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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:59 pm    Post subject: VR's Quarterly Assessment + 2013 Mock Reply with quote

ROSTER ASSESSMENT THROUGH WEEK 4

Christian Ponder | Joe Webb | McLeod Bethel-Thompson

Barring a complete collapse the rest of the season, Ponder appears to have solidified the starting QB position through 2013. I dont anticipate any dramatic changes going forward. Ponder has been cool, collective, and efficient. Over the course of the season, there needs to be some evolution of the downfield passing game and that starts with Ponder showing more trust and confidence to pull the trigger and make big time throws. I don't anticipate Webb or Bethel-Thompson losing there jobs either.

Adrian Peterson | Toby Gerhart | Matt Asiata | Jerome Felton

Peterson appears to be on his way towards complete recovery from his injury. Peterson has shown to be an effective rusher, who can make all the cuts as before, though we have yet to see that explosive acceleration that has sprung Peterson for big runs. Hopefully as the season progresses, Peterson will regain some of that big play potential. Gerhart has been a disappointing backup so far but his job should be safe in 2013. Asiata seems like a solid overall backup, though I would prefer more of a scat back type. Felton has been a pleasant surprise at FB and has really been a steady lead blocker.

Percy Harvin | Jerome Simpson | Michael Jenkins | Devin Aromashodu | Stephen Burton | Jarius Wright | Greg Childs (IR)

Harvin is the man and clearly the driving force in the Vikings passing game. I have been a bit disappointed in Harvin's ability to create separation and the overall lack of ability to get Harvin involved as a downfield receiver. The nice dink and dunk stuff is efficient, but eventually teams will figure out ways to defend it and limit. I have been greatly disappointed with the Vikings receivers and their ability to make big plays down field, though hopefully Jerome Simpson can be a solution to this problem. I like Simpson's potential as a compliment to Harvin. Jenkins and Aromashodu are clearly stop gaps who probably wont be on the team in 2013. Burton just looks lost out there and not much can be said about Wright and Childs, and there long-term potential.

Kyle Rudolph | John Carlson | Rhett Ellison

Rudolph hasn't been involved in the passing game as much as I would have liked. I really want to see the Vikings be more aggressive with throwing to the TEs down the middle. With Rudolph's frame, catch radius, and sticky hands, I think he would be a reliable target to try and hit 10-15 yards down the seam. It just hasnt been there this year. Carlson has been a major disappointment and probably isn't worth keeping around at his salary. Ellison has seen limited playing time, though I think he can fill Carlson's role as the #2 TE just fine.

Matt Kalil | Charlie Johnson | John Sullivan | Brandon Fusco | Phil Loadholt

The Vikings starting line has looked quite good in pass protection so far. However, they did seem to struggle against the Lions and I think that played a huge role in Ponder being ineffective in Detroit. The strength of this starting line seems to be as run blockers, and they seem to be improving as the season has progressed. Kalil and Loadholt have both looked good and have been fairly consistent. Sullivan has really elevated his game this year and is clearly the key cog in the interior line. Fusco has been a great surprise and I think he has a future as a starter in this league. Johnson is serviceable and adequate for the time being, though he is the type of player you replace if you can reasonably do so.

Geoff Schwartz | Joe Berger | Mark Asper | DeMarcus Love (IR)

Nothing really excites me about this group. Schwartz is injury prone but is probably a decent fill in at either OG spot. Berger is a valuable backup who can fill any interior line spot. Asper and Love are simply developmental players at this point. Certainly, the Vikings could stand to upgrade its depth.

Jared Allen | Brian Robison | Everson Griffen | D'Aundre Reed

The Vikings starting four have been impressive, both against the run and pass. The sacks will eventually come for Allen and Robison, who would appear to be off to slow starts. Though, I am often baffled by Robison's inconsistencies as a pass rusher. Some games he looks legit, others, he is nonexistent. Griffen is off to a great start and has shown some explosive pass rush ability. Reed is a developmental player who wont ever be active, barring injuries. 2013-2014 is a key year for the Vikes defensive end outlook. Allen, Robison and Griffen all see there contracts expire after 2013. I think keeping Allen and Griffen are a must, you have to keep that steady leader and promising understudy. Robison, like Ray Edwards, I could do without. Griffen might even be a better player right now than Robison.

