I hear a lot of talk about taking a DE in the first round, maybe a running back in the first three rounds, needing a CB in early rounds.
Frankly, I don't get it considering what the Vikes already have in those positions and their glaring needs in other areas.
If we take a DE in the first round this year, we're really not much different than the Lions and their Wide Receiver run of a few years ago.
We have 5 young defensive ends on the roster:
former first rounders James and Udeze, along with Scott, Edwards, and Mitchell.
Edwards and Mitchell both showed flashes as rookies last year.
James never really got to show what he had.
I think the Vikes should focus on developing this young talent and stay away from DE in the draft.
Artose Pinner (made me a believer against the Lions).
Wendell Mathis, who was a practice squad guy but showed some skills in camp and preseason.
I really don't see the need for another back.
As discussed later, shore up the O-Line, and each of these backs will be better.
Winfield and Griffin should be a solid corner tandem this year.
Hopefully Dovonte Edwards can return to form in the nickel.
Charles Gordon also has the potential to turn into a stud.
I don't see a need in early rounds for a CB.
Other non-need areas:
Left side of O-Line (McKinney, Hutch, and Birk have this solidified), LB (Greenway, Henderson, Leber -- Thomas, Farwell, Circui backing them up), TE (We took Shiancoe, have to live with that for now and hope he pans out).
So, the big needs:
WR -- In a perfect world, Williamson will catch balls, Wade and McMullen will be serviceable Nos.
4 and 5 receivers, and maybe the Vikes will finally use Jason Carter, who was the most impressive receiver I saw on the roster last year, yet never seemed to be given a chance (better to see what Martin Nance is made of?
I didn't get it).
Even if all those things fall into place, this is a thin position.
Everyone knows that.
Right OT and OG -- Hicks, Johnson, Cook, Herrera -- hopefully one of these guys will step up and be a solid starter.
Maybe Cook at right tackle.
More talent/competition is needed on this side, however.
DT - I know, sounds funny.
Hopefully Pat Williams has another good year or two in him, but it's time to bring in someone younger to groom.
Ian Scott would be a good signing, but if not then a 3d or 4th round draft pick would be okay by me.
S (F or S) --
Sharper isn't getting any younger, Tank Williams in injury prone, and is Dwight Smith gone?
Greg Blue shows some promise, but a safety for the future is needed.
QB -- I'd only go with this if we picked Quinn with the first pick.
Otherwise, why add another young "project" quarterback when we already have Jackson?
These are a decent number of needs.
I wish the Vikes if possible would trade down for a lower 1st and another second round pick.
As some have written, the draft is a crapshoot to a great extent so why not take as many "chances" as possible.
-- wouldn't it be nice to get another second rounder and have the luck of, say, picking up a player who turns out to be Defensive Rookie of the Year?
That's where the DROY was picked last year. )
If Quinn is around, there's a decent #7 pick.
Otherwise trade down -- Calvin Johnson will be gone and there's noone else at the 7 spot who alone is worth more to the Vikes than a lower first rounder along with a second round pick.
With the three picks in the first two rounds, pick the best player available amongst receivers, offensive linemen, and safeties.
With 3d and 4th round picks, look for best player available in those positions and in the DT area.