Well, that was fun ! The NFL draft came and went in the usual meteoric manor and as the smoke clears, it’s time for the pigskin prognosticators to begin the endless task of evaluating the efforts of their favorite teams.
So, without further ado, here is my humble take.
First of all I would like to state that in light of the fact that my team has been so inexplicably quiet this off season, I was happy just to see movement in a positive direction. Overall, I think Chilly and co. did a nice job addressing the needs of the team and despite the old “ We are going to pick the best player available regardless of position” mantra, they came away with both quality and value.
They made an interesting splash with the number 1 pick in Percy Harvin, who could become the play maker they desperately needed. In college, Harvin was a human highlight film. Possibly the most productive and explosive player in the entire draft. As a matter of fact, without the extracurricular baggage, he may have been a top 5 selection. A prototypical “Boom or Bust” player who in 3 years could be the best player to come out of this draft or be the feature subject on America’s most wanted. Childress is no doubt convinced that he can control and focus this guy to keep him in line. He’d better hope that he is right. Because it is Chilly’s butt if he’s not. Personally, I would have gone the safer route and accepted RT Micheal Oher as a “Gift from the football Gods” as he slid to the team in unexpected fashion. But hey, that’s just me. I am certainly not disappointed and I am ( like everyone else) enamored with stars in my eyes at the prospect of what Harvin can bring to the team by making defenses account for the triumvirate of Adrian Peterson, Bernard Berrian and Harvin. It is picks like this that sell tickets, get people excited and get stadiums built.
Draft Grade – On guts alone, I give this an “A”. If you factor in the risks one comes to a solid overall of
“ B “.
Second round – Phil Loadholt – Interestingly, I had the Vikings selecting Loadholt in round 2 but really feared he would not last that long. I am delighted with this pick. I think he’s going to start immediately, and play at or above the pro bowl level at RT for the next ten years. With Bryant McKennie as a bookend, the Vikings now have the biggest most powerful tackle combo in the NFL.
Third round – Asher Allen – I was elated when the Vikings pick came up and D.J. Moore was still on the board. But alas, the Viking brain trust made their selection without consulting me ( Hard to believe I know !). And you know what ? The Vikings got it right ! …. amazing, huh ? Allen’s probably not as good of an athlete or overall player then Moore, but he may well be a better fit for the Cover two defense that the Vikings run. A high character guy who plays the ball well and can be physical. Nice second gear when in long coverage. Very good ball skills, but doesn’t cause many turnovers. Nice need pick though as he is a good scheme fit..
In the fifth round the Vikings selected a linebacker that my fellow VikingGabber Adam Warwas loves. In Jasper Brinkley. Would have been selected much higher except for the devastating knee injury suffered. He’s back on the playing field, and although he had clearly lost a step, he was gaining his strength and speed and if he can recover completely, then the Purple and gold could have a steal. He’s probably more of a situational linebacker. Terrific against the run , but a liability on passing downs. However, the team needed depth behind E.J.Henderson and the team hopes Brinkley can fill the bill.
In round seven the Vikes went for another boom or bust type in safety Jamarca Sanford. Sanford offers decent upside with a checkered past. Clearly worth a shot with a number seven selection based on the lack of depth at the position. Could be a very good special teamer with a decent chance to make the team.
Overall the Vikings clearly drafted based on need and I am having a hard time criticizing any of these choices. Oher would have been nice in round 1, and I would have like them to grag a Center and possibly a developmental TE, but otherwise very, very solid job solidifying the three most pressing needs in an impressive way.
Overall Draft Grade – B