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Purplexing


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:33 am    Post subject: A Perplexing, Boring Mock Reply with quote

This off-season mock is intended to be as realistic as I could project with my limited knowledge of collegiate players. Those of you who like the idea of trading back to accumulate more draft picks will be disappointed… but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any trades! Rick Spielman said he’d try to add more picks, but I assume he’ll fail in his attempts.

Despite their 2013 record of 5-10-1, the Vikings weren’t more than a few plays away from a .500 record. Therefore, fans’ projections of a large amount of turnover of the roster in 2014 because a new coach was hired may not ring true.

Significant changes will certainly be implemented by new coach Zimmer. But that won’t necessarily result in a high number of Vikings players under contract being released. The Vikings offense played well at times, and Zimmer might be able to improve the Vikings defense with fewer changes than is typical for a new coach, staff and systems. Well, that’s the hope.

It might be argued that the prior coaching staff was the largest part of the Vikings problems, so Coach Zimmer and GM Spielman may try to reclaim the careers of some misused Vikings defensive players by putting them in better positions to succeed.

So, if you wanted to see a mock off-season with plenty of personnel moves, stop here. Otherwise, read on…


Former Vikings Players Re-signed (only a few contracts are projected, to show how long a commitment Spielman is willing to make before moving on with a replacement down the road):

DT - K. Williams – 1 year, $4M – he is still a quality DT, able to start at DT and sub as a NT if needed. He’ll help young DTs improve their techniques. His versatility and loyalty lead to an agreement that allows K. Will to end his career in MN.

CB - M. Sherels – 3 years, $5.25 M – his value to the Vikings is as a top 5 NFL PR, but he is also a decent backup CB. Spielman wraps him up for 3 years, to focus on obtaining replacements for other DBs who won’t be resigned.

WR - J. Simpson
1 year, $2M – signing Simpson provides a good receiving option, and means one less open WR spot. Joe Webb won’t be resigned when there are good WRs available in the draft with more potential. Childs or Smith may emerge as a replacement for Webb, and may even oust Simpson in pre-season.

OT - J. Webb – a quality swingman OL who is familiar with the other OL, which is important for continuity.

C – J. Berger – a reliable, versatile interior OL is a valuable commodity. So he is re-signed, reducing the need to add Gs in free agency and the draft.

RB – T. Gerhart – 4 years, $7 M. This signing may surprise some fans. But it makes sense to keep a reliable RB around because he will almost certainly be needed when, not if, AP is out with an injury. Drafting a replacement is an option, but it’s one that Spielman would rather not be forced to do in 2014 when there are more pressing needs on defense. NFL teams seeking a starting RB, or an option to compete with their current RB, will bypass him in free agency, in order to first try to find a more versatile RB in the draft. If he is unsigned after the draft, Spielman will make him a reasonable offer, and Gerhart will return.

LB – L. Dean – re-signed for continuity on STs.




Big Fish Who Get Away (Ruh roh!):

DE – Griffen – Spielman refuses to get into a bidding war for his services.

CB – Cook – He won’t be missed if a replacement is drafted or signed, but he was a decent starter.

DE – J. Allen – We know this is inevitable. Some fans want Spielman to re-sign him, thinking he can still be a dominant DE, or out of fan loyalty. Yet, they can’t point to a recent dominant season by JA. His production won’t improve much over 2013, if at all. So it’s better for a rebuilding team with a new HC to start over with young DEs because 2014 won’t likely be a playoff year for the Vikings.

QB – J. Freeman – Josh becomes a free man due to his Giant failure in a lone start. He may not deserve that fate, based on one game where he was not prepared to start. But, the word out a few months ago was that he didn’t try to improve as much as he should have after that abomination. So, another vet who could mentor a rookie will be signed, rather than take the risk that Freeman won’t be effective in a mentoring role.



Others Not Returning or Released::

DT Guion, WR Webb, RB Felton, LB Mitchell, OG C. Johnson




Free Agent Signings:

Using a big chunk of the large amount of cap space, several quality free agent signings give Spielman greater options during the draft. Most of his attention is directed at replacing Allen, Griffen, Guion and Evans on the DL.

QB – Matt Cassell – 2 yrs., $8M - he can start, be effective in Turner’s system, and be a mentor to the rookie QB. So he is a sensible signing for 2 years.

DL – Red Bryant – 2 yrs., $6M – he fills a big need, literally, figuratively, and figure-atively, as he can play NT as well as DE.

NT – Pat Sims – 2 yrs., $4.5M – he fills a key role that helps the LBs become more effective in defending against the run.

DE – Michael Johnson – 5 yrs., $40M - signed in part because Griffen isn’t a proven commodity, and in larger part because Johnson is a proven commodity.

CB – Leon Sandcastle – 4 yrs., $20M - He fills the roster spot vacated by Cook. OK, I wrote enough filler text to disguise this as a legit signing, so it’s time to say j/k.

CB – Vonte Davis – 2 yrs., $8.5M – This is not the big CB signing some fans hoped for, but there are other teams seeking a good CB, and the ensuing bidding war ends Spielman’s interest in spending a lot of money on a position that can be found in the draft, with the ability to select someone young who is a good fit for the new defensive scheme, at a lower price.



Projected 2014 NFL Draft:

After re-signing a few defensive players, such as K Williams and Sherels, and adding a few key free agents on the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings have an almost equally balanced number of needs on offense and defense going into the draft. Obviously, QB is the key position that must be addressed. So Spielman doesn’t risk losing one top QB who fits into Turner’s offensive scheme by trying to trade back from 8 to accumulate more picks.

1.8 – Derek Carr, QB – To drive a Mack truck or a Carr? That is the question on the mind of Vikings fans for their teams’ first round draft selection. Much has already been written about Carr, so to make this mock dull, I won’t repeat it here. Go read what everyone else wrote about him. If anything you read causes you to worry, hopefully, Norv Turner can fix any perceived flaws in his game.

2.8 – Jason Verrett, CB – perhaps a wishful pick here, as he is projected to be a late first round pick, but he falls to 2.8 because other players with great Combine showings leap ahead of him. The reliability of the FA CB signing is suspect, and NFL teams can never have too many good DBs, so Verrett is a good choice here. With his lack of size, but good coverage skills, he is an ideal prospect to play inside as a NCB. Alternative draft option; trade up to late twenties in round one, using a 4th round and 7th round pick, to acquire Verrett or CB Roby.

3.8 – Yawin Smallwood, LB – this pick makes sense given the position flexibility of some vet LBs currently on the roster, and the recent departure of E. Henderson. He has adequate size to play MLB – when the impact of the new FA NTs is considered. His ability to rush the QB, is, I believe, valued by Zimmer for LBs. He is a slightly risky pick that Spielman is both willing and forced to make at this point in the draft. He may be used as a ‘rushing MLB specialist’ in 2014 to see if he can develop into an effective pass defender, and become a 3 down player/ starter. He will provide good competition for Cole or Mauti to be the starting MLB.

3.32 – Donte Moncrief, WR – Mon Dieu! Good Grief! With Donte available here, Spielman exercises his option to be a draft value thief! Moncrief is a fairly good fit for the role of a deep threat, but he is a bit raw.

4.8 – Anthony Steen, OG – an interior OL who can compete with Baca to start at LG, and may be able to backup C.

5.8 – traded for conditional picks (4th round and possibly a 7th round) in 2015. Most of the roster spots that Spielman, Zimmer and Turner believe need to be upgraded or replaced immediately are filled now, and there is no player on Rick Spielmans board that seems to fit a need with an adequate draft grade as the clock winds down on the team picking ahead of Minnesota. So, Spielman rushes back to the Vikings War Room from an impromptu interview with his best friend, Sid Hartman, and accepts a trade offer from a GM who sees a player he likes and who is willing to forego a conditional future pick or picks to move up to slot 5.8.

6.8 – Ricardo Allen, FS/CB – a CB selected to compete for a starting spot as FS or as a Nickel CB.

7.8 – Jerick McKinnon, RB/QB/DB/KR – he may contribute as a RB, but has switched position from an option QB to RB, so he is inexperienced as a pure RB, and may not be effective running between the tackles. He will likely be placed on the PS if a vet RB can be signed after the last pre-season cuts (to replace Asiata). If he doesn’t work out as a RB, he could go to the PS as a wild card player who could also play DB, QB and be a KR in case of injury to one of those positions starters.


Oh no! Only 7 players drafted in 2014! What a boring mock! This certainly won’t earn many replies with videos of dancing men.

I’ll make this mock a bit more interesting by asking readers to add 2 UDFAs to round out the defensive roster ( see final roster, below ):

UDFA #1: OLB
UDFA #2: DB


Spielman announces after the draft that he intended to accumulate more picks by trading back, especially from #1.8. But the trade value offered in return just wasn’t adequate or available from the GMs he spoke with, as they all perceived the 2014 draft to be deep in good, but not great, talent at many positions. So Spielman stayed at the picks assigned and drafted to fill the remaining key areas of need after a fruitful free agency period.

At the post-draft presser, Spielman gives the well worn cliché comments about how great ALL of the Vikings draft picks are, and how they are great young men who will succeed in the Vikings system. He remembers to add – for his sake - that they were the intended targets, high on the Vikings draft board, and that he was surprised that a few of them fell to the Vikings where they were selected.

Vikings fans are again impressed – in the excitement of the post-draft hours - by the genius of Spielman in each draft since 2012. But a few days later, some fans take the opportunity to point out that G, WR, LB, TE or S (whichever position being their favorite to see upgraded) wasn’t (adequately) addressed by Spielman.

Later, in pre-season, when each new player gets a chance to play, the luster wears off many of the gems the fans previously thought Spielman found in free agency and each round of the draft. Fewer and fewer videos of dancing men are posted on the FF Vikings board each successive day after the 2014 draft.

2015 Generic Draft: a bonus for those of you who continued reading despite early warnings that this mock off season draft wouldn’t be exciting as it would not include a trade to net more 2014 draft picks - position selections by round.

Draft geeks on FF are encouraged to suggest names of the selections below!


Round 1 – WR – a deep threat is needed as the corp of WRs in 2014 were only adequate in filling that need in the NorVertical Offense. This selection is intended to be a replacement for Simpson in 2015, or Jennings in 2016.

Round 2 – OLB – It’s time to groom a replacement for Chad Greenway.

Round 3 – DT – It’s also the right time to find an eventual replacement for K Williams. Round 2 and 3 picks could be reversed; i.e. DT in round 2, OLB in 3rd.

Round 4 – FS – someone with good coverage skills to compete with the current roster FSs to start alongside SS Harrison makes sense here. This could be moved up to the 2nd round if the LB and DT depth on the roster is good in 2014/ 2015 behind Greenway and K Williams.

Round 5A – OL depth – added to replace J. Webb as a swing OT.

Round 5B – QB depth – added to replace Ponder (or Campbell).

Round 6 – TE – not used as much in the NorVikes Offense as was the case under Musberger, a TE to replace Carlson is drafted and sent to the PS, or perhaps wins Carlson’s roster spot.

Round 7 – RB – another PS player, to backup AP and TG, or replace Asiata.



NFL Draft 2016: – Oh, wait a minute. Never mind. This section was started only to trick the super draft geeks on FF into thinking I was going to do a 3 year draft.



Projected Vikings Roster for 2014 Season:


Offense{ 25 “Norvertical Offense” Guys }:

QB (3) – M. Cassell, D. Carr, C. Ponder (order is subject to result of competition)

RB (4) – A. Peterson, T. Gerhart, R. Ellison, M. Asiata (J. McKinon – PS)

TE (3) – K. Rudolph, J. Carlson, C. Ford

WR (6) – G. Jennings, C. Patterson, J. Wright, J. Simpson, G. Childs, R. Smith (D. Moncrief – PS or replaces Childs or Simpson)

