2014 NFL Offseason: Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings (Last Year: 5-10-1)

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2014 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
WR Lestar Jean, TE Allen Reisner, G Vladimir Ducasse, DE Corey Wootton, DT Linval Joseph, DT Tom Johnson, ILB Jasper Brinkley, CB Captain Munnerlyn, CB Derek Cox, S Kurt Coleman.
Early Draft Picks:
DE/OLB Anthony Barr, QB Teddy Bridgewater, DE Scott Crichton, RB Jerrick McKinnon, G/OT David Yankey, CB/S Antone Exum, CB Kendall James. Vikings Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
QB Josh Freeman, RB Toby Gerhart, WR/QB Joe Webb, TE John Carlson, DE Jared Allen, DT Kevin Williams, DT Letroy Guion, ILB Erin Henderson, ILB Desmond Bishop, CB Chris Cook, CB A.J. Jefferson.

2014 Minnesota Vikings Offense:
As amazing as Adrian Peterson is, the Vikings had to find a franchise quarterback to help them advance deep into the playoffs. Peterson could only get them so far. He gained a ridiculous 2,097 rushing yards in 2012, yet Minnesota had a quick, first-round exit because it had poor play from the quarterback position. Matt Cassel provided more stability there this past season than Christian Ponder did, but he's just not good enough to lead a team to the Super Bowl. The Vikings knew this, and that's why they traded up into the back end of the first round to select Teddy Bridgewater.

Whether or not Bridgewater is the answer is debatable. Many of those on Twitter were big fans and couldn't believe that their favorite quarterback prospect fell so far into the draft. However, this Web site's sources have said that Bridgewater was never a highly regarded prospect to begin with, given that he's not great in any single category. In fact, one team that already had a franchise quarterback graded Bridgewater in the fourth round. Bridgewater doesn't have many negative traits though, so he should be an adequate starter at the very least. If the Vikings surround him with enough talented weapons, perhaps he can help Minnesota claim its first Lombardi Trophy.

Minnesota has some skilled weapons for Bridgewater to utilize. Peterson will obviously be a big help. The opposition will be focused on stopping him, which will open up more opportunities for Bridgewater downfield. Bridgewater's No. 1 target will be Cordarrelle Patterson. The 2013 first-rounder started his rookie campaign slowly, but flashed some serious potential down the stretch, including a 5-141-1 outing at Baltimore in December. New offensive coordinator Norv Turner plans to get Patterson heavily involved; in fact, the first thing he did upon getting hired was design 10 plays specifically for Patterson. The former Volunteer will start across from Greg Jennings, who predictably had a disappointing 2013 campaign after chasing money. Jennings, who was a product of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, will never live up to expectations in Minnesota, though he should perform better this upcoming season with improved quarterback play.

The other options in the passing game include Jerome Simpson, who was re-signed to a 1-year deal, and tight end Kyle Rudolph, who is poised to have a huge campaign. Turner has always transformed his tight ends into big stat-producers - see Jordan Cameron in Cleveland last season - and Rudolph should be no exception. He played in just eight games in 2013 because of a foot injury, so Minnesota's offense will automatically be upgraded with him back on the field.

The offensive line is important for any young quarterback's progression, and Minnesota has a solid one. In fact, the Vikings had just one liability up front this past season, which was left guard Charlie Johnson. He'll be back, but fifth-round rookie David Yankey could push him. The rest of the interior is comprised of center John Sullivan and right guard Brandon Fusco, both of whom are coming off quality campaigns.

The most talented player up front is left tackle Matt Kalil. The No. 4 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Kalil has not disappointed as a pro. He surrendered just four sacks in 2013. He's bookended by Phil Loadholt, a tremendous run-blocker who lived up to the 4-year, $25 million contract he signed last March.

2014 Minnesota Vikings Defense:
If Matt Cassel and Charlie Johnson start for Minnesota, its offense will return every single starter from 2013. The same can't be said for the defense, however. In fact, nearly half of the starters are gone.

Long-time Vikings Jared Allen and Kevin Williams will no longer be starting on the defensive line. Allen has signed with the Bears, while Williams defected for Seattle. However, the Vikings spent lots of resources on bolstering a front that mostly struggled this past season. For example, they signed former Giant Linval Joseph to a 5-year, $31.5 million contract in free agency. Joseph is a 25-year-old monstrous defensive tackle (6-4, 323) who stuffs the run well and also gets to the quarterback effectively. He figures to provide an upgrade on the line next to 2013 first-rounder Sharrif Floyd, who didn't play well this past season. Floyd, however, was just a rookie, so he'll almost certainly improve in 2014.

Minnesota also spent a ton of money on one of its own players, re-signing Everson Griffen to a 5-year, $42.5 million deal. The contract was absolutely outrageous, as Griffen had just 5.5 sacks in 2013, proving to be just an above-average performer on the field. Still, he has lots of potential, so he could possibly blossom into a double-digit sack performer. He'll start across from Brian Robison, who has 25 sacks in the past three seasons. Third-round rookie Scott Crichton will provide depth for now, but he could emerge as a starter eventually.

