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The Final 53 and Player Prediction Thread
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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freakout wrote:
swiss_vike wrote:
Mauti didn't show anything because he didn't play. He would have started at MLB after Henderson went out last season, ifmhe wouldn't have banged his knee the week prior.

Cole is versatile, I give you that. But I don't like his run support, was too often out of place (bad instincts) and his solo tackling is bad. He needs help. In coverage, he's adequate. In last years pre-season, he was on par with Mauti overall, despite Mauti coming off injury and Cole having a year on him.

Brinkley is the type of LB Zimmer seems to like in the middle.


In my opinion, Cole is actually a better fit as a weak side linebacker in Zimmer's scheme. I believe he is being used at the SAM position currently because we really have no other linebacker with the size that Zimmer likes for that position on the roster.


I could see Cole in the mix at WLB if Greenway does get serious consideration at MLB.
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Lil Uno


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good write up VR. Agreed with a fair amount of what you said, but I don't understand classifying Mike Mauti as a "proven player that is terrible". Mauti literally has no defensive snaps to his name. He is far from proven and there is nothing to suggest he is terrible.
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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lil Uno wrote:
Good write up VR. Agreed with a fair amount of what you said, but I don't understand classifying Mike Mauti as a "proven player that is terrible". Mauti literally has no defensive snaps to his name. He is far from proven and there is nothing to suggest he is terrible.


Given that he was a 7th rd pick with major injury concerns, I dont think he has good odds of being a long-term starter.

I suppose he (just like some of the 2013 rookies who didnt play) could have been highlighted green instead of red but i dont think it really makes much difference.

Unless Mauti emerges as a starter and plays well, MLB is likely to be a top priority in 2015. Even if Mauti is an unproven young player.
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Lil Uno


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vikingsrule wrote:
Lil Uno wrote:
Good write up VR. Agreed with a fair amount of what you said, but I don't understand classifying Mike Mauti as a "proven player that is terrible". Mauti literally has no defensive snaps to his name. He is far from proven and there is nothing to suggest he is terrible.


Given that he was a 7th rd pick with major injury concerns, I dont think he has good odds of being a long-term starter.

I suppose he (just like some of the 2013 rookies who didnt play) could have been highlighted green instead of red but i dont think it really makes much difference.

Unless Mauti emerges as a starter and plays well, MLB is likely to be a top priority in 2015. Even if Mauti is an unproven young player.


Oh no, I don't disagree MLB is a huge problem spot. Just didn't agree Mauti doesn't have the potential to fix it. Though, I can see both sides of the argument.
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Krauser


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work VR. I'll add my comments after your future projections.

vikingsrule wrote:
Top Needs Going Forward

1. MLB - Neither Brinkley or Mauti emerge as a viable starter

2. TE - Frankly, I am not that confident in Rudolph being a reliable threat. Rudolph has always been a big time redzone threat but I question if he will ever be anything more than that. Factor in his injuries concerns, I wouldn't be surprised if MN is looking at big, athletic TEs early in next year's draft.

3. S - Smith will eventually settle into one spot but an upgrade will be needed opposite of him.

4. WR - Jennings isn't a typical Turner WR, I expect MN to look for viable vertical threats in 2015; Jennings will work well in the slot going forward

5. LE - This may not be a popular need given that Robison is still under contract and Crichton is a young rookie. However, I think that Zimmer will be one to value Defensive Line depth and I could see him going after one of those 6-6 275 run stuffers like he had in Cincinnati.

6. DT Depth - Need to improve at backup UT and NT. Maybe Stephen shows us something as a rookie.

7. RB - Peterson won't be around forever and as previously stated, I don't trust Asiata as a viable starting option if Peterson ever has to miss time.

8. CB - Assuming that Rhodes, Munnerlyn and Cox emerge as a solid enough trio, CB won't be a significant priority. Depth might be a concern though, especially if Robinson doesn't pan out. Its hard to say what James or Price have to offer at this point.


1. Too soon to give up on Mauti IMO, but I'm skeptical too. Think it might be Greenway in the middle this year, with Cole or Hodges at WLB.

1a. You listed Hodges as solid black, but we have no more information on him than Mauti, and he looked worse in preseason last year. OLB is right up there with MLB as a long-term need, unless Hodges or Cole can do it.

2. We've never seen Rudolph play with a competent QB. Cassel is probably the best QB he's ever played with (tallest midget style), and that was just the Steelers and Panthers games last year. Rudolph set career highs for single game receptions (9) and yards (97) in the Panthers game, on 11 targets. The next game was Freeman's, then Ponder came back, then Rudolph got hurt. Cassel managed to get decent production out of UDFA Chase Ford at the end of the year. Might be worth seeing of Cassel or Bridgewater could get better mileage out of Rudolph, especially in Turner's TE-friendly system, before writing off his potential completely.

3. I like the idea of Sendejo being the starting SS, he had a couple of great games as an in-the-box defender last year. Exum seems more likely to challenge for the SS role than to settle in as Smith's backup, he's got the size to be a SS/LB hybrid box defender, big hitter. If those 2 don't work out, agree they'll need another S.

4. WR to push Jennings to the slot, check.

5. They already have that guy, he's just 3" shorter -- Crichton is a 6'3" 273 run stuffer who fits in perfectly as a base LDE. They could've taken 6'6" Kareem Martin instead, and didn't, Crichton's the one they wanted. They still do need another DE if Wootton doesn't stick around long-term.

6. You list Evans as Floyd's backup. I know we both think of him as potentially playing UT, but I looked it up, he was a NT for Miami, who drafted him, and he's been a NT his entire time in Minnesota, dating back to 2008 when he was added as Pat Williams' backup. He's still being used as an NT this year, when Joseph's out. It doesn't look like he'll be switching positions anytime soon. I think they'll keep Tom Johnson as the backup UT, and keep only one of Kheeston Randall or Shamar Stephen behind Evans, who'll be backing up Joseph. I'm optimistic than Stephen can be a long-term rotational NT, which would leave just another UT to add for 2015.

7. Agreed, Asiata's not very good and they need a viable RB2 for injury insurance at least.

8. Agree that Cox is likely the 3rd CB. Don't think Robinson will pan out. Expect Prater will get a long look as a depth player, he was good in limited use last year, and he has ties to Zimmer.

vikingsrule wrote:
2015 Free Agents

OG Brandon Fusco signs a five year deal with the Vikings.

CB Derek Cox signs a three year deal with the Vikings.

WR Jerome Simpson and TE Kyle Rudolph walk.


Agree they'll keep Fusco, he's probably a candidate for the Loadholt/Griffen treatment, matching the pre-FA offer.

Would be stunned if they let Rudolph go, I think he'll do well this year and earn a long-term extension. He'd have to have a hugely disappointing year before I'd expect to see them not even try to retain him. I'd actually like to see them work out his extension during the year, as that will probably be cheaper than matching in free agency.

Agree this is the last year for Simpson.

Would be surprised if Cox stays long-term -- even if he plays OK in a limited role, he's more likely a candidate for a 1-2 year deal of the sort that other role player veterans have been getting. The Vikings have only been offering long-term deals to guys coming off their rookie contracts (except Jennings, but even then, they went after Wallace first). Cox will be 29 by the time the 2015 season starts, and he's not really a premium talent.
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SteelKing728


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't hold on to unproven players and hope they work out for you. Investing all your time/money into that one player could set you back very far.

You especially wouldn't do this in the event that a better player comes along, like in Free Agency in the draft. This is the business side of football, yet I get the feeling on this board that we are being way to loyal to an individual player who is yet to do really anything for us.

I don't agree with the saying "Its too soon to give up on Mauti". I say we should make him earn his keep. If he can't stay healthy, or doesn't step up to be a starter/good backup, we should move on from him.
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Krauser


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteelKing728 wrote:
You don't hold on to unproven players and hope they work out for you. Investing all your time/money into that one player could set you back very far.

You especially wouldn't do this in the event that a better player comes along, like in Free Agency in the draft. This is the business side of football, yet I get the feeling on this board that we are being way to loyal to an individual player who is yet to do really anything for us.

I don't agree with the saying "Its too soon to give up on Mauti". I say we should make him earn his keep. If he can't stay healthy, or doesn't step up to be a starter/good backup, we should move on from him.


If he doesn't step up as a starter this year, Mauti's not going to be a factor in their long-term plans at MLB.

They've already got other possibilities at the position this year -- Brinkley, Cole, maybe even Greenway -- so no one's being "way too loyal".

Mauti was a 7th round draft pick just last year, so no one's "investing all your time/money into that one player". He's under (a very cheap) contract until 2016, so it's not hurting anything to "hold on to unproven players and hope they work out", in his case.

The point is just that today is too soon to give up on Mauti, before he gets his second training camp (his first one healthy). If he was ever going to step up as a starter, it would happen this year in camp. We have no idea if he's ahead or behind the curve to develop into a starter, because the last time we saw him play LB was the 4th preseason game last year. There were some encouraging signs last year -- he'd moved ahead of Cole on Frazier's usually static depth chart before he (Mauti) got re-injured. So maybe he can still do it, too soon to say he can't.
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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Krauser wrote:


The point is just that today is too soon to give up on Mauti, before he gets his second training camp (his first one healthy). If he was ever going to step up as a starter, it would happen this year in camp. We have no idea if he's ahead or behind the curve to develop into a starter, because the last time we saw him play LB was the 4th preseason game last year. There were some encouraging signs last year -- he'd moved ahead of Cole on Frazier's usually static depth chart before he (Mauti) got re-injured. So maybe he can still do it, too soon to say he can't.


