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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Vikings draft targets

    Posted on Sun, Apr. 23, 2006

    (48TH AND 51ST OVERALL)

    [size=18px]Vikings draft targets[/size]

    The Vikings have eight picks in next weekend's NFL draft, including five in the first three rounds. While Minnesota doesn't have any glaring holes, it clearly is in the market for a quarterback to groom and young talent at linebacker, cornerback, safety, offensive guard and running back.

    Here are some prospects who could be available if the Vikings stand pat and don't trade any of their picks in the first three rounds:

    1. First round, 17th pick

    Quarterback Jay Cutler of Vanderbilt is unlikely to fall like Aaron Rodgers did last year, and several teams ahead of the Vikings would jump at the chance to draft Cutler in the early teens. Either linebacker Chad Greenway of Iowa or linebacker Ernie Sims (right) of Florida State likely will slip to the Vikings, but they also could be tempted by running back DeAngelo Williams of Memphis if he is available, given how coach Brad Childress could use his versatility. Other options that could be available include two excellent safeties, Donte Whitner (Ohio State) and Jason Allen (Tennessee), or a cornerback such as Jimmy Williams (Virginia Tech), Tye Hill (Clemson) and Antonio Cromartie (Florida State).

    (48TH AND 51ST OVERALL)

    If someone they covet falls, the Vikings could easily package picks to move up earlier in the second round. If they stand pat, this is where second-tier quarterbacks such as Kellen Clemens of Oregon and Brodie Croyle (right) of Alabama are projected to go. Guards such as Deuce Lutui (Southern California) and Davin Joseph (Oklahoma) could be available, along with linebackers such as Bobby Carpenter (Ohio State), DeMeco Ryans (Alabama) and Thomas Howard (Texas-El Paso). Among running backs, Joseph Addai (Louisiana State) is another versatile player who could thrive in the Vikings' offense. Could tight end Dominique Byrd (USC) of Minneapolis be coming back home?

    (83RD AND 95TH OVERALL)

    Again, with multiple picks, the Vikings could move up if someone they really like falls. For quarterbacks, this is where Charlie Whitehurst (left) of Clemson could be available. This also is the area that could result in the reunion of running backs coach Eric Bieniemy and Maurice Drew of UCLA. Linebacker Jon Alston (Stanford) and safeties Ko Simpson (South Carolina), Calvin Lowry (Penn State) and Daniel Bullocks (Nebraska) could be around.

    vikings draft targets

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings draft targets

    Posted on Sun, Apr. 23, 2006

    [size=18px]PICK 5[/size]

    Having already made a splash in free agency, the Vikings can further strengthen their roster with a league-high five selections among the top 95 picks in next weekend's NFL draft.

    BY SEAN JENSEN
    Pioneer Press


    Fran Foley couldn't imagine a more ideal situation.

    "To say that we're excited about going into the draft, you have to realize where we came from," the Vikings' vice president of player personnel said, accentuating the "R's" with his Massachusetts accent. "You inherit a 9-7 team, and you're able to attract some of these free agents, and now you're sitting there with five first-day picks.

    "I mean, of course you get excited."

    Although they traded away three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Daunte Culpepper, the Vikings splurged in free agency, landing all-pro guard Steve Hutchinson, kicker Ryan Longwell, running back Chester Taylor, linebacker Ben Leber, fullback Tony Richardson and safety Tank Williams. Now, the Vikings can further bolster their lineup with a league-high five picks among the top 95 selections in next weekend's NFL draft.

    After not retaining Mike Tice, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf hired Brad Childress as his coach and Foley as head of personnel. Wilf has called on those two, plus vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski, to lead the franchise.

    "I think we have the people who can make the right evaluation and right decisions of who we need," Wilf said. "We're in a good position right now."

    Wilf approved the expensive foray into free agency, but he expects the Vikings to build their foundation through the draft, and he has lofty goals for this year. Quarterback, linebacker and running back are areas the Vikings intend to address.

    "Having five choices in the first three rounds will make us a much better team," Wilf said. "Time will tell if we made the right decisions."

    But what do the Vikings want? Will they package a couple of picks and make a play for one of the high-profile quarterbacks, such as Matt Leinart, Vince Young or, more realistically, Jay Cutler? Will they stand pat and take the best available linebacker? Or will they trade down a few spots and take advantage of the draft's considerable depth?

    "Having multiple picks in multiple rounds gives you flexibility to move, and whether we will or we won't, it remains to be seen," Foley said. "It's too early to speculate that. I know people like to say, they should do this or that, and we've had discussions on all of that — philosophy on trades and moves, and what it would cost and what we might get back in return — but we're not there yet. It's still relatively early."

    A student of numbers and history, Foley said research has proven that teams do not move more than six or seven picks. Early indications are that several teams outside the top 10 are willing to trade out of their slots, including Cleveland (12th overall), Baltimore (13th), Philadelphia (14th) and Denver (15th).

    "Yes, we could be enticed to move that pick before we get to the 13th," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "Our trade-down scenario is always if there are three or four guys we really like, and we have an opportunity to move back and still get one of those guys, plus add an additional pick — again, from an organizational standpoint, that is the right thing to do."

    Foley said the Vikings, who have the 17th pick in the first round, haven't even flirted with such talks yet. After taking Easter Sunday off, the Vikings have been in meetings at Winter Park, usually starting at 8 a.m. and ending around 6 p.m. Foley, Childress and Brzezinski are sifting through the 2,617 reports that college scouting director Scott Studwell's staff has written.

    On Monday, the Vikings will proceed to rating the players and developing draft-day strategies. The team is expected to hold a mock draft Wednesday, but the ultimate evaluations will be shrouded in secrecy.

    "We've been forewarned that a lot of information pertaining to the draft and surrounding the Vikings' selections have gotten out ahead of the pick, so we're being very, very guarded about what our intentions might be," said Foley, stressing the decision was a collective one. "Four people will have knowledge of it, and that's the way we prefer it to be, at least for this year. There have been a lot of leaks, and we've also talked about the clandestine operation of the thing."

    That "final consideration list," as Foley called it, will be on paper and handled only by himself, Childress, Brzezinski and Studwell. There will be no backup copy saved onto a disk or hard drive. Foley even said there could be additional versions circulated, just to throw people off.

    "We're going to try and have a certain number of individuals that we like surrounding where we may select," Foley said. "So those people will be the secret people."

    Although their past choices have turned out to be mostly respectable, the Vikings have had draft-day foul-ups in recent years.

    In 2002, while consummating a trade with Kansas City, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones allowed the team's allotted 15 minutes to expire. A Vikings official had North Carolina defensive tackle Ryan Sims' name on a card that he was about to submit. But he was blocked by a Chiefs representative, who enabled the Cowboys to submit their trade card and make Sims Kansas City's No. 6 pick. The Vikings then chose Miami left tackle Bryant McKinnie, who has turned out to be a better pro than Sims.

    In 2003, the time limit expired on the Vikings as they tried to execute a trade of their No. 7 pick, and Jacksonville and Carolina quickly jumped ahead and selected quarterback Byron Leftwich and offensive tackle Jordan Gross, respectively. Again, the Vikings weathered the miscue, as defensive tackle Kevin Williams has outperformed both players.

    Foley is thorough and organized and has made changes to ensure the Vikings don't create any unnecessary draft-day drama. The Vikings' war room will have a countdown clock, and another clock will replicate the exact time of the draft-day clock in New York.

    "We have steps in place to carry out our plan of attack in a timely manner," Foley said. "All trade discussions will be shut off within one minute of the selection."

    Brzezinski and Studwell both declined to comment for this story. Asked if he's mindful of the past issues, Foley said, "I don't know how it happened in the past, and it doesn't really matter to me. But obviously, it won't happen again."

    Brzezinski and Dave Blando, director of football administration, will man the phones for trade inquiries from other clubs, and any talks will be concluded with one minute remaining. In fact, the Vikings now have mapped out exactly who will sit where, including Wilf, and there's even a contingency in the event of a power outage.

    Wilf has sat in a few pre-draft meetings.

    "They're very deliberate and very intense and very thorough," he said. "I have been impressed. I did not anticipate the level of intensity that goes into evaluating our future players. But I think that's the only way to approach it, because that's the only way we have to build our team up."

    Clearly, this draft is the ideal one to hold a handful of first-day picks (rounds one through three). Eric DeCosta, Baltimore's director of college scouting, lamented that his club didn't have six picks.

    "I think the top 10 of this year's draft is superior to last year's top 10, first of all," DeCosta said. "The first-day players, as a group, are stronger than last year's first-day players."

    Added Mike Mayock, the NFL Network's draft expert: "There's an awful lot of good depth in there, and a lot of teams have talked about moving out of there and talked about trying to stockpile picks."

    Sean Jensen can be reached at [email protected]

    PICK 5

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  3. #3
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    Re: Vikings draft targets

    thanks a lot, those were very good reads. I love the press but my family doesn't subscribe

  4. #4
    renovikesfan is offline Coordinator
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    Re: Vikings draft targets

    Well, it sounds like they're putting together a pretty solid Draft Day strategy in order to keep the Front Office from looking like goons again.

    It's too bad, though, even while we may have wound up with better players than the teams who snuck in on our screw ups, it's probably going to take another year or two before people forget about what happened.

  5. #5
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    Re: Vikings draft targets

    first round sounds good besides cutler, he sucks

  6. #6
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    Re: Vikings draft targets

    Those where both two awesome articles.I really love the professionalism of the orginzation now.Their whole attitudes, everything is just got ya thinking, they know what thier doing. haha as funny as that sounds, I also like the ending statement on the last atricle.This draft is FULL of potential, one of the strongest drafts in history. Having 5 first day picks is awesome and i'm a really firm beleiver in keeping them.Either way I cant wait till Saturday!

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
    "I promise everyone this. When Childress is let go in two years I can honestly say this.
    "I am not surprised"."-PurplePackerEater

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    Re: Vikings draft targets

    Good read Singer! I can't wait until Saturday!
    Proud member of PP.O since April 5th, 2003!

  8. #8
    Mr Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings draft targets

    This week of school is gonna go so slow!

    Once I get to thursday I will be able to see the new Jerseys, then Friday is gonna be a slow day waiting for Draft Day.

    I have a paper to write now, due tomorrow, 12 pages, just gotta finish it off, then I wait in horrifying boredom for the rest of the week.

  9. #9
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    Re: Vikings draft targets

    It sounds like we're either gonna get an awesome QB, LB or Rb in the first round. I don't think it's far fetched to believe Cutler or Young may fall down to #17. No one expected Rodgers to fall that far down. There are always many surprises on draft day.

  10. #10
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    Re: Vikings draft targets

    Although it is possible for one of the big 3 to fall, I think it's pretty unlikely. I'd like to get Sims or Greenway.
    WE CAN BUILD ON THIS!!!

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