Kevin Williams | Letroy Guion | Fred Evans | Christian Ballard

Williams has been stellar against the run, though there has been very little mention of him as a pass rusher. Clearly, I think he is regressing as a DT who can get penetration but he is still steady and doesn't get pushed around. The question is, what is his future outlook in MN given he is in the last year of his contract? Guion has been a pleasant surprise. What has really impressed me with Guion is he seems to have a good ability to get after the QB, despite being a NT, a position more prone to receiving double teams. Guion has also held up in the run and I think its clear, Guion is someone the Vikings can feel good about as a starter. Evans offers very little value in the long-term and Christian Ballard has never stood out to me. It might be too soon to call Ballard a bust, but I wish he would show more to surpass Evans as the top backup at DT.

Chad Greenway | Erin Henderson | Marvin Mitchell | Larry Dean

Greenway and Henderson have both been having big years, in run defense and as pass rushers. Though, they still are struggling in pass coverage. Clearly, Greenway and Henderson are better down hill players. I also think its clear that Henderson deserves a new contract extension, though his concussion history will likely play a huge role in those contract negotiations. Mitchell has been a pleasant surprise as a reserve, and is someone that MN can feel good about as a spot starter. Dean is basically Heath Farwell v2.

Jasper Brinkley | Tyrone McKenzie | Audie Cole

Brinkley has surpassed my expectations, and he has been a really steady run defender. Granted his pass coverage abilities probably arent ideal for this defense, I honestly think he has looked better as the nickel MLB than Henderson. McKenzie is a reliable special teams player and Cole seems to have some potential as a developmental MLB.

Chris Cook | Josh Robinson | Antoine Winfield | A.J. Jefferson | Brandon Burton | Marcus Sherels

Cook and Robinson have both been a nice surprise on the outside. Neither has really been a liability in downfield coverage and have done a nice job at keeping the play in front of them. They have both given up a number of passes underneath, but that is just how zone defense usually works. Robinson seems to have a knack for being around the ball and has clearly been a great rookie for this team. Cook has very poor ball skills but I feel good about matching him up against anyone in this league. Winfield just looks lost in coverage 15+ yards field, but when he is in that 0-15 range, Winfield has been exceptional this year, sniffing out the run and getting his hands on a number of passes. Jefferson and Burton are both developmental players who could have a bigger role once Winfield retires. I am convinced Sherels is only on the roster for PR purposes, but hey, if he continues to produce big returns, his presence on the roster is fine with me.

Harrison Smith | Mistral Raymond | Jamarca Sanford | Robert Blanton | Andrew Sendejo

Smith's presence on the Vikings defense has clearly been noticed, I actually think Smith has been the Vikings most impactful rookie. Smith has really been a solid force back there, who has shown the tenacity to play in the box and the smarts and range to play in deep halves. There isn't much negative that can be said about Smith to this point. Raymond looked solid, though his injury really hurt his chances this year. I like Raymond in coverage though he has no presence in the run game and doesn't seem to have a knack for the ball. Sanford is great in run defense and really does a good job at jarring the ball lose. Blanton is a decent developmental player and Sendejo is probably Eric Frampton v2.

Blair Walsh | Chris Kluwe | Cullen Loeffler | Percy Harvin | Marcus Sherels

Special teams has bailed this team out several times this year, notably against the Jaguars and Lions. Walsh has been phenomenal, both as a place kicker and on kickoffs. The return game has looked pretty good too. I have been very disappointed with Kluwe. He has had a few rough games. The coverage teams have generally been good, though they have a rough game against the 49ers.

Stengths

Arrow Passing Efficiency (offense) – 38.2% 1st down (8th best), 97.7 Pass rating (8th best)

Arrow Offensive Running Game – 4.0 yds/carry (15th best), 491 yards (10th best), 4 20+ yard runs (T 5th Best)

Arrow Run Defense – 3.3 yds/carry (5th best), 1 td (T 2nd best), 341 yards (9th best)

Arrow Pass Rush – 12 sacks (T 7th best)

Arrow Kicking Game (FGs, XPs, and KOs)

Neutral

Arrow Third Down Offense – 37% (15th best)

Arrow Pass Coverage – 6.5 yds/att. (8th best), 5 tds (T 10th best), 913 yards (17th best), 11 20+ yard pass plays (10th best)

Arrow Turnover Differential - +1 (13th best)

Arrow Return Game

Arrow Special Teams Coverage Units

Concerns

Arrow Downfield Passing Offense – 6.7 yds/att. (8th worst), 6 20+ yard pass plays (2nd worst),

Arrow Linebacker/Short Area Coverage – It seems like the Vikings do a great job over the top, but the LBs and CBs have struggled and given up numerous completions underneath. Though that may just be one of the natural flaws with a zone defense.

Arrow Interceptions – 1 int. (T 2nd worst)

Arrow Third Down Defense – 43% (8th worst)

Arrow Punting – Come on Kluwe, get more consistent!


* Stats recorded prior to Chicago Bears – Dallas Cowboys kickoff *


2012 REMAINING SCHEDULE PREDICTION

Tennessee Titans - W
@ Washington Redskins - L
Arizona Cardinals - W
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - W
@ Seattle Seahawks - L
Detroit Lions - W
BYE
@ Chicago Bears - L
@ Green Bay Packers - L
Chicago Bears - W
@ St. Louis Rams - W
@ Houston Texans - L
Green Bay Packers - L

Final Record = 9-7

The Vikings are rewarded with the 18th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.


OFFSEASON MOVEMENT

Players Resigned

FB Jerome Felton | 2 years; $2,000,000
WR Jerome Simpson | 5 years; $22,000,000
OT Phil Loadholt | 5 years; $25,000,000
OG/C Joe Berger | 1 year; $950,000
OLB Erin Henderson | 4 years; $14,000,000
OLB Marvin Mitchell | 1 year; $850,000
MLB Jasper Brinkley | 1 year; $1,500,000
CB A.J. Jefferson (RFA) | 1 year; $1,900,000 | Second Round Tender
S Jamarca Sanford | 1 year; $850,000

WR Percy Harvin | 5 years; $42,000,000

Players Released/Not Retained

WR Michael Jenkins (Released)
WR Devin Aromashodu
WR Stephen Burton
TE John Carlson (Released)
OG Geoff Schwartz
DT Kevin Williams
MLB Tyrone McKenzie
OLB Larry Dean
CB Antoine Winfield (Retires)
S Andrew Sendejo

The big question here will be what happens with Kevin Williams and Antoine Winfield. Williams has indicated that he would like to sign a new deal to return to the Vikings, I am just not sold if he means that whole-heartedly. I get the feeling that if he hits the open market, he could look to sign with a team in a better position to contend for a super bowl title. Further, I am not sure that I would be comfortable paying Williams the kind of money he will likely seek. It might not be ideal to spend a lot of money on Williams given that he is a 32 year-old DT, who seems to have lost some of his pass rush ability. I would rather use the money on a player with more upside. I really think this is Winfield’s last season. With everything that has gone on off the field for him this season, and the fact that he is playing solid on what appears to be a good football team, I think this year would be pretty good timing for Winfield to hang it up.

Free Agent Additions

DT Vaughn Martin | 3 years; $12,000,000

Martin is an interesting player who was born in Jamaica and educated in Canada. Martin was a fairly high profile draft pick not too long ago, measuring at 330 pounds while running an impressive 4.96 forty and benching 44 reps. Martin has since lost about 20 pounds and is still young (we actually have identical birth dates Wink). Martin has been a reliable run defender as a 5 technique DE and has flashed pass rush potential. I think Martin is a great fit as a UT to replace Kevin Williams. The Chargers have spent recent early picks on DEs Corey Luiget and Kendell Reyes so I am not sure where Martin fits long-term if a team puts together a solid offer.

WR Mohamed Massaquoi | 1 year; $1,500,000

Massaquoi has struggled to stay health and has a bit of a concussion history. I can’t imagine there being a substantial market for Massaquoi, so the Vikings take a flier on him, much like they did with Jerome Simpson. Masssaquoi has good size at 6-2 210 pounds and has flashed big play ability in Cleveland, something the Vikings must address this offseason. The expectation is for Massaquoi to compete for the #3 WR job with Greg Childs and whatever WRs are added through the draft.

CB Kelvin Hayden | 1 year; $950,000

Hayden just screams the type of veteran CB the Vikings would be likely to sign. Hayden began his career with the Colts, playing for both Leslie Frazier and Alan Williams. To add, Hayden is the current Bears nickel/dime CB, clearly his experience as a zone CB should be appealing to MN as they look to replace Winfield.

NFL Draft

Trades –

The Vikings trade its first round pick, 18th overall, for a late first round pick (25) and a third round pick.

The Vikings trade its fourth round pick (via Detroit) and a fifth round pick for a late third round pick.

1 – T.J. McDonald | S | USC | via trade

Some may think this pick may be a head scratcher but I am a bit enamored with McDonald’s potential at the next level. I actually think he has the potential to be a top 15 pick, though the Safety position tends to get undervalued on draft day. McDonald is a physical player, an instinctive player, who has spent his college career being coached up by Monte Kiffin. McDonald is a playmaker, an enforcer, and a tenacious player and really the ideal type of player you want playing opposite of Harrison Smith. While Raymond has flashed potential as being a steady player, I don’t think he will ever be the type of player who will make much of an impact in terms of jarring hits and big time plays.

2 – Marquess Wilson | WR | Washington State

Wilson is the Sidney Rice of this year’s draft. Wilson is rather lanky and needs to put on a good 10-15 pounds and he lacks top end speed, much like Rice. Wilson should be a good down field threat at the next level and has that ideal length for creating separation.

3 – Arthur Brown | MLB | Kansas State

Brown is the type of player I want to see added to this defense at MLB. As disclosed in some of the coverage efficiency statistics, the Vikings struggle to get off the field on third down and do give up a lot of underneath passes. The Vikings really need that athletic MLB and Brown is exactly that. While Brown is listed at 230 pounds, I think he has the frame to put on another 10 pounds with ease. Brown has been an excellent player for Kansas State at MLB.

3 – Abry Jones | DT | Georgia | via trade
3 – Alvin Bailey | OG | Arkansas | via trade
4 – Leon McFadden | CB | San Diego State
6 – Brian Winters | OT | Kent State | via Tennessee
7 – Ryan Griffin | TE | Connecticut

FINAL ROSTER

QB (3) – Christian Ponder | Joe Webb | McLeod Bethel-Thompson
RB (3) – Adrian Peterson | Toby Gerhart | Matt Asiata
FB (1) – Jerome Felton
WR (6) – Percy Harvin | Jerome Simpson | Marquess Wilson | Mohamed Massaquoi | Greg Childs | Jarius Wright
TE (3) – Kyle Rudolph | Rhett Ellison | Ryan Griffin
OT (3) – Matt Kalil | Phil Loadholt | Brian Winters
OG (3) – Charlie Johnson | Brandon Fusco | Alvin Bailey
C (2) – John Sullivan | Joe Berger

