It’s almost that time of year, when owners, coaches, general managers, and the rest of the front office lock themselves in a room and heavily debate which players to draft to improve the team. This room is called the “War Room” for a reason. Everyone in this room is heavily opinionated and has become attached to a prospect that they don’t believe the team can do without.
In this segment, we will put ourselves in the war room and go over the picks we believe teams need to make when they’re on the clock. We’ll cover all 32 teams, but today’s segment is dedicated to the: Minnesota Vikings.
With all of the Brett Favre rumors, retirements and un-retirements, the Vikings have been surrounded by drama the last few years. Now they have a new head coach, no quarterback, and a ton of holes on this defense. The Vikings could go in any direction with their 9 draft picks as the team has been left in scraps. They do return some key pieces though. They have one of the best running backs in the NFL, in Adrian Peterson, solid defensive line play from Jared Allen and Kevin Williams, and their receivers would be solid if Percy Harvin could stay healthy from migraines and they would resign Sidney Rice.
The Vikings will have to look at adding help in their secondary again. Last year’s second round pick, Chris Cook has suffered a few injuries and off field issues to go with it. Antoine Winfield doesn’t have many years left at the level he’s playing. They’re extremely thin at both safety positions and will look to add depth and upgrades at both.
Minnesota should add an outside linebacker in this draft, to play opposite of Chad Greenway. They could also look to find Pat Williams replacement and a left defensive end, so that Jared Allen isn’t the only player getting penetration. They’ll probably wait until the later rounds to draft a quarterback, as they have only 2 picks in the first two days but they have 7 on the last day of the draft. Instead of getting a quarterback early, they could look to pick up some offensive line help, that’ll make Adrian Peterson’s job easier and also assist and developing their future quarterback.
Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft
Round 1 Pick #12: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College: The Vikings will have to improve their offensive line in this draft. They could go quarterback here but then they would just be setting him up for failure. Brett Favre looked horrific last season, playing behind this line. With Bryant McKinnie already on the roster, Castonzo wouldn’t have to start at left tackle right away. He could man the right side until he’s ready for the move to the left.
Round 2 Pick #43: Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina: This isn’t just a need, it’s a great value pick. Bruce Carter has some injury concerns, or else he would go inside the top 20 picks. When Carter is 100% and ready to go, he’ll start opposite of Chad Greenway. That would actually make the linebackers core the most complete group on the field.
Round 4 Pick #106: Greg Romeus, DE, Pittsburgh: This is another injury / value pick. Romeus was considered to be a first round pick before the 2010 season began. An injury sidelined him and he has hardly been mentioned since. If the Vikings are willing to take the chance on Romeus, they could add some bulk on his 6’6 frame and have a play maker to take over the role of the left defensive end. It’ll give them solid bookends between Jared Allen and Romeus.
Round 5 Pick #139: Ahmad Black, S, Florida: Minnesota’s safety situation isn’t the prettiest to look at. I fully expect them to pick up at least one safety in this class but maybe two. Black’s speed has been called into question but his skill set is worthy of being draft a lot higher than the 5th round. With that being said, some teams won’t be willing of taking the risk on a short, slow safety, so the Vikings can get another value pick here in the 5th round.
Round 5 Pick #150: Rashad Carmichael, CB, Virginia Tech: I actually really love Chris Cook’s game. But if he can’t stay out of trouble off the field, when he’s finally healthy, then he brings no value to the team. He was even seen in a heated argument with his own teammate on the sideline last season. There are too many issues surrounding Cook. Antoine Winfield is in his mid 30′s, this is another position that they actually could draft 2 players at.
Round 6 Pick #172: Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware: Devlin’s accuracy issues and level of competition have been hurting him. He’s worth more than a 6th round pick and if the Vikings can get him here, with this offensive line that I have them drafting, they could be setting themselves up to go down the right path. Only problem is, that the only mentoring he would have on the roster is Joe Webb and Rhett Bomar. They’ll need to sign a Donovan McNabb type player to mentor for 2-3 years.
Round 6 Pick #200: Cedric Thornton, DT, Southern Arkansas: The Williams wall could be going the same path as the Berlin wall this year…splitting. It appears that Pat Williams won’t be back with the Vikings. They’ll have to find his replacement to keep the defense from falling completely apart.
Round 7 Pick #215: Kevin Kowalski, C, Toledo: Using a 7th round pick on a guy that could actually be an upgrade on your current starter, is what I would consider a steal. Obviously if he’s available here, he’s not the premier center in this draft class. But there are some attributes he possess, that could be beneficial to the Vikings O-Line.
Round 7 Pick #236: Armon Binns, WR, Cincinnati: Sidney Rice may not return to Minnesota. Which would be the dumbest decision that they’ve made under the new regimen. Even if he comes back, I’m not impressed with their receiver group behind Rice and Percy Harvin. Teams can always find a diamond in the rough at the receiver position in the late rounds of the draft. Binns is one of those diamonds. They could also use this pick to find a tight end, speed running back, or free safety.
That’s how it played out in our Mock of the Minnesota Vikings “War Room”
Please Note: We will be Hosting a LIVE CHAT during the 2011 NFL Draft. Please join us and take part in the discussion in the room. We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions as the 2011 NFL Draft progresses in real time.
Go inside the War Room of All 32 NFL Teams
- Carolina Panthers
- Denver Broncos
- Buffalo Bills
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Arizona Cardinals
- Cleveland Browns
- San Francisco 49ers
- Tennessee Titans
- Dallas Cowboys
- Washington Redskins
- Houston Texans
- Detroit Lions
- St. Louis Rams
- Miami Dolphins
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- New England Patriots
- San Diego Chargers
- New York Giants
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Indianapolis Colts
- Philadelphia Eagles
- New Orleans Saints
- Seattle Seahawks
- Baltimore Ravens
- Atlanta Falcons
- New England Patriots
- Chicago Bears
- New York Jets
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Green Bay Packers
Oakland Raiders (no 1st Round Pick)
Jayson Braddock is an NFL Scout / NFL Writer & On-Air Personality. Jayson is also a football insider for the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston, TX - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports790.com. You may email Jayson directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock