Feeling Drafty #12: Minnesota Vikings

April 8, 2011 at 6:00 pm (Sports) (, , , , , , , , )

I think we can all pretty much agree on this one. Adrian Peterson for Minnesota Team MVP. Sure as hell wasn't #4.

I don’t know how I manage to get these preseason playoff predictions so wrong.  I had Minnesota going all the way to the NFC Championship Game.  So, yeah, that didn’t work out well.  (For those wondering, my Conference Championship teams were Dallas, Minnesota, Indianapolis, and the New York Jets.)

Let me just say this, I really hope that Brett Favre is known for the 18 years in the middle of his career instead of the first and last, because those were easily his worst two seasons.  Other than his rookie season, he set career lows in games started, completions, attempts, passing yards, touchdowns, 40+ yard plays, passer rating, you get the picture.  It wasn’t his best year.

The rest of this team was pretty good.  Even though Adrian Peterson put up his worst yardage total in his four-year career, he still put up 1,298 rushing yards, good enough for 2nd in the NFC, and was elected to his third straight Pro Bowl.  Jared Allen had a down year, but when 60 tackles and 11 sacks indicate a down year, you know that you’re an elite athlete.  Chad Greenway set a new career high in tackles with the injured E.J. Henderson not getting all the tackles.  So, there were some high points for this team, albeit they were few and far between.

The thing that will hurt the Vikings will be free agency.  Partly because they’re losing some pretty big players (Pat Williams, Ray Edwards, Greenway, Lito Sheppard), and partly because they can’t get big players to come to the Land of 10,000 Lakes until the collective bargaining agreement gets renewed.  So, they need to make a splash in the draft if they want to improve on last season’s 6-10 record.

Minnesota needs to start restoring a deteriorating D-line. Missouri DE Aldon Smith will make a great addition alongside Jared Allen and Kevin Williams.

With both Williams and Edwards possibly leaving town, and no quarterback worth this pick, the Vikings will more than likely pick up one of the quality defensive linemen in this season’s draft.  My money is on Missouri DE Aldon Smith.  As a redshirt freshman, he landed 64 tackles and 11.5 sacks, earning tons of 1st-team Freshman All-American Awards and winning Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in ’09 .  His stats went down last season, but that was because of the extra double teams that Smith had to pick up.  He will put pressure on quarterbacks, and he will do so soon.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Minnesota also picked up a quarterback like Christian Ponder or Andy Dalton in the second round, because it’s obvious that Tavaris Jackson just isn’t the answer for the Vikes, and I don’t think that they want to have to rely on Joe Webb again.

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