DE (4) – Jared Allen | Brian Robison | Everson Griffen | D’Aundre Reed
DT (5) – Letroy Guion | Vaughn Martin | Abry Jones | Fred Evans | Christian Ballard
OLB (3) – Chad Greenway | Erin Henderson | Marvin Mitchell
MLB (3) – Jasper Brinkley | Arthur Brown | Audie Cole
CB (6) – Chris Cook | Josh Robinson | A.J. Jefferson | Kelvin Hayden | Leon McFadden | Marcus Sherels
S (5) – Harrison Smith | T.J. McDonald | Mistral Raymond | Robert Blanton | Jamarca Sanford

ST (3) – Blair Walsh | Chris Kluwe | Cullen Loeffler

”Starting” 12

Offense

QB Christian Ponder
RB Adrian Peterson
FB Jerome Felton | TE Rhett Ellison
WR Percy Harvin
WR Jerome Simpson
WR Marquess Wilson
TE Kyle Rudolph
LT Matt Kalil
LG Charlie Johnson
C John Sullivan
RG Brandon Fusco
RT Phil Loadholt

Defense

LE Brian Robison
NT Letroy Guion
UT Vaughn Martin
RE Jared Allen
WLB Erin Henderson
MLB Jasper Brinkley
SLB Chad Greenway
LCB Chris Cook
FS T.J. McDonald
SS Harrison Smith
RCB Josh Robinson
NCB A.J. Jefferson

K Blair Walsh
P Chris Kluwe
KR Percy Harvin
PR Marcus Sherels
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Lil Uno


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very sound assessment.

Admititley, I don't know much about Martin outside of him being a big run stuffer in college. If he can get after the QB than I'm up for it.

While safety is not my first choice in the 1st round, but T.J. McDonald would be the best selection for us if we did. I like McDonald for us more than Reid or Amerson. Like you said, McDonald has spent the majority of his career in the Cover 2 and being coached by Monte Kiffin. He is a great all-around player with All-pro potential that would have virtually a seamless transition in our scheme.

Sidney Rice, is a very good comparison for Wilson. However, like Rice he will have a minuscule impact his rookie year. Wilson struggles mightily with seperation and will take awhile to learn the position better. Like Rice, Wilson can pluck the ball out of the air with an absurd catch radius. He also possesses terrific hands and can be counted on to make tough catches. He does ooze with that raw potential that we saw in Rice, it's a great pick if we're fine with waiting for him to develop.
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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The WR class is a bit lacking, really. Outside of Keenan Allen and Terrance Williams there just arent many notable bigger wideouts who are ready to contribute right away. That would be my concern, though Stephen Hill was off to great a start with the Jets, before he got hurt and he was an extremely raw receiver coming out. WR is such a hard position to judge and frankly, I wouldnt mind putting it off until round 3 if there simply is not a bigger receiver who can step in from day 1.

Vaugh Martin is more of a run stuffer, though i think its going to be really hard for MN to find a pass rushing interior lineman if they dont have an early pick. Kawann Short is someone I like a lot too and considered him over McDonald, but it seems like this draft early on has a lot of bigger body types. I think keeping a strong interior and strong run defense is really key for this defense in being able to play its Safetys back, so I could see the vikes looking for a strong run defense precense if Williams leaves. Abry Jones in round 3 seems to have a lot of good production as a pass rusher, granted he is listed as a DE so he would have to transition inside. I see a potentially good prospect in Jones from a size/athleticism stand point where he has potential as an inside pass rusher.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vikingsrule wrote:
The WR class is a bit lacking, really. Outside of Keenan Allen and Terrance Williams there just arent many notable bigger wideouts who are ready to contribute right away. That would be my concern, though Stephen Hill was off to great a start with the Jets, before he got hurt and he was an extremely raw receiver coming out. WR is such a hard position to judge and frankly, I wouldnt mind putting it off until round 3 if there simply is not a bigger receiver who can step in from day 1.


I disagree. Tennessee WR Justin Hunter is 6-4 200lbs. He will probably a top 20 pick. He has jump ball/red zone ability.

