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this providence


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Season Opening Roster Analysis & Mock Draft Reply with quote

To start, I'll give my synopsis about how I view each position on this team in regards to their current level of play, 1-2 year outlook, and 3+years down the line. Positions will be color coated to reflect how I view each position given the future outlook, position scarcity/weighting, and current contract status of players.

• Immediate Need - Needs to be meaningfully addressed
• Needs Improvement - Could stand improvement if available
• Adequate Level of Play - Not a glaring need, but not to be neglected
• All Set - No rush to address this position.


Quarterback
Christian Ponder
Joe Webb
McLeod Bethel-Thompson


At this point in time, all players who make up this section of the depth chart are large unknowns with huge holes in their games. No one from this group has seen meaningful NFL time and it's a good bet that none will ever be discussed as a QB in the top third in the league. This is a huge year for Ponder in that he needs to show something in his game to inspire confidence moving forward. Webb will also see some time at QB this year in all likelihood but that will likely be his defining role in the NFL. MBT is a multiple year project.


Runningbacks
Adrian Peterson
Toby Gerhart
Matt Asiata
Jerome Felton


With Adrian Peterson as a headliner for this franchise, this position will be set for as long as he can stay on the field. While some may argue he could be a candidate to be moved given the long term rebuild - type of trajectory the Vikings are currently on, it's just not a viable option. And certainly not one you consider after just signing him to the type of extension they did. Toby Gerhart is on the higher end of back ups in the league and that is the sort of career he's likely to have. Asiata is an intriguing guy with young legs and positional flexibility. Felton is not long for this organization.


Wide Receiver
Percy Harvin
Jerome Simpson
Michael Jenkins
Jarius Wright
Stephen Burton
Devin Aromashodu


When everyone looks into their handy crystal ball, it's really hard to say with any sort of certainty that any of these players will be on the team two years from now. Percy is a special, special player. But given his mysterious gripes this offseason, who knows what the future holds for him. When he is on the field, however, there's really no other player like him. Reeling myself back in a tad here though, I still would never call him a real #1. Simpson is an intriguing player who's never really put it together for various different reasons. He'll have a shot on this roster, but again, he's never going to be a true threat. Beyond that, it's pretty well barren on the WR depth chart. Wright and Burton have a few things going for them in one way or another, but significant shortcomings that will undoubtedly hinder them from becoming more than a sound 3/4 player.


Tight End
Kyle Rudolph
John Carlson
Rhett Ellison
Allen Reisner


By now we Vikings fans have heard quite a bit about Rudolph's potential in this offseason. Hopefully we see it put into games this season. Regardless, a player with his skill set will be given every chance to be the player he was drafted to be. In my mind, Carlson was one of the very worst offseason signings that any NFL team made. A player with his track record in the league should never be given the commitment that was made to him. And shockingly, he's been shelved for most of the meaningful offseason. I expect Ellison will soon pass him up on the depth chart. A lot more potential in his game than what I originally expected.


Tackle
Matt Kalil
Phil Loadholt


Great play or otherwise, Kalil will be given of time on this roster to live up to his draft slot. Loadholt is the sort of player who is either up or down. No stable game to be found for him in his tenure. Given his strengths and weaknesses and his position, there's things a team can do to maximize their output from the position. This position really needs more depth than the standard, below replacement level, swingman that we fans are used to seeing from this franchise.


Guard
Charlie Johnson
Brandon Fusco
Geoff Schwartz
Mark Asper


Of all the positions on this Vikings roster, this will be the worst and where the biggest "need" will be. Charlie Johnson just isn't a starting guard in this league and he's a much better tackle to begin with. Fusco will have up and down series over the course of the year, which is to be expected from a player of his experience level. Both Schwartz and Asper provide "depth." The worthiness of that depth is up for debate...


Center
John Sullivan
Joe Berger


I've never been a Sullivan fan. I won't buy into what the Vikings say about where he is in terms of NFL play at center because I can just comment on what I see. He's just pushed around way too much for my liking. Especially in a division facing the sort of interiors they do. And that's neglecting his propensity for injuries. Berger is about what you'd expect a back up center to be.


Defensive End
Jared Allen
Brian Robison
Everson Griffen
D'Aundre Reed


That's not a mistake of color choice. Allen is the best at what he does in all the league. However, when you look at what direction this team is moving, his contract status, and his general desire to win at a high level; I think it's likely we'll see the team move on relatively soon. Brian Robison has yet to prove himself to be more than a high end rotational player. Given he's already at, or just passing, his peak years I believe he is what he is. In my view, throwing away a year of offseason development by attempting to convert Griffen to linebacker was a huge blunder by this regime. He'll have his work cut out for him to get back to be where he should have been. Reed has an intriguing skill set and one that I actually like to be the eventual base end on the left side.


Defensive Tackle
Kevin Williams
Fred Evans
Letroy Guion
Christian Ballard


Much like Allen, I believe Kevin Williams' days are number in this organization. In building to this point, the Vikings severely missed the boat on finding an eventual successor. Evans, Guion, and Ballard can all add certain elements in a rotation, but none are (or will be) full time players. One of the more concerning positions on this roster.


Outside Linebacker
Chad Greenway
Erin Henderson
Marvin Mitchell
Larry Dean


While not elite, or playing making; it's adequate. Greenway and Henderson play at about the same level. They'll make the play that's in front of them. But neither will be a deciding factor in any game they suit up for. Mitchell and Dean are obvious downgrades but are in the same mold with little upside to their game's.


Middle Linebacker
Jasper Brinkley
Tyrone McKenzie
Audie Cole


Once again, the interior of this defense is an issue. Brinkley is everything you don't want from your middle linebacker in this defense. He's also a player who's had a tough time staying healthy over his tenure. It's a good bet that we'll see both McKenzie and Cole in meaningful time this season. The inexperience at this position will certainly show this season.


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


This is a position that has the greatest chance to swing up or down in terms of need. Cook, Robinson, (and even Jefferson/Burton) have a strong chance to play at a high level given their skill sets. In the more likely scenario, we'll see inconsistent play and still not be all that certain where most of these players will stand. Add in Winfield's age and it's a group of large unknowns moving forward.


Safety
Harrison Smith
Mistral Raymond
Robert Blanton
Jamarca Sanford
Andrew Sendejo


Despite some concerns about this position, I don't feel it needs a great deal of attention. What we're continuing to see is the diminishing value of safeties league wide. After just using a highly coveted pick on a safety, I don't see the end game in using other high value assets to address the other. Smith should be alright moving forward and Raymond/Blanton are capable of providing just enough at the other spot.


Punter
Chris Kluwe

Yep, they're fine. Greatest human ever? Probably.


Kicker
Blair Walsh

I'm not entirely sold on Walsh (and the preseason was concerning) but kicker isn't exactly a large priority for this team given their aspirations.



tl;dr?
• Immediate Need
--- Guard
--- Defensive Tackle
--- Middle Linebacker
--- Wide Receiver

• Needs Improvement
--- Quarterback
--- Defensive End
--- Cornerback
--- Center

• Adequate Level of Play
--- Tackle
--- Outside Linebacker
--- Kicker

• All Set
--- Safety
--- Tight End
--- Running Back
--- Punter
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Last edited by this providence on Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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this providence


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mock Offseason

• Kevin Williams traded at the deadline for 5th round pick
• Vikings finish 2-14
• Rick Spielman fires Leslie Frazier
• Wilf's stick with Spielman and his "plan"
• Despite bigger names out there, Vikings hire a lesser known, inexperienced coach. In large part to the bigger names wanting more control over the direction.

Re-signings
RB, Matt Asiata
WR, Jerome Simpson
T, Phil Loadholt
LB, Marvin Mitchell
LB, Erin Henderson
CB, A.J. Jefferson
S, Jamarca Sanford

Not Re-signed
RB, Jerome Felton
WR, Devin Aromashodu
TE, Allen Reisner
C, Joe Berger
G, Geoff Schwartz
LB, Jasper Brinkley
LB, Tyrone McKenzie
CB, Marcus Sherels
S, Andrew Sendejo


FREE AGENCY

• WR, Dwayne Bowe


DRAFT!
• Vikings trade Jared Allen to Baltimore Ravens for 24th Overall pick
• Vikings trade 1st Overall to the New York Jets for their 4th Overall, 2nd Round pick, 2014 1st Round, and 3rd Round

1st Round

DeMarcus Milliner, CB | Alabama
6'1" 198lbs
I don't think it's any secret the Vikings know they need help at cornerback with the way they've made moves in the secondary. Then take into account what players are in this division. They jump out and select Milliner who will prove to be the best corner in the nation by draft time. Milliner has prototypical size and has a very sound all around game. The Vikings like what they've seen from the defensive players Alabama keeps pumping out.


TRADE: 1st Round via BAL and 2nd Round via NYJ for 13th Overall

Manti Te'o, MLB | Notre Dame
6'2" 255lbs
Annnnnd the Vikings add another Golden Domer. Te'o has been hyped up since high school, for good reason. He's a very instictive player with a skill set that this team needs on the linebacker corps. He's not quite the player that some make him out to be, but make no mistake, Te'o will have a very long and productive pro career.


2nd Round

Chance Warmack, LG | Alabama
6'2" 322lbs
The Vikings once again go back to Alabama and take the best guard in the nation. Ideally, I think they'd want to give Ponder a pocket and allow Adrian some running room. Warmack is extremely well rounded and has started ever since he came to Alabama as a true freshman. Pretty special in the SEC.


3rd Round

Akeem Spence, DT | Illinois
6'1" 305lbs
Spence is a very athletic 3 tech, albeit a bit undersized at this stage. He may not be an every down guy right away but he's another guy who can move up and down the line and provide pressure.


4th Round

Malliciah Goodman, DE | Clemson
6'4" 280lbs
Goodson is a guy who gets by on his motor alone. He's a relentless rusher who's on the field a ton. Intriguing option to hold down the LDE spot.


5th Round

Seantrel Henderson, OT | Miami
6'8" 340lbs
Local guy who's somewhat of a Loadholt clone (without the collegiate production at this stage). Right now, it's hard to say where Henderson will be drafted, if at all. He'll likely be drafted in later rounds due to his ability to develop with his frame.


I won't pretend to know enough of players from here out at this stage.

QB • Ponder | Webb | Bethel-Thompson
RB • Peterson | Gerhart | Asiata
WR • Bowe | Harvin | Simpson | Wright | Burton
TE • Rudolph | Ellison | Carlson
LT • Kalil
LG • Warmack | Johnson
C • Sullivan
RG • Fusco
RT • Loadholt | Henderson

LDE • Goodman | Reed
NT • Evans
UT • Guion | Spence | Ballard
RDE • Robison | Griffen
OLB • Greenway
MLB • Te'o | Cole
OLB • Henderson | Mitchell
CB • Cook | Robinson
CB • Milliner | Winfield | Jefferson
S • Smith | Sanford
S • Raymond | Blanton

^depth would be filled in by late rounds/UDFA/minor UFA signings. Thanks for reading.
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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jared Allen to Baltimore is very confusing, unless you think they are moving to a 4-3 defense. Allen just doesnt have the schematic versatility to be a stand up pass rusher. I dont agree with trading him either, id rather keep him around while the young secondary and Dline progresses, to build confidence and hopefully use a draft pick in the next few drafts to find a suitable replacement. DE isnt a need in my opinion, until WR, DT, MLB, OG and QB is addressed. Just seems like more holes are created trading Allen than its worth. Given he should play at a high level for another 3-5 years, that is more than enough time to find a suitable replacement.