The Vikings absolutely had to upgrade their atrocious secondary, so they managed to do so by signing former Panther Captain Munnerlyn, who is coming off an outstanding 2013 campaign. There are some concerns that Munnerlyn was a product of Carolina's ferocious front seven, but he should still prove to be an upgrade over the departed Chris Cook, who was torched regularly in 2013. Besides, Munnerlyn won't have to cover top receivers; that onus will fall on last year's first-rounder, Xavier Rhodes, who performed exceptionally as a rookie.

The safety position will also be better because Harrison Smith figures to be available for most of the season for a change. Harrison missed about half of 2013 because of a turf toe injury, and he wasn't the same when he returned in December. Smith will help upgrade one of the NFL's worst pass defenses. He'll start next to Jamarca Sanford, who was just adequate this past season. Also, it's worth noting that head coach Mike Zimmer's presence should aid the secondary. He constantly got the most out of old or mediocre secondary players as Cincinnati's defensive coordinator.

Zimmer's defenses love to utilize a pass-rushing linebacker, so it was no surprise that Minnesota chose Anthony Barr with the No. 9 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. Barr is a bit raw as a former running back, but he has tons of potential, and he should be able to bolster the Vikings' pass rush. The rest of the linebacking corps needs help, however. Barr will start with Chad Greenway, who is coming off a poor season, and Jasper Brinkley, who is a huge liability in coverage. Greenway could improve a bit - he used to be a tremendous player for the Vikings - but he's on the down side of his career at the age of 31.

2014 Minnesota Vikings Schedule and Intangibles:
Minnesota is just 16-58-1 when playing outdoors in the past 12 seasons. That doesn't bode well for them in 2014, given that they'll be playing at University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium while their new home is being built. This is a huge deal. Back in 2002, the Bears, who were coming off a 13-3 campaign, were in a similar situation, having to play at the University of Illinois while Soldier Field was being renovated. Chicago didn't have a real home, and as a consequence, went 4-12. The Saints also struggled similarly when they couldn't use the Superdome in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Vikings will essentially be on the road for 16 games, so victories will be extremely difficult to come by.

Blair Walsh took the league by storm as a rookie in 2012, drilling 35-of-38 tries, including a perfect 10-of-10 from 50-plus. He wasn't as impressive in 2013. He still managed to hit 26-of-30 tries, but was just 2-of-5 from beyond 50.

Punter Chris Kluwe was deemed too much of a distraction and was consequently dumped. The Vikings spent a fifth-round pick in 2013 on replacement Jeff Locke. He finished in the middle of the pack in terms of net average and attempts placed inside the 20.

The good news, in terms of Minnesota's special teams, is that it scored three touchdowns last year, thanks to Marcus Sherels and Cordarrelle Patterson. The bad news is that the Vikings surrendered two scores themselves, as they were outgained on kick returns.

So much for a last-place schedule. The Vikings open with the Rams, Patriots, Saints, Falcons, Packers and Lions. Things get easier after that, but a potential 1-5 start with no forthcoming home games could bury them.

2014 Minnesota Vikings Rookies:
Go here for the Vikings Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.

2014 Minnesota Vikings Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Offensive Line
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams

2014 Minnesota Vikings Analysis: The Vikings have some hope for the future with Teddy Bridgewater on the roster, but it'll be a major surprise if they compete for a playoff spot this year, given that they effectively have 16 road games on their slate. They'll be competitive at times, but another disappointing season could be in the works.

Projection: 3-13 (4th in NFC North)

2014 Fantasy Football Rankings

More 2014 NFL Season Previews

Follow @walterfootball for updates.


NFL Draft Team Grade: B+ Grade

Goals Entering the 2014 NFL Draft: The Vikings would love for either Blake Bortles or Khalil Mack to fall to them. There's no chance the latter will be available, but Bortles could be. If not, they'll probably have to decide between Anthony Barr and Derek Carr. An ideal situation would be for Minnesota to move down and snag Carr in the mid- or late-teens. After that, they'd have to find some upgrades for their lackluster back seven.

2014 NFL Draft Accomplishments: I don't understand how Anthony Barr can be perceived as a reach for Minnesota. He was linked to them this entire time, and if Jake Matthews hadn't been on the board at No. 6, the Falcons probably would have chosen him at that juncture. Barr fit the range and filled one of Minnesota's top needs - and the team was able to obtain an extra pick in a trade with Cleveland before snagging him.

Barr is one of many solid selections the Vikings made throughout the weekend. In fact, excluding the seventh round, I gave just one of their selections lower than a B, which was the "C" I posted for Jerick McKinnon (there were better running backs available). Minnesota may have found its franchise quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater at No. 32. I'm not as crazy about Bridgewater as DraftTwitter is, but he should at least be a decent starter. Scott Crichton, meanwhile, was a steal in the third frame. He and Barr will help compensate for the loss of Jared Allen.

I liked the Vikings' draft overall. I would've done a couple of things differently, but there's no doubt that Rick Spielman improved his roster.

NFL Draft Individual Grades:

8. Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA: B Grade

This is a pretty decent pick. The Vikings needed someone to replace Jared Allen, and Anthony Barr is the top pass-rusher available. Some even considered Barr to be superior to Khalil Mack. If you're wondering about Barr's fit in a 4-3 defense, Mike Zimmer's scheme calls for a pass-rushing linebacker. Minnesota will use Barr like Von Miller. I don't have as big of a problem for Minnesota passing on Johnny Manziel because he doesn't really fit Norv Turner's offense. The Vikings can get Derek Carr later.

32. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: B Grade

Many of Teddy Bridgewater's fan base on Twitter will praise this pick, but I'm not in love with it. It's solid, but remember that there's a reason nearly every single team in the NFL passed on him. Bridgewater doesn't have any great traits. He doesn't have any glaring negative ones either, but this all just means that he's going to be an average starter at best, and I'm concerned about him playing outdoors over the next couple of years. Having said that, "average starter at best" is a big upgrade over what the Vikings have had at quarterback since Brett Favre.

72. Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State: A- Grade
With Anthony Barr and Scott Crichton on the team, the Vikings are definitely going to put much more pressure on the quarterback in 2014. It's understandable that Minnesota is adding all of these pass-rushers, as it had to compensate for the loss of Jared Allen. This is nice value for Crichton, who could have easily gone in the middle of Round 2.

96. Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern: C Grade
The Vikings had to find some depth behind Adrian Peterson after losing Toby Gerhart to Jacksonville. However, there were better running backs available than Jerick McKinnon, who doesn't really have a natural position. I thought McKinnon would come off the board around Round 5, so this is a slight reach.

145. David Yankey, G/OT, Stanford: B+ Grade
David Yankey was once seen as a possible first-round prospect - one known analyst declared that he would be the first guard chosen in the draft - but the Stanford product fell because of poor play this past season. I still think the Vikings are getting good value here, and Yankey could potentially challenge to start at left guard.

182. Antone Exum, CB/S, Virginia Tech: A- Grade
I like this pick a lot. The Vikings are addressing a big need in their secondary. A sixth-round pick normally wouldn't have a chance to start at any point, but Antone Exum would've been chosen earlier if it wasn't for injury concerns.

184. Kendall James, CB, Maine: B Grade
I have no issues with the Vikings taking another defensive back. Their secondary has to be bolstered. Kendall James fits the range as a Round 5-6 prospect. Solid choice.

220. Shamar Stephen, DT, Connecticut: A Grade
I had Shamar Stephen going a couple of rounds earlier than this, so I like the value Minnesota is getting here. The team passed on Aaron Donald in the first round, but Stephen is talented and could be a contributor at some point in the near future.

223. Brandon Watts, OLB, Georgia Tech: C Grade
It's odd that this is the first non-pass-rushing linebacker the Vikings have chosen. They could have waited on Brandon Watts, who wasn't projected to be drafted.

225. Jabari Price, CB, North Carolina: C Grade
This is Minnesota's third defensive back, so that should tell you how much of a perceived need this was for the team. I don't like this pick as much as the other two, however, because I didn't have Jabari Price as a draftable player.

Season Summary:
Going from a playoff berth to last place in the division will get most coaches fired, and that's exactly what happened to Leslie Frazier. The decision to let him go was unjustified, however, as his team finished on a 4-3-1 run despite having Matt Cassel at the helm. The Vikings will have to find a new franchise quarterback for their new coach.

Offseason Moves:
  • Seahawks sign DT Kevin Williams
  • Chiefs sign OT J'Marcus Webb
  • Seahawks sign CB A.J. Jefferson
  • Giants sign QB Josh Freeman
  • Vikings sign TE Allen Reisner
  • Vikings sign S Kurt Coleman
  • Vikings sign WR Lestar Jean
  • Bears sign DE Jared Allen
  • Vikings sign G Vladimir Ducasse
  • Panthers sign QB/WR Joe Webb
  • Vikings sign DE Corey Wootton
  • Vikings sign DT Tom Johnson
  • Packers sign DT Letroy Guion
  • Vikings re-sign G Charlie Johnson
  • 49ers sign CB Chris Cook
  • Vikings re-sign WR Jerome Simpson
  • Vikings sign CB Captain Munnerlyn
  • Vikings sign CB Derek Cox
  • Vikings re-sign DT Fred Evans
  • Vikings sign DT Linval Joseph
  • Jaguars sign RB Toby Gerhart
  • Vikings re-sign C Joe Berger
  • Vikings re-sign DE Everson Griffen
  • Vikings sign ILB Jasper Brinkley
  • Vikings re-sign QB Matt Cassel
  • Vikings re-sign CB/KR Marcus Sherels
  • Cardinals sign TE John Carlson
  • Vikings cut DT Letroy Guion
  • Vikings cut TE John Carlson
  • Vikings cut ILB Erin Henderson

    Team Needs:
    1. Quarterback: Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, Josh Freeman... who can possibly win with these scrubs besides the likes of Bill Belichick and Jim Harbaugh? Cassel makes for a nice backup, but Minnesota needs a new starter. Perhaps it'll draft a quarterback at No. 8 overall this May. Re-signed Matt Cassel

    2. Cornerback: Chris Cook is a free agent, but he never lived up to expectations anyway. The Vikings will need a No. 2 corner to play across from Xavier Rhodes, who was awesome as a rookie. Signed Captain Munnerlyn and Derek Cox

    3. Defensive End: Jared Allen saw a drop in production this past season, which was to be expected considering that he turned 31 before the year began. Allen is a free agent and is not expected back with the team. Re-signed Everson Griffen; signed Corey Wootton

    4. Safety: Harrison Smith didn't play very much in 2013, so Minnesota will love to have him back on the field. The team will need to find another safety to play alongside him, however. Signed Kurt Coleman

    5. Inside Linebacker: The Vikings cut Erin Henderson because of his two DUIs since November, so they'll have to find a new middle linebacker. Signed Jasper Brinkley

    6. Defensive Tackle: As with Allen, Kevin Williams is another free agent-to-be on Minnesota's defensive front. His interior presence will be missed if he moves on to another team. The Vikings will need to add someone to play next to Sharrif Floyd. Signed Linval Joseph

    7. Strongside Linebacker: The Vikings can do better than Marvin Mitchell at strongside linebacker, especially if Chad Greenway struggles again.

    8. Left Guard: Charlie Johnson has performed better at guard than he did at left tackle, but he's not good enough. He happens to be a free agent anyway. Re-signed Charlie Johnson; signed Vladimir Ducasse

    9. Wide Receiver: Minnesota's new quarterback could use a better tertiary option to go along with Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson. Jerome Simpson is a free agent. Re-signed Jerome Simpson; signed Lestar Jean

    10. Running Back: Toby Gerhart is a free agent, so Minnesota will need to find a new running back to spell Adrian Peterson.

      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    2014 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Captain Munnerlyn, CB, Panthers. Age: 26.
      Signed with Vikings (3 years)

      Captain Munnerlyn wasn't even starting at the beginning of the 2012 season, yet he's turned into a terrific corner for the Panthers. He'll only be 26 in April.

    2. Linval Joseph, DT, Giants. Age: 25.
      Signed with Vikings (5 years, $31.5 million)

      Linval Joseph is a monstrous run-stuffer who can get to the quarterback quite well for a 325-pound defensive tackle. He'll only be 26 in October.

    3. Corey Wootton, DE, Bears. Age: 27.
      Signed with Vikings (1 year)

      Corey Wootton happens to be solid in run support, but he's only average when it comes to rushing the passer. He had seven sacks in 2012, but saw that number cut in half this past season.

    4. Derek Cox, CB, Chargers. Age: 27. -- Signed with Vikings (1 year)
    5. Jasper Brinkley, ILB, Cardinals. Age: 29. -- Signed with Vikings (1 year)
    6. Kurt Coleman, S, Eagles. Age: 26. -- Signed with Vikings
    7. Lestar Jean (RFA), WR, Texans. Age: 26. -- Signed with Vikings
    8. Tom Johnson (RFA), DE/DT, Saints. Age: 30. -- Signed with Vikings (1 year, $845,000)
    9. Vladimir Ducasse, G, Jets. Age: 26. -- Signed with Vikings (1 year)
    10. Allen Reisner (RFA), TE, Jaguars. Age: 25. -- Signed with Vikings

    Minnesota Vikings Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Jared Allen, DE, Vikings. Age: 32.
      Signed with Bears (4 years, $32 million)

      Jared Allen has been one of the NFL's top pass-rushers over the past seven years, but he struggled a bit at times this past season. A sign of age, or was this just a fluke? The team that signs him to a big contract will have to worry about Allen declining at 32.

    2. Kevin Williams, DT, Vikings. Age: 34.
      Signed with Seahawks

      Kevin Williams, 34 in August, is no longer the disruptive force he once was, but he's still capable of flashing greatness, as he did in the Washington game when he had two sacks against Robert Griffin in the fourth quarter.

    3. Chris Cook, CB, Vikings. Age: 27.
      Signed with 49ers (1 year)

      Chris Cook is a skilled cornerback, but has never lived up to his talent level. He also has some off-the-field baggage.

    4. Erin Henderson, ILB, Vikings. Age: 28.
      Erin Henderson played well for the most part this past season as a three-down linebacker, but he's been arrested twice for DUIs over the past four months.

    5. Everson Griffen, DE, Vikings. Age: 26.
      Re-signed with Vikings (5 years)

      Everson Griffen is a quality nickel pass-rusher - he had eight sacks in 2012 - but it remains to be seen if he can be a full-time starter.

    6. Desmond Bishop, ILB, Vikings. Age: 30.
      Desmond Bishop is a very talented linebacker, but he tore his hamstring in 2012 and then his ACL this past season. He may have to settle for the veteran minimum, and if so, he'll be a hell of a high-upside bargain.

    7. Matt Cassel, QB, Vikings. Age: 32.
      Re-signed with Vikings (2 years, $10 million)

      Matt Cassel had some solid performances down the stretch - his 26-of-35, 382-yard outing in a win over the Eagles in particular - but he's nothing more than a strong backup. If a team has plans for him to be its starter next year, it'll be making a big mistake.

    8. Josh Freeman, QB, Vikings. Age: 26.
      Signed with Giants

      Josh Freeman can be a decent starting quarterback if he ever gets his act clean up and is once again paired with a quarterback guru (like he was with Greg Olson). Unfortunately, Freeman is just a project right now.

    9. Letroy Guion, DT, Vikings. Age: 27. -- Signed with Packers
    10. Fred Evans, DT, Vikings. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Vikings
    11. Marcus Sherels (RFA), CB/KR, Vikings. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Vikings
    12. Charlie Johnson, G, Vikings. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Vikings (2 years, $2.5 million)
    13. John Carlson, TE, Vikings. Age: 30. -- Signed with Cardinals (2 years)
    14. Toby Gerhart, RB, Vikings. Age: 27. -- Signed with Jaguars (3 years, $10.5 million)
    15. Jerome Simpson, WR, Vikings. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Vikings
    16. J'Marcus Webb, OT, Vikings. Age: 26. -- Signed with Chiefs
    17. Joe Webb, QB/WR, Vikings. Age: 27. -- Signed with Panthers
    18. Marvin Mitchell, OLB, Vikings. Age: 29.
    19. Joe Berger, C, Vikings. Age: 32. -- Re-signed with Vikings
    20. A.J. Jefferson, CB, Vikings. Age: 26. -- Signed with Seahawks
    21. Seth Olsen (RFA), G, Vikings. Age: 28.
    22. Troy Kropog (RFA), OT, Vikings. Age: 28.
    23. Larry Dean (RFA), OLB, Vikings. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Vikings

    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors

    NFL Free Agents

    NFL Picks - Feb. 7

    2017 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 5

    2016 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 4

    2016 NBA Mock Draft - Feb. 2

    Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 15

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    VikingsSB51 (Anonymous Poster)
    13 day(s) 13 hour(s) ago - hide

    With Sullivan and Loadholt returning from injury I see Berger and Clemmings moving inside to Guard only issue on our offensive line would be Matt Kalil and he might be worth keeping around for another year (I'd rather see us cut him and sign Cordy Glenn, Russel Okung or Kelvin Beachum).

    Need a tall number 1 receiver in the draft ( Laquon Treadwell, Michael Thomas, Tyler Boyd) and a Slot upgrade over Jarius Wright 

    i see us signing George Iloka due to the Cincinnati connection with Zimmer

    Also would like to sign/draft a S/LB hybrid to play WLB in the 4-3

    Could also use a Developmental QB RB3 more o-line depth Big DE (too many small pass rusher types) replacement for Tom Johnson at DT and finally a new Punter 