C (2) – J. Sullivan, J. Berger

OG (4) – B. Fusco, J. Baca, J. Samuda, A. Steen

OT (3) – M. Kalil, P. Loadholt, J. Webb



Defense (25 “Zimmer Men”)

DE (3) – B. Robison, M. Johnson, R. Bryant

DT (4) – K. Williams, S. Floyd, P. Sims, C. Baker

OLB (4) – C. Greenway (moved to WLB), G. Hodges, L. Dean, UDFA

MLB (3) – M. Mauti, A. Cole (also SLB), Y. Smallwood

CB (7) – X. Rhodes, V. Davis, J. Robinson, M. Sherels, J. Verrett, R. Blanton, [S. Prater or UDFA]

S (4) – H. Smith, J. Sanford, M. Raymond, R. Allen



Special Teams: (3)

K - Walsh

P – Locke

LS – Loeffler



OK, I’m done. Scold me for a bad off season, with no trades to add more draft picks for excitement. Chastise me for not making bold projections of players falling to the Vikings about a round later than they are projected to be drafted. Politely, but sternly point out everything I did wrong, including re-signing Vikings free agents that have been more difficult for impatient fans to get rid of than Rasputin or that mayoral candidate failure guy who repeatedly sues the MN gummint to block the new stadium. Ready! Set! Gophield!

[[[[[ PS Kudos to vikingsrule for informing me out that my original 6th round pick (M. Huff, FS) has ascended up the draft board, due to his great Combine performance, to round 2 or thereabouts! vr also ok'd my 4th and 7th round picks. My draft picks above followed the projections of CBS Sports prior to the Combine.]]]]]
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vike daddy


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you know... the pharmaceutical industry has made great strides lately.
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BWG VIKE


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we sign Davis no need to draft a CB, there is not enough room to carry 7 CBs. I really want Davis but in no way will he sign a 2 year deal, it will take probably around 5 years $40-$45Million and I still say yes.

Why only 2 pass rushing DEs? no depth and I cant see Bryant at end in a 4-3 base, he would generate next to no pass rush.
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AQuintus


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:05 am    Post subject: Re: A Perplexing, Boring Mock Reply with quote

Purplexing wrote:

DT - K. Williams – 1 year, $4M – he is still a quality DT, able to start at DT


This is where you lost me. There's no good reason for Floyd not to be starting at UT this upcoming season.
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BWG VIKE


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My bad I see you have Blanton at CB I have him back at safety, I agree with 11 DBs just not drafting a high CB if we land Davis.
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vikesnewcoach11


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solid mock Purplexing! Love the Sandcastle signing but I can't see KC letting the former 1st overall pick walk Laughing

Outside of that, love the FA signings and draft.

Only things I am on the fence about would be:

-Is Carr a reach at 8 or no? I personally am starting to jump on the Carr bandwagon and love his determination and work ethic (Plus that arm!! Shocked ). When it comes to Carr, I think us drafting him is going to depend on what Cleveland does. There are rumors going around that he is the favorite in the Browns front office and if they pass on a QB at 4, I would imagine they would take him at 26. I would if I was them. Grab Watkins and then Carr and put them with Gordon and Cameron and take a RB in the 2nd-3rd....yikes!!! However, if Cleveland takes a QB at 4, I think we can wait, jump back into the back-end of the first and snag him. Especially if we trade down from 8 because we would have a lot of ammo. Who knows though.

-Not a fan of Smallwood. I would rather take a guy like Christian Jones, Telvin Smith, or Shayne Skov. I would imagine one of those guys would be there at that pick. This is just more of a personal opinion.

Overall, love the mock though man!
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SteelKing728


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jerome Simpson is so mind numbingly not that good. He's inconsistent. I swear sometimes he just fades out of the game, or he can't stay healthy, or he gets in trouble.

If we do resign him, which I doubt anyways, but If we do, it should not hinder our search for a good downfield WR in the draft. At this point, Simpson is our #4, and we all know we could do better than that.
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Purple blood


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:10 am    Post subject: Re: A Perplexing, Boring Mock Reply with quote

Purplexing wrote:


Round 3 – DT – It’s also the right time to find an eventual replacement for K Williams.



