Vikings Draft 2010 – Submitted For Your Approval
Posted by LOTGK on April 26, 2010
Mr. Brett Favre, a 40 plus year old, two hundred twenty three pounds of a man, who left a second chance lying in a heap on an artificial splattered canvas at the Superdome in New Orleans. Mr. Brett Favre, who shares the most common ailment of all men-the strange and perverse disinclination to believe in a miracle, the kind of miracle to come from the mind of a little boy, perhaps only to be found… in the Metrodome.
Its been a long time since I last updated Viking Thunder. Ever since those lousy cheating bastard referee’s prevented the Vikings from advancing to the Super Bowl. (Damn, there goes three months of anger management out the freaking window!) But here I am, looking forward to the upcoming 2010 season, the 50th season of the Vikings. Could the big “5 O” be the lucky number? (All I got when I turned 50 was an application to join AARP so don’t count on it fans.)
But I digress. In all honesty, the Vikings are poised to make another deep run into the playoffs again this year. Its so cliche to say that all the pieces of the puzzle are in place, so I’m not going to say it. In fact, I am looking at some cracks in the Vikings armor.
Crack number one, Ray Edwards. Rays upset at the NFL and its no-cap year making him ineligible as a free agent. Mind you, this is no fault of the Viking organization, yet Ray refuses to sign his tender offer and has stated he will not participate in any off season activities. I know its a business Ray, but you are a part of the union. You and your peers voted for the rules enforced. You must adhere to the rules. Suck it up Ray, swallow your pride, and get yourself ready for the upcoming events. (Its not like you had double digit sacks or anything last year. Or any year you have been in the league)
Crack number two is a real crack. E.J. Henderson was injured at the end of the season and his return at the beginning of the 2010 season is in question. EJH was a key player in the defense. It will be very hard to replace him if he cannot return this year.
Crack number three and four come as a pair. Pat and Kevin Williams are still battling the Star Caps four game suspension from 2008. If they lose their case, they will sit the first four games leaving a huge gap in the defensive line.
Crack number five. Chester Taylor has left the backfield and signed with the rival Chicago Bears. Taylor was a perfect fit for the Vikings, an excellent third down back, and a good change of pace for Peterson. He will be sorely missed, especially on picking up the blitz on third down.
Crack number six. Bryant Mckinnie and his lack of effort at the NFL Pro Bowl game. I believe this behavior will follow him into the 210 season.
Crack number seven. Adrian Peterson! What! What kind of bad press can Peterson have? Well, he led the league in fumbles last year. Instead of being humble about that chink in his armor and asking the coaching staf for help to correct it, he states that it isn’t a big concern for him and that he will correct it before the season begins. (Sigh!)
Crack number eight is in the form of a major injury. Starting corner Cedric Griffin sustained a serious knee injury and is working his way back. Hopefully he will be ready for the season.
Crack number nine wears number four. Brett Favre will be 41 years old come this 2010 season. In 2009, he was in the eye of the perfect storm. Everything was perfectly in place for him to succeed. And he didn’t disappoint compiling the best season of his career. The Vikings were one play away from advancing to the Super Bowl. One play! Will Favre be able to crank it up yet again for 2010? If not, Tarvaris jackson and Sage Rosenfels will once again compete for the starting job.
Crack number ten was the signing of free agent Lito Shepard. Not the player, but he was the only significant player signed. No back up plan if Favre decided to retire. No replacement for Chester Taylor who left. No replacement for E.J. Henderson if he can’t make it back this year.
Certainly the 2010 draft would address these issues. Of course talk of Tim Tebow on the Vikings radar dominated the water cooler conversations plus Jimmy Clausen and Taylor Mayes, and a host of other prospects were rumored to be the choice picks for the Vikings. Instead, the Vikings charted a different course. Below is the path less traveled.
The Minnesota Vikings heading into the 2010 NFL draft, needed help at Defensive back, Defensive line, Running back, Quarterback, Offensive line, and special teams. At pick number 30, the Vikings opted out of the first round trading their first pick to the Detroit Lions for the 34th pick over all and a flip of choices in the 4th and a 7th round pick.
The Viking first pick was Chris Cook, a cornerback out of Virginia. With Cooks size (6 foot 2 inches) weight, (212 pounds) and speed, (4.46 forty speed) he will certainly contribute to the team right away. Especially with starter Cedric Griffin being sidelined with a major knee injury, the Vikings need to shore on the corner position. Just looking back at last season when Winfield was sidelined, the defense took a major hit.
In the second round, the Vikings moved up to select Toby Gerhart, running back out of Stanford. Gerhart is no Chester Taylor, however, he is very capable to carry the ball. He had over 1800 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2009. Gerhart will be a good addition to the backfield and will see significant playing time especially at the goal line. As an added bonus, he rarely fumbles.
After sitting out the 3rd round, lightning struck for the Vikings. Everson Griffen, a first round talent, dropped into the fourth round and the Vikings selected him immediately. Griffen needs a little tutoring to take his game to the nect level. There is no better teacher than Jared Allen to show him the ropes. With Ray Edwards unhappy with his contract status, Griffen is a perfect fit.
With the loss of lineman Artis Hicks, the Vikings filled his roster spot with offensive tackle Chris Degeare from Wake Forest. Degeare is raw and needs plenty of instruction, but as a 5th round pick, he is worth the risk.
Minnesota Gopher Nathan Triplett didn’t have to go far when he heard his name called in the draft. Triplett will add depth to the linebacker position with Henderson still healing but special teams will be his claim to fame for the next several seasons.
The sixth round saw the Vikings go off the road map and select quarterback Joe Webb from UAB. Webb is a raw talent with exceptional size and speed at the QB position. However, he has zero chance of making the team at that position. Look for him to be converted to receiver.
Mickey Shuler, the Penn State tight end, selected in the 7th round, is a capable receiver and blocker but it will be tough to see field time with Shiancoe, Kleinsasser, and Dugan in front of him. Unless he really steps it up, he will not make the roster.
Ryan D’Imperio from Rutgers is listed as a linebacker but will see all his playing time on special teams. And lets face it, the Vikings need all the help they can get on special teams. D’Imperio is fast for a linebacker and can excel on coverage on punts and kickoffs.
The draft is over, and I will admit that at first I did not agree with the selections the Vikings took. I saw Taylor Mays available in the second round and also watched them pass over Colt McCoy in the third round. However, after looking over the Viking picks, they filled the voids of several key positions and stock piled for the future. But let us not forget, the time is now for the Vikings. Favre is not getting any younger. Nor Pat Williams. Perhaps 2010 is the year the Vikings can achieve something they have yet to accomplish.
Brett Favre, age forty, quarterback of the Vikings. Successful in most things but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives—trying to win the Superbowl again. And also like all men perhaps there’ll be an occasion, maybe a summer night sometime, when he’ll look up from what he’s doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope, and hear the voices and the laughter of the people and the places of his past. And perhaps across his mind there’ll flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old, never outgrow the parks and the merry-go-rounds of his youth. And he’ll smile then too because he’ll know it is just an errant wish, some wisp of memory not too important really, some laughing ghosts that cross a man’s mind, that are a part of the Metrodome.
LURKING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL