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    Anglo's Angle - 2002 Draft, was it good for you ?

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    Anglo's Angle - 2002 Draft, was it good for you ?

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    AngloVike's Avatar
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    Anglo's Angle - 2002 Draft, was it good for you ?

    Well the draft has finally been and gone and , now that the hype has died down, teams can now look at the players acquired. In all it was an eventful draft for the Vikes and certainly one to remember for their War Room, as they experienced handling a draft without the input of Denny Green & Richard Solomon. This meant that there were no Friday night changes to the agreed draft plan and no last minute / gut hunches, so what you see is what you get and is all down to the new management.<BR>

    Overall the draft for the Vikes has been reasonable with a couple of players taken earlier than projected which has then had the Vikes ratings knocked down by the various commentators.<BR>

    The first round saw a flanker pulled by Dallas when they traded picks with the Chiefs, this then meant the Chiefs stepping in front of the Vikes for DT Ryan Sims. However given that we had needs on both offense and defense this then left Tice & Co. with a no-brainer in drafting Bryant McKinnie, who had managed to fall down to the #7 pick. Either way was a win-win for the Vikes, we either got Sims or McKinnie both of which would be able to bring a lot to their respective units.<BR>

    Second round saw OLB Raonall Smith taken which some consider a slight reach as he was a projected 4th round pick, but it was nice to see the first of five defensive picks by the Vikes which showed that they were looking at that side of the ball. Willie Offord ( SS ) was taken in round three, again considered a reach as he was a sixth round projection.<BR>

    Brian Williams ( FS ) and Ed Ta'amu ( G ) were taken in round four, though projected as fifth rounders. Nick Rogers ( LB ) round six who was expected to have gone in the fourth round and Chad Beasley ( DT ) in the seventh round closing things out.<BR>

    In all the Vikes have taken one definite starter, two possible starters if not backups and several projects which may or not work out. Personally I'm glad to see McKinnie taken though am still in shock that he actually dropped down to us, having expected to be taking a DT with our first pick. He will potentially be there for all of Daunte's career with the Vikes and should be a pro-bowler within a couple of years if he keeps hard at his work. One advantage is that he is a natural left tackle, rather than a good right tackle who then has to move over to the other side of the line. This will help the offense immensely and will allow Culpepper a little longer to check off his reads before passing, in addition Bennett will benefit from the holes that McKinnie will be opening up. The ' never having given up a sack ' legend will not last long with playing in the NFL, however the confidence that the new LT brings to the game and the OL will more than make up for that.<BR>

    Some have questioned the defensive choices made by the Vikes this draft, one thing that is apparent with them is that they bring aggression and hard hitting to the team- something that has been lacking in recent years. Again we really don't know what defensive schemes Shaw will be running this year, though it will be no surprise to see that the ' bend-not-break ' philosophy will be gone. Willie Shaw favours a up and at-em policy which will mean that the D will get burnt on occassions but will ensure that the opposition does not have an easy ride, they will have to fight for every inch of ground and will know about every single down played.<BR>
    The defensive players have been selected based on the Vikes ratings of them, so whilst it seems that players have been taken when others were available just consider that those so-called better players may not fit into our new defensive schemes. At the end of the day its not the weapons that you have but how you use them and players have to play as a team, if they do this then much is possible - ask the Patriots about team play.<BR>

    Overall a fair draft for the Vikes though we will have to wait a couple of years to fully assess how this one went. The new coaching / personnel staff are now starting to put <B>THEIR</B> stamp on the team by their decisions and signings. Much will pass between now and the start of the regular season but people are starting to look forward to September with new optimism...[Edited by AngloVike on 04/23/02 06:36 AM]
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