The last thing you want to do with the young secondary and eventual young interior line is to take trade away an elite player like Allen, who can be instrumental to their development. I actually like D'aundre Reed a lot as well and I still think Griffen has a lot of untapped potential. I believe between those two, there should be a replacement for Robison at LE, barring a big season from Robison.
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this providence


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vikingsrule wrote:
Jared Allen to Baltimore is very confusing, unless you think they are moving to a 4-3 defense. Allen just doesnt have the schematic versatility to be a stand up pass rusher. I dont agree with trading him either, id rather keep him around while the young secondary and Dline progresses, to build confidence and hopefully use a draft pick in the next few drafts to find a suitable replacement. DE isnt a need in my opinion, until WR, DT, MLB, OG and QB is addressed. Just seems like more holes are created trading Allen than its worth. Given he should play at a high level for another 3-5 years, that is more than enough time to find a suitable replacement.

The last thing you want to do with the young secondary and eventual young interior line is to take trade away an elite player like Allen, who can be instrumental to their development. I actually like D'aundre Reed a lot as well and I still think Griffen has a lot of untapped potential. I believe between those two, there should be a replacement for Robison at LE, barring a big season from Robison.


They run multiple different formations based on what they have available and what sort of offense they're facing. Allen fits into their window and no, he would not be standing up. Although I think he can drop back into space better than some would think.

As for trading Allen, I think it's something that has to be, and probably will be, done next offseason. As a fan, I hope not as I love watching him play. But to me (like I stated in the outline above), the Vikings are not going to be competitive over the course of his contract with the team. Given how I view his character, I think he'll want to move on and it would behoove the Vikings to get something significant for him in the process.
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HighHopes


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we have the number 1 pick. Ponder obviously didnt get better. Why arent we going for the QB? Dont like the QBs coming in?
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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this providence wrote:
vikingsrule wrote:
Jared Allen to Baltimore is very confusing, unless you think they are moving to a 4-3 defense. Allen just doesnt have the schematic versatility to be a stand up pass rusher. I dont agree with trading him either, id rather keep him around while the young secondary and Dline progresses, to build confidence and hopefully use a draft pick in the next few drafts to find a suitable replacement. DE isnt a need in my opinion, until WR, DT, MLB, OG and QB is addressed. Just seems like more holes are created trading Allen than its worth. Given he should play at a high level for another 3-5 years, that is more than enough time to find a suitable replacement.

The last thing you want to do with the young secondary and eventual young interior line is to take trade away an elite player like Allen, who can be instrumental to their development. I actually like D'aundre Reed a lot as well and I still think Griffen has a lot of untapped potential. I believe between those two, there should be a replacement for Robison at LE, barring a big season from Robison.


They run multiple different formations based on what they have available and what sort of offense they're facing. Allen fits into their window and no, he would not be standing up. Although I think he can drop back into space better than some would think.

As for trading Allen, I think it's something that has to be, and probably will be, done next offseason. As a fan, I hope not as I love watching him play. But to me (like I stated in the outline above), the Vikings are not going to be competitive over the course of his contract with the team. Given how I view his character, I think he'll want to move on and it would behoove the Vikings to get something significant for him in the process.


The problem is, teh position Allen would play is currently occupied with Suggs.
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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HighHopes wrote:
If we have the number 1 pick. Ponder obviously didnt get better. Why arent we going for the QB? Dont like the QBs coming in?


Agreed, QB is the only way to go if MN has pick 1. Which I dont think will happen. There are teams in worse shape than MN right now (AZ, Miami) just to name a couple.
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disaacs


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want nothing to do with the drama queen Dwayne Bowe.
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this providence


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HighHopes wrote:
If we have the number 1 pick. Ponder obviously didnt get better. Why arent we going for the QB? Dont like the QBs coming in?


I'm working under the scenario that Ponder yet again fails to play a full season and Spielman gives him another season. I think it's a likely scenario, to be honest. As for the QBs coming out, none are the caliber of the two we seen this year in my opinion.

As far as listing teams in worse off shape than the Vikings, I think they're right in the mix with all of them.
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ArcticNorseman


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prov . . . glad your just a fan and not involved with running a franchise Laughing

It's also amazing to me how guys that think the team will finish as bad, or worse, than last year and then, they're are the first to post mock drafts -- before the first game of the season, much less before the first quarter of the season.

Each of us is entitled to our opinions, and of course, these may lead to debate, even heated arguments -- nothing wrong with that Cool . Quite frankly, if the Vikes finish 2-14 this year, it won't be because of Frazier losing the locker room or making bad coaching decisions, but I agree he'd be fired, and Ponder and Webb would be gone as well as Spielman.

The color-coding of different parts of the team was pretty cool, and I agree that O-line, WR, LB and NT are likely the most pressing areas of need/improvement in 2013.

However, getting back to that point of Frazier being fired, and Ponder being gone . . . who's filling those roles and how? Your solution makes no sense.

But by far the most assanine statement is to trade Jared Allen. What is it about him you don't like? Yes, he'll be coming up on a contract extension, and if anyone on any website/forum thinks he hasn't earned, nor will continue to earn, elite money -- you're nuts!

As a business owner, you want fans to attend games, buy jerseys and $8 beers -- there's no one -- I mean no one that excites the Vike crowd like Jared. He epitomizes what a viking is all about -- warrior, holy terror to opponents, etc. I don't think he has the attitude of "I'm going somewhere to be a winner!"

Rather, if you watch his interviews and listen to what he says -- he says there's no excuse to be mediocre in this league. He further translates that to "just because a guy is young, doesn't mean he has a pass from helping the team win games. We need guys that will help the team win a world championship." He also acknowledges that winning a SB is not a thing to put a time constraint on, even though he knows he's not getting younger.

What that tells most people is Jared Allen has exceptionally high standards of performance, and he not only expects others around him to live up to those standards -- he leads by example to get there.

Between him and Adrian, the Vikes have two of the most contagious professionals on any NFL team. If one fails to recognize the fact this team got substantially better in the past 6 months, ya don't know your horses.

What they have are a couple shires, a couple thoroughbreds and a bunch of colts. Hook 'em up to the wagon and let 'em pull before ya slaughter 'em.
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vike daddy


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArcticNorseman wrote:
If one fails to recognize the fact this team got substantially better in the past 6 months, ya don't know your horses.

What they have are a couple shires, a couple thoroughbreds and a bunch of colts. Hook 'em up to the wagon and let 'em pull before ya slaughter 'em.

do they even have horses in Alaska? wouldn't they freeze to death or something...?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a few horses up here . . . wanted to use the trusty ole moose-caribou-dall sheep analogy, but didn't figure that'd work to well . . . lol.

Speaking of, it's hunting season! Having smoked 25 lbs of red salmon over the weekend, headed to the stand tonight for moose. Yep, smoked salmon and cream cheese on bagels with a nice ale should be awesome brunch for the games Wink Then, to watch the Sunday late games with moose brats or steaks on the grill --- mmm, mmm.
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Eric dunn


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with arcticnorseman 100%.


But just for the hell of it, if we do have the first pick in the draft we will be taking a QB.
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milanb


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArcticNorseman wrote:

Between him and Adrian, the Vikes have two of the most contagious professionals on any NFL team. If one fails to recognize the fact this team got substantially better in the past 6 months, ya don't know your horses.


The truth is we don't know if the team got better or went further down the abyss. But otherwise I agree with most of what you wrote.

Let's just sit back and enjoy the season, for better and worse. There's a lot of football to be played between now and the next off season.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

milanb wrote:
Let's just sit back and enjoy the season, for better and worse. There's a lot of football to be played between now and the next off season.

yaaaaay!!

my sentiments, exactly!
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