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Vikings Mock & Retrospective

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The Gnat

Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 39281
Location: Minneapolis
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:04 pm    Post subject: Vikings Mock & Retrospective Reply with quote


To start with, this season is a success in my eyes and in many ways exceeded my expectations. Peterson's great running and Ponder's clutch performances late in the year were not things I was expecting to see. I was expecting between 5-7 wins and Peterson probably to have about 1000 yards. So getting 10 wins and into the playoffs is a successful seasons in my eyes, especially with the expectations going into the season.


I'm very pleased to say that I was wrong about Leslie Frazier, he is a much better head coach and motivator than I thought he was going to be. I had thought that he was a softer coach that people liked playing for simply because he was a nice guy, but he was able to motivate and get everyone on the same page from the optional workouts which were highest attended in ages through the whole season even when the team hit rough patches. He got the team to perform well and the team didn't quit on him.

Alan Williams deserves a lot of praise as well. He did a good job with a defense that still has a number of needs and made them into a good defense again and while there were times early in the season he didn't seem to adjust well, he showed later in the season the ability to adjust and to trust his CB's which is rare for Vikings defensive coordinators.

Musgrave is probably the coach that will get most flack, and he probably deserves a fair amount of it. His play calling was predictable with Harvin in there, and sometimes illogical inside the red zone. But he showed some development. And even though this last game it appears that he regressed when he got away from the read-option look that they were running on the first drive, I don't put that all on him as I think there were other issues/factors for the lack of production.


QB: Christian Ponder had an interesting year to say the least. At the start of the year he managed the games well, and relied on Harvin to make plays on short dump offs. Then we hit doldrums which were very rough. He was missing short passes, and no one was getting open and he wasn't throwing people open. And then in the final few games he was throwing people open, he was completing deep passes and he wasn't making the same foolish mistakes that he was in the middle of the season. And from the playoff game it was pretty fortunate that Ponder stayed healthy throughout and the Webb is very limited in his back-up role and as more teams go to read-option looks that Webb's surprise factor is going to become even more limited.
Position Outlook: The Vikings need to find a decent veteran back-up for Ponder as this is going to be Ponder's job next year as a starter and Webb is probably on the outs as a back-up in Minnesota.

RB: Adrian, freaking, Peterson, need I say more. He is likely a cyborg from the future here to taunt us all with his fake leg injuries, but if not, he is amazing. I expected him to come back midseason to around 100% and to get around 1000 yards with Gerhart getting another 500, but Peterson was better than any of us could have hoped for. He was just crazy and his will an determination helped carry the team through tough games in the middle of the season when it looked like the season was going to implode quickly. Gerhart on the other hand had some questionable moments, especially against San Fransisco, and but he performed well enough when called upon.
Position Outlook: Like normal the Vikings will go through several 3rd RB options, but I would guess Peterson and Gerhart are both going to be here next year making this a low need for the off season.

TE: Kyle Rudolph and Rhett Ellison gave the Vikings two TE's for the future. Rudolph was a pretty consistent force in the passing game being one of the few targets to get open. Ellison proved to be a solid blocker and a smart player who made a few plays in the passing game. Carlson was a big disappointment though he made no impact in the passing game and was only a solid blocker. His contract will probably keep him here next year.
Position Outlook: We have two TE's that should be around for a while, so this is a smaller need, especially this off season when Carlson should be around next year, and maybe if he does something next year he'll stay around.

WR: This position was a mess from the off season throughout the regular season. It doesn't start well when Harvin is disgruntled about his playing time and then gets injured during the season and isn't with the team at the end of the season as he's rehabbing else where. This could be the writing on the wall that his days are done, add in Jarius Wright who is less explosive, but can play the slot WR position and might have better down the field deep ball ability. Simpson was basically a bust this off season, and while he does have interesting upside, doubtful that he is brought back. Aromashadou was a waste of space on the team. Jenkins was a solid veteran later in the year, but struggled at times and might be kept around but it would probably be for his blocking ability and a little receiving ability especially on 3rd downs. Burton was a good blocker and didn't do much as a WR. And finally Greg Childs got hurt during the off season and is still a huge question mark.
Position Outlook: Major overhauls are coming to the WR position. Possibly starting with Harvin getting traded but likely gone are Aromashadou and Simpson and one of either Jenkins or Burton (probably Jenkins). And even with Childs coming back he is a major question mark so the Vikings are needing to find between three and four WR's this off season.

OT: This is one of the brighter spots on the Vikings offense. Kalil and Loadholt held up very well and Kalil is probably a year or two away from being one of the best LT's in the NFC. He did a good job in the run game and was able to hold up one on one versus the pass rushers that he faced. Loadholt did a much better job this year, he had a few strings of stupid penalties, but they were bad quarters instead of whole bad games like last year. And we didn't have to see either of their back-ups this year, which is great.
Position Outlook: Loadholt needs to be resigned, but if that happens, maybe finding a back-up OT is needed but that is pretty low on the needs list.