Part of this thread is a prediction based assessment. Which was my intention in regards to Cox and Rudolph.

However, Mauti being a 7th rd pick offers little comfort to me. If he doesnt see the field in 2014, there is no reason to have any faith in him as the future. A 2 year career on the bench is typical of most 7th rd picks, I cant say that Mauti will break the mold of a typical 7th rd pick.

Perhaps Mauti will be a pleasant surprise, which I am hoping for. But of all the questions marks on this roster going forward, I am least confident in the MLB spot.

As others have mentioned, I would like to see Cole at OLB or in a nickel LB type position where MN can take advantage of his strengths (pass rushing and coverage). Cole might be able to play WLB, which would move Greenway to MLB. Perhaps that is the best combo at this time for the WLB/MLB spots. At this point, I trust Cole over Brinkley, Mauti and Hodges as a player who might see the field around 50% of the time. Greenway should be a 65% to 75% of the time player and I am starting to lean towards plugging him in at MLB to start camp just to see what happens.
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KeithVikings28


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently the Vikings have been having talk with Kevin Williams, thoughts?
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VikeManDan


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KeithVikings28 wrote:
Apparently the Vikings have been having talk with Kevin Williams, thoughts?

This is being discussed in the Swiss Army Thread.
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Krauser


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.reddit.com/r/minnesotavikings/comments/2aiers/i_just_had_a_great_indepth_inperson_conversation/

An anonymous but long-time poster on the Reddit Vikings forum wrote up some notes from a conversation he had with an anonymous Vikings position coach about the state of the roster.

I don't know if the information is reliable but it's plausible enough -- reasonably balanced with positives and negatives, some gaps from the interviewer forgetting to ask about some players (like any of the free agents) and detailed accounts of players that wouldn't typically attract much attention from fans.

A major part of the conversation is about depth at RB, FB and WR, and the offense gets more attention than the defense, so I'm betting the source is a position coach for one of the non-QB offensive skill positions.

It's worth clicking through to read the whole thing but here are the highlights:
--Positive reports: Leonard, Asiata, Banyard, McKinnon, Felton, Thielen, Colter, Bridgewater ("it sounds like he's delivering on all the hype, and then some"), Robison, Rhodes, Smith, the D-line, the defensive scheme
--Mixed: Exum (talented but a "head case")
--Negative reports: Lora, Rodney Smith, Greenway, Cole, the LBs as a whole (including Mauti, Cole and Hodges), the secondary beyond Rhodes and Smith.

Source also apparently endorses the idea that they had Manziel slightly ahead of Bridgewater on draft day -- and they only those 2 as 1st round QBs.

Again, I think it's plausible but who knows. Comments suggest the poster has no prior track record of making stuff up or being disruptive, and his avatar is a Mauti jersey even though the report on Mauti is negative, which lends some credibility.
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VikeManDan


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this Krauser. That's exciting news about McKinnon really looking forward to watching him.
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jshowers


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For some reason I have a tough time believing a Vikings position coach would be so open and explicit in discussing our roster and the successes/failures of specific players with a random fan, especially at this point in time. Wouldn't surprise me if it was some lower level intern or something talking up his position and spouting off w/ his opinion.

Either way, worth a post and interesting read.
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Krauser


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jshowers wrote:
For some reason I have a tough time believing a Vikings position coach would be so open and explicit in discussing our roster and the successes/failures of specific players with a random fan, especially at this point in time. Wouldn't surprise me if it was some lower level intern or something talking up his position and spouting off w/ his opinion.

Either way, worth a post and interesting read.


The poster is the one who described the guy he was talking to as a member of the new coaching staff, so he'd be the one guilty of exaggeration if that's the case. Apparently he doesn't have any known history of telling tall tales online.

People talk about work after hours. Nothing there that couldn't come up in conversation between a couple of guys chatting at a backyard BBQ or a kids soccer game. It's not like the information is valuable to their opponents, like a playbook or whatever.

I'm pretty skeptical in general but this rings true to me.
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vike daddy


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i can't find anything that speaks to Exum being a "head case," which is of course a very broad statement. he's no dummy, having already graduated with a degree in finance and pursuing a second degree in marketing.
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