    1    0 Reply
    Shane167 30 Posts (12 )
    12 day(s) 13 hour(s) ago - hide
    @VikingsSB51 Agree with needing a big WR but i'd throw in Doctson over Treadwell. Treadwell wont be available. We do not need a slot, not sure what makes you think that, we have several of those. We have our young developmental QB in Heinecke, itd be better to either get and experienced vet or get Hill back with a better deal. WE dont need a fourth RB. all we have are big DEs, and id be shocked to see us look for a beter third DT, hard to find one.
    1    0 Reply
    Jello (Anonymous Poster)
    12 day(s) 14 hour(s) ago - hide
    Walter - Please try to understand that the Vikings o-line woes last season were exacerbated by injury and poor positional change implementation by a poor o-line coach (who has been released). The Vikings starters last year of Kalil/Fusco/Berger/Harris/Clemmings pales next to a projected lineup of Kalil/Berger/Sullivan/Fusco/Loadholt with Clemmings and Harris acting as utility backups. Fusco played at near pro bowl levels at RG a few years ago but struggled on the left side. Berger is the Vikings best lineman currently and has played both OG and C throughout his career. Getting Sullivan and Loadholt back is getting two of our top 3 lineman back and moving Fusco back to his original position is improving our fourth best lineman. So really, we are already upgrading four positions (with the possible exception of C which will be a bit of a wash) by virtue of health and proper positioning. I agree with what others have said about obtaining an OT to compete and hopefully replace either Loadholt or Kalil now or in the future, but that should not be done with a high pick. Third round at earliest to pick up a high upside player to develop. Otherwise, WR and S are our biggest needs. 
    4    0 Reply
    linus (Anonymous Poster)
    13 day(s) 3 hour(s) ago - hide
    @Shane167 - Fusco was also coming off a torn pectoral muscle, which (depending on how severe it is) can be pretty difficult to do, especially for a lineman. It might also have made it more difficult to switch sides, since everything he used to with his right arm now needed to be done with his left, and vice-versa.
    1    0 Reply
    linus (Anonymous Poster)
    13 day(s) 3 hour(s) ago - hide
    "Teddy Bridgewater... isn't the most durable quarterback in the NFL." Just 'cuz he looks skinny doesn't mean he isn't durable. He's only missed one start in almost two full seasons, and he probably wouldn't have missed that one either if he'd had a full week to prepare (it was a Thursday night game).
    3    0 Reply
    Shane167 30 Posts (12 )
    13 day(s) 8 hour(s) ago - hide
    Few things need to be fixed, one guard is needed, Fusco is a good RG, he was out of position, Berger will be back to guard with Sully back, and also Clemmings might be going back to Guard like the plan was prior to Loads getting hurt. one is needed not two. WR is a far bigger need then safety, i get it you have no idea what you are talking about but Newman just had a very good year age considered and will only be better at Safety. get rid of DT, we have a top five DL, and Tom Johnson, Ellis (who is a solid 4) and also consider Trattou, Hunter, and Robison/Griff move in sometimes. RB? bro we have AP and Mckinnon. proper list would be 1. ONE Guard. 2. WR. 3. LB. 4. S. 5. Punter.
    0    0 Reply
    Purplelicious (Anonymous Poster)
    13 day(s) 9 hour(s) ago - hide
    @VikingsSB51 Nah fam, Jairius Wright doesn't need to be replaced, if anything he needs to be featured more. He is a great fit for Teddy, because he knows how to get open on the intermediate routes Teddy loves to throw, and is accurate on. And also, he never gives up on a play, always is open when Teddy scrambles. Plus we just signed him on a four year contract, I think at least. Him and Diggs are the only receivers that playing style syncs up with Teddy. And Teddy is no Brady, so we need to put tools out on the field that will extenuate Teddy's talents, which are his mobility and short-intermediate throws. 
    2    0 Reply
    Mr. Bitter 635 Posts (137 )
    13 day(s) 14 hour(s) ago - hide
    John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt will return next season, so Clemmings (ideally a bulldozing guard) and Berger (Pro Bowl-level at C this season) could slide over to the G spots. Guard is not a weakness, especially if Harris is re-signed. If anything, the Vikings would be better served locating a high-upside, 2nd-day OT to push Loadholt and/or replace Kalil in a few seasons. The need for a big, reliable WR is far and away Minnesota's greatest offseason need.
    3    0 Reply
    Peej (Anonymous Poster)
    6 month(s) 23 day(s) ago - hide
    @Dutch Owl  I think that's Charlie's mock, not Walt's.
    0    0 Reply
    Dutch Owl (Anonymous Poster)
    6 month(s) 23 day(s) ago - hide
    @Peej you are right.  Walt had the Vikes at 19th on his last update a month ago.  With his total re-evaluation of all the teams still in progress I'll have to give him credit.
    0    0 Reply
    Dutch Owl (Anonymous Poster)
    6 month(s) 26 day(s) ago - hide
    Hey Walt what gives?  You have the Vikings selecting 11th in your 2016 mock draft and finishing 10-6 in your Projections.  That would mean 21 teams finish better than 10-6.  Wow.
    0    0 Reply
    Bengals 1 Posts (2 )
    7 month(s) 0 day(s) ago - hide
    As a die hard bengals fan i agree completely with your prediction for the Vikings. Zimmer did wonders for the "bad character" guys in our locker back in cincy (pacman jones for example). I have no doubt in my mind that he'll get Mike Wallace on the right track. In my predictions I had them tied with the Lions at 8-8 in the NFC North but if this team could build some kind of home field advantage and if AP comes into this season with something to prove, the sky is the limit for this team.  
    1    0 Reply
    vikingfan 0 Posts (0)
    7 month(s) 0 day(s) ago - hide
    A surprisingly optimistic take by Walt, hope he is correct but the obvious issues are going to be at the DE spot with Robison struggling and the OL, ill conservatively say 8-8.
    0    0 Reply
    ischweer (Anonymous Poster)
    11 month(s) 24 day(s) ago - hide
    Right Guard won't be a need, we just signed Brandon Fusco to an extension last offseason and he's pretty good. We do need to get Charles Johnson the f*ck outta there though.
    7    0 Reply
    linus (Anonymous Poster)
    9 month(s) 13 day(s) ago - hide
    @ischweer Johnson is already gone
    1    0 Reply
    WL - Mpls (Anonymous Poster)
    10 month(s) 17 day(s) ago - hide

    As others noted, Walt did do enough research to know Fusco was the starting RG for the Vikings last year, and will be back from injury. 

    Also absent from the FA signings/gradings is the acquisition of Mike Wallace- the Vikings' biggest FA move this off-season.

    2    0 Reply
    lehm4691 117 Posts (49 )
    11 month(s) 11 day(s) ago - hide
    Like other people have commented on here, the RG position is held down by Brandon Fusco, who is a top 5-10 RG.  Berger was the backup swing G/C.  Berger could be retained as the top backup OLman and could be the bridge starter at LG if needed.
    6    0 Reply
    Con4Vikes (Anonymous Poster)
    11 month(s) 16 day(s) ago - hide

    I think it is becoming apparent that AP is going elsewhere. Best team fit and compensation would be the Cardinals Arians and AP with that defense would push them over the top in that tough division I see a 2nd 3rd and 6th in this years draft as compensation. With the Cap Space sign Clint Boling LG Bengals (only 25 years old Zimmer connection) Adrian Clayborn for depth at DE/DT. Round 1/11 Amari Cooper/ Devante Parker WR (whichever is available if not would be okay with trading back and getting DGB or Jalen Strong) TRADE UP giving up 2nd 3rd 5th 1/26 Todd Gurley RB Georgia 2/55 Owamagbe Odighizuwa DE/OLB UCLA Zimmer could either ask him to make a move to Strong side OLB or have him bulk up to replace Brian Robison 3/76 Ifo Ekpe-Olomu CB Oregon (best CB before injury) 4/ Kurtis Drummond S Michigan State/ 6th Nick Marshall CB S stash on practice squad let Zimmer develop this guy maybe set up some wildcat with him Jerrick, Gurley and Patterson could be very effective. 7th Depth OL, DL or LB


    QB Teddy, Cassel RB Jerrick, Gurley, Asiata

    WR1 Cooper/Parker WR2 CP84, Charles Johnson Slot WR Jarius Wright, Greg Jennings, TE Rudolph

    LT Kalil LG Boling C Sullivan RG Fusco RT Loadholt

    LE Robison/Odighizuwa/ RE Griffin/ Clayborn

    DT Linval Joseph, Shariff Floyd, Clayborn

    WLB Barr/ MLD Audi Cole/ SLB Odighizuwa/ Greenway (if retained)

    CB1 Xavier Rhodes/ CB2 Ifo Ekpe-Olomu/ Slot CB Captain Munnerlyn/Depth Josh Robinson

    FS Kurtis Drummond, Antoine Exum/ SS Harrison Smith, Nick Marshall


    0    8 Reply
    Heywood Jablowme (Anonymous Poster)
    11 month(s) 22 day(s) ago - hide

    1st: Devante Parker or Brandon Schrief

    2nd: O-Line/Corner or WR depending on 1st pick

    3rd: David Cobb or Tevin Coleman

    0    5 Reply
    Mr. Bitter 635 Posts (137 )
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide
    Am I the only one who recognizes the sneaky need at LDE in Minnesota? Brian Robison is an awful fit in Mike Zimmer's scheme, where the 4-3 LDE often functions as a 3-4 edge-setter. Robison is nearly 32, carries a $5.5 cap number, and backup LDE Corey Wootton was a free agent bust. Don't be shocked when the Vikings trade up for Leonard Williams.
    2    7 Reply
    JJDEMARAY 7 Posts (10 )
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide

    @Mr. Bitter 

    No chance. I love Williams and think he is easily the best player in the draft, but Spielman doesn't trade up with his first pick. Expect Trader Rick to move back up into the lower first round for another first round pick.

    I could see Spielman drafting a guy like Trey Flowers in the third round.

    4    0 Reply
    Mr. Bitter 635 Posts (137 )
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide


    Not sure how you can assume that Spielman would be opposed to trading up for Leonard Williams. Spielman is just as likely to trade up for a target prospect (Bridgewater) as he is to trade down into a better value position for a target prospect (Barr). Trey Flowers is a mid-round "maybe". Spielman has already gone that route with Scott Crichton. Assuming that the Vikes use some of their cap space to shore up their glaring needs at LG and MLB (Iupati and Maualuga?), they could go into the draft with no pressing needs. Why not move up for Williams and complete a potentially dominant, young D-line?