OG: The Vikings played three OG's this season Charlie Johnson, Geoff Schwartz and Brandon Fusco. Between Schartz and Fusco the Vikings likely have the RG position fairly well set, even though Fusco did struggle at times. The LG position however, Charlie Johnson needs to be replaced. I will say that he is a great back-up to have on the team (if he restructures his deal), but as a starting LG he is only somewhat better than being a starting LT.
Position Outlook: We'll likely see a new left guard come in and I think that the Vikings will be happy enough with the RG play that they won't address that position.

C: Sullivan is a beast, he calls solid protections, he isn't getting pushed around, and he doesn't make dumb mistakes. He is one of the best centers in football right now.
Position Outlook: Sullivan is set, Fusco can back him up, low low need on the list of needs, probably won't be addressed which is a nice feeling.

DE: Jared Allen had a down year, at least when you compare it to last year, I feel like there was less holding called on T's against him, and I don't think he was held less than previous years. He still however played at a very high level. Robison showed nicely early in the season but at times didn't contain well on the end, he likely will play out his contract with the Vikings and then get moved along. Everson Griffen is showing up in a big way making lots of splash plays late in the year and was key in helping the Vikings beat the Packers, he might take over for Robison soon.
Position Outlook: The biggest thing for this position, which has good depth already, is to get Allen signed to a new contract and replace the huge number that is going on this off season. He is too good to let go, but at the number he's at the Vikings could free up a lot of cash.

DT: Defensive tackle was a position the Vikings struggled this year. Kevin Williams looked decent to start the year but as time went on he fell off in his play. And LeTroy Guion didn't look good at the NT position. The bright spots were the back-ups. Fred Evans showed up nicely at NT and should get a look at starting there next year, even though we'll want a good back-up behind him. And Ballard didn't see much field time, but he has some upside still as a back-up UT.
Position Outlook: Williams is probably gone just with his performance and cap number. Guion might take over for him, or he could rotate behind Evans at NT. I think the Vikings will look at adding at least one DT this off season though.

LB: The LB play was questionable this year, Erin Henderson and Jasper Brinkley didn't do a great job. Greenway was a very good LB again, but when you have two as weakness the whole corp looks bad. Brinkley didn't show up huge in the run game and was a liability in pass coverage, and Henderson wasn't much better even though he did show some ability to get after the QB and probably would have been better with better ILB play.
Position Outlook: Greenway stays around, Henderson and Brinkley could easily be gone from the Vikings. I wouldn't mind seeing Henderson brought back again as he wasn't bad with competent ILB play, but Brinkley was among the worst ILB's in the NFL, so he should get replaced.

CB: They stepped up nicely, including Winfield who was one of the best in the NFL. Robinson had some rough games out there, but he played okay in the playoff game, and Cook got hurt yet again, but he can shut down WR's at times. AJ Jefferson was a solid back-up sometimes doing well but when he had to play more he was over matched. Sherels did a great job as a returner but shouldn't see playing time on defense.
Position Outlook: Winfield is getting old and will have his cap number go up but I personally hope that he stays around. Cook and Robinson should both probably be starters next year, and Jefferson should be resigned and he has some upside. Burton will probably be gone. With all that said, we need to find someone who can replace Winfield in a year, so I'm not opposed to drafting one in the first few rounds.

S: Harrison Smith is going to be set at S for a long time. Sanford looked better back there, Raymond didn't look terrible back there. The Vikings have a few young options at S. Smith will be a mainstay and probably a pro bowler in a few years, the other two probably facing a camp battle.
Position Outlook: This is like CB, probably a need to improve, but they can live with what they have. Probably bring in someone who has upside or from the middle of the draft.

K: Blair Walsh is an amazing kicker. Amazing draft pick, and while I wasn't a huge fan of it, I love it now.
Position Outlook: Vikings hopefully won't need a K for the next 15 years at least.

P: Chris Kluwe was inconsistent this year, I think part of it was he distracted himself with political issues and while he won't put the blame on that, his punting seemed to improve in late November and December.
Position Outlook: I know some people have said replace him, but he's been good in the past and little reason to think that his few bad games were more of an anomaly than the new normal.

Off Season

Vikings In-House Free Agents:

Devin Aromashodu - Gone
Joe Berger - 1 year contract
Jasper Brinkley - Gone
Jerome Felton - 2 year contract
Erin Henderson - 1 year contract
Phil Loadholt - 4 year contract
Marvin Mitchell - Gone
Jamarca Sanford - 2 year contract
Geoff Schwartz - 1 year contract
Jerome Simpson - Gone
A.J. Jefferson - 2 year contract
Troy Kropog - Gone
Andrew Sendejo - 1 year contract
Marcus Sherels - 2 year contract


Kevin Williams - Cut
Michael Jenkins - Cut
Charlie Johnson - Restructured
Jared Allen - Restructured/Extended
Brandon Burton - Cut
Joe Webb - Cut

Free Agents:

Josh McCown - 2 year contract
Josh McCown is brought in as a back-up who has had some experience, he is nothing more than a back-up but he's been one for a long time and he should come fairly cheap.

Mohamed Massaquoi - 1 year contract
Massaquoi is this years Jerome Simpson, coming off an injury put up decent numbers one year, he could make an impact and he has solid size.