I thought we drafted his replacement last year
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Purplexing


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BWG VIKE wrote:
If we sign Davis no need to draft a CB, there is not enough room to carry 7 CBs. I really want Davis but in no way will he sign a 2 year deal, it will take probably around 5 years $40-$55Million and I still say yes.

Why only 2 pass rushing DEs? no depth and I cant see Bryant at end in a 4-3 base, he would generate next to no pass rush.


My bad on Davis. I underestimated him, as I don't follow all free agent details at this point in time. I amend my mock to up his $ to what you said.

My thought on the DEs is that Zimmer would look to Cole or Smallwood as supplemental pass rushers. Wrong? Right? Tell me.

I also should say that I originally had a few different free agents, and forgot to edit 'Campbell' to be 'Cassell' in one section where I mention a 5th round QB drafted in 2015 to replace 'Campbell'. Hmm; also see I used 'Harrison' there instead of 'Harrison Smith'. Late night brain freeze!
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Purplexing


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vike daddy wrote:
you know... the pharmaceutical industry has made great strides lately.


Pharmaceuticals better than Metamucil? Great!
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Purplexing


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:16 am    Post subject: Re: A Perplexing, Boring Mock Reply with quote

Purple blood wrote:
Purplexing wrote:


Round 3 – DT – It’s also the right time to find an eventual replacement for K Williams.



I thought we drafted his replacement last year


Yes. But the backup to Floyd is needed.

K. Will could start if Floyd lines up at UT, with no NT in some formations. K. Will could also backup Floyd if Floyd starts alongside a NT, and could backup the NT(s) if he/ they were injured.

I was unclear in my wording, trying to be brief.
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Purplexing


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteelKing728 wrote:
Jerome Simpson is so mind numbingly not that good. He's inconsistent. I swear sometimes he just fades out of the game, or he can't stay healthy, or he gets in trouble.

If we do resign him, which I doubt anyways, but If we do, it should not hinder our search for a good downfield WR in the draft. At this point, Simpson is our #4, and we all know we could do better than that.


Anything could happen. Wink

I agree that a deep threat WR is desirable. But it isn't as big a need as new guys on the DL and a few guys behind them. So, I pushed it back a few rounds more than some people would prefer, opting to address QB (Ponder failure, no long-term solution in Cassell or Freeman), MLB (departure of E. Henderson), and CB (Cook gone, Robinson uncertain).

I also had to address DE in free agency aggressively due to my assumption that Griffen would walk due to a bidding war, Allen leaving for a chance for a ring, and the purge of several DTs (Guion, Evans).

So, with all the above 'holes', I had to de-emphasize deep threat WR.

Simpson may not be a great WR, but he is familiar to Cassell and Ponder, and can't demand much money to be a WR#4. The deal is only for 1 year; so read my 2015 draft projection, which suggests a WR be taken in round 1.

And, after all is said and done, anything could happen. Very Happy
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PurpleNation22


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed reading that. For pure entertainment purposes. Funny stuff.
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Purplexing


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BWG VIKE wrote:
My bad I see you have Blanton at CB I have him back at safety, I agree with 11 DBs just not drafting a high CB if we land Davis.


IIRC, Blanton has been used as both a S and CB, and I didn't know exactly where to put him on the roster.

I think a CB high in he draft is a good move, considering the DL was addressed in free agency, and a DE taken in round 2 might not be as much of an improvement to the defense as a starting CB if Davis doesn't live up to expectations. But that's where the flaw is in my mock; I underestimated Davis.... my bad.

So, a DE in round 2 could be a change that nets a greater improvement to the Vikings D than a young CB.

But, the NFL is more of a passing league nowadays than a running league. So, as I said; you can't have too many DBs.

A few LBs can be supplemental pass rushers; e.g. Cole and Smallwood, reducing the need for another DE.
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Purplexing


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PurpleNation22 wrote:
I enjoyed reading that. For pure entertainment purposes. Funny stuff.


That was the intent, as can be seen in the flaws already noted by more astute mock draft geeks.
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