    2    6 Reply
    more turtle (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide
    @Mr. Bitter Trading up to pick 3-5 is vastly different than trading up to pick 32. i get that you want to trade up to get Williams, and if he falls enough for it to happen sure. But Rick believes two late first rounders is better than 1 Leonard Williams. eh -_-
    1    0 Reply
    Mr. Bitter 635 Posts (137 )
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide

    @more turtle 

    Spielman isn't as predictable as you guys are making him out to be. There's no set draft day philosophy with Spielman. He will move up or down the board, he'll forfeit 1st round picks for a veteran (Jared Allen, Ricky Williams)...he once gave up a 4th rounder to move up one spot for Vernon Carey. He targets players, then does what he has to do to go get them. He's always had a thing for prospects who begin to slide for whatever reason. Let's say that Williams is still on the board at #5 (unlikely, but very possible). According to the trade value chart, it would cost 450 points to move up from #11 (1,250) to #5 (1,700). 450 points just happens to be the exact value of Minnesota's 2nd rounder (#45). Well worth it for a potential star like Williams, IMO.

    1    3 Reply
    Kevin (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide

    @Mr. Bitter Mostly because Williams is a UT.  Trading up for him is an absolute admission that he f-ed up drafting Floyd, who actually had flashes of competence last year.

    P.S. BRob is a lot better than you think.  If it was up to BRob he would've destroyed Atlanta early in the year, but it was clear that wasn't what he was asked to do.

    1    0 Reply
    Mr. Bitter 635 Posts (137 )
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide


    Nothing to do with Floyd. Williams is versatile enough to thrive as a king-sized base end, and move inside alongside Floyd on obvious passing downs.

    Robison is average and will need to be replaced soon. Considering the rotating cast of journeymen that the Falcons trot out at RT, almost any LDE can destroy them.

    0    2 Reply
    Vikings1988 (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide
    The Vikings don't need a RG they have Fusco who is a top 3-5 RG. They are not going to trade up for Leonard Williams. They need a LG, MLB, OLB, CB, SS, and depth at WR, DL, and on the OL.
    10    0 Reply
    Mr. Bitter 635 Posts (137 )
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide


    The Vikes are set at OLB with Barr (22) and Hodges (24). You consider OLB a top need, but scoff at the idea of trading up to replace an aging, expensive vet who is a horrible schematic fit (Robison) with the best prospect in the draft, who also happens to be a perfect LDE for Zimmer's scheme (Williams). I don't get it.

    2    2 Reply
    coop2388 6 Posts (4 )
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide
    @Vikings1988 we need depth on the o line and a starting lg so he is spot on with the two guard assesment
    0    2 Reply
    Kevin (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide

    @Vikings1988 The Vikings need a #1 WR, not depth.  We already have 4 #3 receivers, don't need another one.

    I absolutely agree, we NEED an OLB.  Hodges was blatantly terrible down the stretch playing for Barr.  He was ok when he filled in for Greenway tho, so maybe he'll get a chance.

    At the start of the year, Barr was supposed to slide to DE on passing downs.  As the year went tho, it was blatantly obvious that even tho it isn't his strong suit, Barr was our best option in coverage opposite Greenway in Nickel.

    My list of needs - #2 CB, SS, OLB, MLB, LG, RB, #1 WR...then obviously depth needs, but those are the spots we should look to improve the starters for 2015 (I guess I'm assuming AD isn't back, even tho I really, really, hope he is.)

    1    2 Reply
    Kevin (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide
    @coop2388 Not really, because Walter's write-up says the RG spot needs fixed if Berger leaves, which isn't the case.
    1    0 Reply
    TER88 (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide

    Pretty good assessment of the Vikings for a change, other than the two Guards since, as mentioned below, Fusco will handle the second spot quite well.

    I wouldn't mind seeing if the Vikes could trade down some and pick-up an additional 2nd rounder, or maybe twice and get another 3rd as well, depending how the draft shakes out.  Getting a guy like Collins or Flowers from Miami would be helpful since they can play OT & G and might be available later in the 1st.  Then get a LB & WR in the 2nd.

    A bigger CB like Q Rollins (from Miami Oh) could be had in the 3rd or Josh Shaw in the 5th or 6th.  If they got an extra 3rd, a big DT like Jordan Phillips of the Sooners would be good to rotate in to help the run D.  The Gophers David Cobb could be the thunder to McKinnon's lightening and should be available in the 4th.  Then another O-lineman & D-lineman in the later rounds for depth.

    1    1 Reply
    JJDEMARAY 7 Posts (10 )
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide

    Hello Walt,

    You pretty much nailed everything except that Brian Fusco is a top 10-15 right guard and signed an extension before last season. The Vikings most pressing need is ONE LG.

    I would also rank the LT position a little higher since Kalil has struggled mightily the past two years.

    Chances are high that they target either a WR(Cooper, Parker, or White) or a guard/tackle combo like Scherff/La'El Collins.

    2    0 Reply
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