You are spot on with you assessment of the DTs. We do not need to take one early and maybe not even at all. I have been saying to Marrdro for a while now that Evans, Kennedy, and Guion are sufficient and can take over for Pat.
1st G - We agree there but I think we might take a stab at a QB
2nd Could be a G if we go QB other wise I like OLB here
3rd I like RB here as well
4th Could be QB or DT
7th DT to keep Marrdro happy
What DT do you think you are gonna get in the 4th that can be ready to replace Phat Pats reps next year?
To the origninal posters point.......
As far as DT, I don't believe the Vikes will target one early. While Pat Williams is near his end, Fred Evans and Jimmy Kennedy are on board, and I believe people are giving up on Letroy Guion too soon. The guy was drafted 2 years ago as raw product to be developed, and he's only 22 years old ... one of the youngest players on the team. I think it's premature to give up on him, but drafting a DT high would effectively make him the 6th DT, and I can't see the team keeping 6 pure DTs on the roster.
Although Guion (I don't think anyone is giving up on by the way) is a very nice addition, he isn't a NT. He is more along the lines of a 1 gap 3, 4 or 5 technique DT and was drafted to be a primary backup to K-will and maybe, even his eventual replacement. So by thinking that he is on the roster and capable of taking reps in Pats role, you are kindof missing the mark with respect to how DT's and NT's are used in this scheme.
Kennedy, has been a mild suprise for me. When he was drafted (the same year K-will was by the way) he wanted to play DE at this level and was really a bust every place he played because of it. Having said that, he is capapble of being a 2 gap 0 or 1 technique kindof guy, but as I said, he is the same age as K-will and probably isn't a long term answer at this spot.
Fred Evans is another interesting study as he isn't suited really to play a 2 gap NT position either but is more suited to be a 1 gap 3 or 4 technique guy.
So with that little bit of information in the backs of our mind, you can then turn to the draft and look at your possible candidates as potential replacements for Phat Pat next year. Mind you, I'm not talking starter, I'm just talking capable enough to eat up reps that JK will have to take off.
First candidate that I think we will have a reasonable shot at is Brian Price and even he might be gone by the time we pick, but if the 3-4 teams ahead of us strickly focus on thier 1 gap 0 techique guys like Cody, he could be available and would be an instant starter at the next level.
Second option is Troup. Projected as a second round pick. I really like this kid, with my only knock on him is hieght. Not sure how big of a deal that is cause he is about the same hieght as our boy Phat Pat.
Next candidate is projected as 4th round pick...D'Anthony Smith. He is a project at best, even though several teams have been down to see him, one of which were the Vikes DL coach.
So yes, there are options out there other than Price, but the pickings are pretty slim after these 3. My guess is that the staff will take the first one that they can get thier hands on and they are hoping it is Price, Troup and then Smith, in that order.