Also former Tennessee WR Da'Rick Rodgers has great speed, and is a great rout running ability. He has some character concerns yes. However, look at Janoris Jenkins. Fell to the second, and is playing lights out on the Rams secondary. If Rodgers keeps his nose clean, I would take a flier on him in the 2nd.

I would also be shocked if Brown fell to the 3ed round. The guy is just a stud in that MLB spot. Reminds me a lot of John Beason.
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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

twslhs20 wrote:
I disagree. Tennessee WR Justin Hunter is 6-4 200lbs. He will probably a top 20 pick. He has jump ball/red zone ability.

Also former Tennessee WR Da'Rick Rodgers has great speed, and is a great rout running ability. He has some character concerns yes. However, look at Janoris Jenkins. Fell to the second, and is playing lights out on the Rams secondary. If Rodgers keeps his nose clean, I would take a flier on him in the 2nd.

I would also be shocked if Brown fell to the 3ed round. The guy is just a stud in that MLB spot. Reminds me a lot of John Beason.


I wouldnt be shocked to see Hunter as a top 10 pick, that is my anticipation of him as a prospect at this point. Rogers is also an intriguing prospect, though I am no sure he is the type the Spielman and co. would spend an early pick on.

Problem with 4-3 LBs, particularly undersized 4-3 LBs is there is not a lot of demand for them. Brown probably wont get looked at by 3-4 teams and many 4-3 schemes could consider Brown too small to be a MLB. He could be moved to OLB, though he has played largely at MLB. Lavonte David went early last year despite being the same type of prospect, though David was proven as an OLB.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love TJ McDonald, and he fits Rick's MO.
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JDBrocks


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You already know that I like Wilson, and depending on how well Raymond plays in his return McDonald would be a good fit with Smith. Although at 18 I think they will be in a prime spot to look at Te'o, who looks to be a more complete LB this year.

That would give them high end players at every level on the defense: A feared RE, a potentially dominant MLB, an enforcer at the safety spot, and a shut down corner.

Very nice write up, VR!
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rpmwr19


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will our first round pick be from USC or Notre Dame this year? Last year it was both!
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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rpmwr19 wrote:
Will our first round pick be from USC or Notre Dame this year? Last year it was both!


I think we already know that the first round pick will either be McDonald, Te'o or Robert Woods.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vikingsrule wrote:
rpmwr19 wrote:
Will our first round pick be from USC or Notre Dame this year? Last year it was both!


I think we already know that the first round pick will either be McDonald, Te'o or Robert Woods.

Both McDonald and Te'o are captains right?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rpmwr19 wrote:
Will our first round pick be from USC or Notre Dame this year? Last year it was both!


Both! Again! We take Te'o around 15th and then trade up into the first again for McDonald. I would love McDonald for this team and agree with rpmwr19, he fits Rick's type.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A secondary consisting of Chris Cook, T.J. McDonald, Harrison Smith and Josh Robinson looks phenomenal on paper if they can all pan out. Cook is the oldest of the bunch. Just need to find a long-term nickel solution.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vikingsrule wrote:
A secondary consisting of Chris Cook, T.J. McDonald, Harrison Smith and Josh Robinson looks phenomenal on paper if they can all pan out. Cook is the oldest of the bunch. Just need to find a long-term nickel solution.

Maybe A.J. will be able to fill that hole. I sure hope so. If so, wow. This unit is going to have a quick turnaround from bad to one tough group!
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Klomp


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vikingsrule wrote:
A secondary consisting of Chris Cook, T.J. McDonald, Harrison Smith and Josh Robinson looks phenomenal on paper if they can all pan out. Cook is the oldest of the bunch. Just need to find a long-term nickel solution.


Id definitely be okay with McDonald.
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Freakout


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't totally rule out another linemen in the first round. Especially if we end up in that 16-20 range. It is not the sexy pick but Chance Warmack would fill the LG spot and you would have a young talented line that would be able to grow together.
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