for that situation I would expect a much better return under that set of circumstances, like an extra day two pick next year.

      Here is an pretty good example (excluding the 2nd round trade to the 49ers which was completely impossible). It does demonstrate the value in this draft of moving back early to maximize the value of rounds 2 – 4 in this draft. https://www.dailynorseman.com/2018/4/17/17245192/minnesota-vikings-seven-round-mock-draft

  3. I disagree on trading down. If #30 comes along and there are 3 or 4 similarly graded OL still on the board, then I’d be all about trading down to the top of the 2nd round (into the mid 30s) and picking up a 4th (that’s what you get via the NFL draft chart).

    If, on the other hand, there has already been a run on OL, or you have one guy who is left who the Vikes feel is a significantly better prospect than the other guys on the board, then you stand pat and take your guy.

    But, for me, anyways, I have a hard time differentiating talent level between Wynn, Price, Hernandez (though I don’t love him, honestly) and arguably Connor Williams and James Daniels.

  4. I don’t understand any of the Draft position comments. I always had the impression that it’s how people fall off the board the dictates whether you move up, down, or stand pat. How could you make such assessments when you don’t even know who’s gonna be sitting at 30. You could get a great surprise that someone you new you’d never get….fell into your hands. If guess I’m dumb or something cause t no you guys are not….just don’t get it, preordaining a move with no information on who’s there.

    1. Its a crap shoot for sure ~ Good reply Todd ~ You can bet Spielman want move down from 30 until he is on the clock ~ If someone is wanting to move up at that time my guess with be the value goes up higher over the next 10mins. ~

      I do think that going BPA with this roster is the way they will go ~ And if a OG is near to top he will be the pick ~ But I could also see them going LBer~DL~TE ~

      And the one fact that I do know is this ~ On draft day I know just enough to get everyone else in trouble ~ LOL

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