Isaac Sopoaga - 2 year contract
Older, but Sopoaga comes in and is a back-up at NT for the Vikings and he provides stability at that position.

Philip Wheeler - 4 year contract
Wheeler is a LB who can cover, he played well for the Raiders this year and would be a good 3 down LB for the Vikings. The Vikings sign him and Henderson as Henderson could potentially play inside, and Henderson isn't a bad back-up and Henderson finds there is even less of a market for him this year as compared to last.

Patrick Chung - 4 year contract
A young S who has played on a winning team before, good fit to bring in and pair with Harrison Smith, could give us two safeties for a long time.

Minor depth signings unlisted


Percy Harvin + 2nd to New England for 1st and 3rd.

Picks going in:
1st, 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 6th

1 A: Terrance Williams, WR Baylor
Big WR which the Vikings need to open up the passing game. They still have so many more holes at WR though.

1 B: Kevin Minter, ILB LSU
Smart, consistent ILB who will give the Vikings three viable LB's again.

The Vikings trade their 3rd and the Lions 4th to move back into the 2nd.

2: Cobi Hamilton, WR Arkansas
Vikings add another WR which they so desparately need.

3: Travis Howard, CB OSU
He has decent size and made some plays earlier in the year. He'll have time to develop for the Vikings, well a season.

4: Gabe Jackson, OG Mississippi State
He's a big LG who can block well for the run, he needs to improve his pass blocking, but should hopefully be able to do that.

5: Chad Bumphis, WR Mississippi State
Smaller WR who can help with Jarius Wright in the slot. Should complete the overhaul this season for the WR's for the Vikings.

6: A.J. Francis, UT Maryland
Developmental DT to hopefully eventually replace one of the DT's for the Vikings.

Depth Chart

QB: Christian Ponder/Josh McCown/MBT
RB: Adrian Peterson/Toby Gerhart/Matt Asiata
FB: Jerome Felton
WR: Terrance Williams/Muhhamad Massaquoi/Greg Childs
WR: Jarius Wright/Cobi Hamilton/Chad Bumphis
TE: Kyle Rudolph/Rhett Ellison/John Carlson
LT: Matt Kalil/Charlie Johnson
LG: Gabe Jackson/Charlie Johnson
C: John Sullivan/Joe Berger
RG: Brandon Fusco/Geoff Schwartz
RT: Phil Loadholt/DeMarcus Love

DE: Jared Allen/Everson Griffen
DE: Brian Robison/De'Aunre Reed
UT: Letroy Guion/Christian Ballard/A.J. Francis
NT: Fred Evans/Isaac Sopoaga
OLB: Chad Greenway/Tyrone McKenzie
ILB: Kevin Minter/Audie Cole
OLB: Philip Wheeler/Erin Henderson/Larry Dean
CB: Chris Cook/A.J. Jefferson/Travis Howard
CB: Josh Robinson/Antoine Winfield/Marcus Sherels
S: Harrison Smith/Mystral Raymond/Robert Blanton
S: Patrick Chung/Jamarca Sanford/Andrew Sendejo

K: Blair Walsh
P: Chris Kluwe

(2 open roster spots)
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vike daddy

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Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 82974
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Vikings Mock & Retrospective Reply with quote

The Gnat wrote:
Picks going in:
1st, 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 6th

1 A: Terrance Williams, WR Baylor
Big WR which the Vikings need to open up the passing game. They still have so many more holes at WR though.

1 B: Kevin Minter, ILB LSU
Smart, consistent ILB who will give the Vikings three viable LB's again.

so much for the mock i was formulating, those were going to be my first two picks!

i enjoyed your retro writeup.

Everson Griffen: We can be special. But its up to us.
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Lil Uno

Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Posts: 8582
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We'll presented. Applause

I've said before that MoMass would be a solid signing as I just don't see us landing any of the big ones. I like the addition of a Safety, I like Chung in the Cover 2. Wheeler would be great pickup for us if he is allowed to walk.

As for the draft, I love Terrence Williams for this offense. Big YAC player, while also being a vertical threat. I just don't see the love for Minter. He should be a good player, but he doesn't fit this defense. In my opinion his coverage skills are on par with Brinkley. I don't like Travis Howard at all, he almost has to move to safety at the next level. Francis is a good developmental player like you said.
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Posts: 83
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big fan of the presentation.

I love the overhall of the entire WR corps.

I think Felton deserves more than 2 years, but that's just me.

I don't think this is realistic because we will draft at least 1 golden domer. Wink
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Location: Watertown, New York
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not bad but you made our DTs worse. Guion should never be a starter in this league. Evans is much better anyways. Williams shouldnt and won't be cut. If anything he will restructure. And I think Brinkley will be kept before Henderson. He's better in coverage and against the run. Sendejo has no reason to be kept. We don't need 6 safeties on our roster. Outside of that...not to bad
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Location: Stillwater, MN
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not bad.

The only thing I have a gripe with is Cobi Hamilton. He's going to have a hard time getting open at the NFL level. There is no suddenness to his gave.

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