04-12-2011, 02:41 PM #1
OFFSEASON PREVIEW: The Last Line Of DefenseProjections
I know a lot of fans donít want to hear this, but I really donít expect to see a bunch of big changes at the safety position this offseason. Frazier seems supportive of his current guys and seems eager to see each of them improve.
He has already seemed to pit Williams and Johnson against each other in a training camp competition. Abdullah is solid enough to remain, and Sanford has shown flashes that could put him in the mix. Williams could be cut if he loses his starting job, as his salary doesnít fit for a backup role, but even then I doubt the Vikings would bring in much more than mid-level backup to replace him.
I expect everyone to come back except for maybe Frampton. I also expect the Vikings to only invest a late pick or lower-level free agent contract into the position.
A certain chucklehead has the Vikes taking 2 DB's (Jalil Brown, FS/CB - Tejay Johnson, FS) in this years draft late. Both are able to play both S and CB.
Looks like that chucklehead and this guy agree. Not much gonna change at the starter position unless of course they can't resign Hussain.Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.
04-12-2011, 02:45 PM #2
Re: OFFSEASON PREVIEW: The Last Line Of DefenseThe problem is, however, that there isnít much to choose from.
With Peyton Manning and Mike Vick being franchised by their respective teams the best quarterback set to be available in free agency could very well be the 35 year old, and oft-injured, Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck has shown only glimpses of his old self in recent years and I canít help but wonder how much he has left.
Other possibilities include Marc Bulger (35), Billy Volkek (35), Bruce Gradkowski (28), Alex Smith (27), Rex Grossman (31), and Matt Moore (27).
Not a whole lot to get too excited about here.
My guess? The Vikings will come out of this offseason having acquired one new rookie quarterback and one new veteran quarterback.
As I said, the rookie will likely come from the first half of the draft.
How I expect them to get their veteran, on the other hand, is another story. I really donít like what I see in the free agency class, so donít be surprised if the Vikes deal for a guy currently on another teamís roster. If free agency (including all player trades) cannot happen until after the draft due to a lockout, then the pick they would be trading would be for 2012 or beyond. Picks are easier to cough up when the draft is such a long ways off.
In the end, the Viking shave to be aggressive in addressing the quarterback position, and quick about it, if they want to be competitive in 2011.
I like this guy. Has a good head on his shoulders.Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.
04-12-2011, 02:48 PM #3
Re: OFFSEASON PREVIEW: The Last Line Of DefenseKevin Williams had a few areas of his game to point out as improved. For instance, he batted down a career high 10 passes. However, his 27 tackles are a far cry from the 45 he had two years ago, and his sack total of one is the lowest he has had in his career.
Statistically speaking, Pat Williams also had a down year which is only in part due to his reduced playing time. His 22 tackles is the fewest he has had since the league began keeping that as a stat in 2001. This was the first season he hadnít registered a sack since 2003 and the first time he hadnít batted a pass since 2004.
Stats donít always tell the whole story, but in this case they accurately portray a pair of players that seemed to be out of position and getting man handled more than we grew to expect of them.
Another older tackle on the roster is Jimmy Kennedy (31) who seemed to have fallen out of favor with the coaching staff and was inactive for seven games, starting none of the nine he appeared in. With limited playing time, Kennedy looked capable of holding his own, however, and notched five tackles and half of a sack.
Fred Evans (27) saw even less time, and was less impressive, as he made only four tackles in eight games played.
If there was a silver lining to be found in the Vikings group of defensive tackles, it is that third year player Letroy Guion (23) seemingly made big strides and could be in line to receive more responsibilities on the defensive line. He had limited action in his 15 appearances but was able to get 12 tackles, two sacks, and forced a fumble. To be honest, despite having no starts, it seemed like Guion outplayed Pat Williams in 2010.
I think that both Pat Williams and Fred Evans are goners, while Jimmy Kennedy will only be retained out of pure necessity. The Vikings are going to pay some serious attention to this position in both free agency and the draft, as Guion gives us hope but hasnít shown us enough to deserve the starting job on a silver platter.
I expect three new defensive tackles are added to the roster between now and training camp. At least one of those will be draft picks, but I wouldnít be surprised if two of them come from the draft, with one being an early pick.
Wait a minute, wait a minute, JK and Evans are great. Ohhhh wait, thats someone elses opinion on here......:PMany many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.
04-12-2011, 02:53 PM #4
Re: OFFSEASON PREVIEW: The Last Line Of DefenseRyan Cook was pleasantly surprising as the Vikings utility backup along the line, a position previously manned by Artis Hicks, as he played fairly well in his 13 games.
Of all the guys mentioned above, only Ryan Cook is in danger of leaving via free agency. The Vikings placed a second round tender on Cook as a restricted free agent, but as we all know by now, the fifth year player is likely to become an unrestricted free agent whenever the labor dispute is resolved.
McKinnie, Loadholt, Hutchinson, and Herrera are all signed beyond 2012. Sullivan could be a free agent following next season.
Other linemen on the roster are Patrick Brown, Thomas Welch, and Seth Olsen. None of these guys should be considered much more than training camp bodies.
It is the long term commitments to the current offensive linemen that makes me doubt that a major overhaul is in the future.Projections
I really do expect the Vikings to draft one offensive lineman at some point. I would, however, be surprised if they drafted more than one this year.
Keep an eye on the mid-to-late round guys that maybe slip and present value picks. I wouldnít be surprised to see them go after guys like Brandon Fusco (Slippery Rock), Darius Morris (Temple), and Jah Reid (Central Florida).
Then, expect the Vikings to show interest in some semi-big name linemen once free agency rolls around. I really wouldnít be surprised to see them quietly and gradually upgrade the personnel as the offseason wears on, but donít expect any big, bold moves
Yet again, he and I agree. Well, almost. I don'thave them drafting an OLmen but I do believe we will see a whole bunch of UDFA's in competing for a spot on the roster/practice squad.Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.
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