Hello Vikings fans, I’m new to The Viking Age but don’t worry ill spare you the boring details about me and my life, Im a Vikings fan that’s all you need and im sure want to know. So down to the football, with the draft vastly approaching and the Vikings holding the 12th pick the franchise could go in a lot of different directions. So then who should the Vikings Draft with the 12th pick?
They could decide to take a shot at finding that elusive franchise Quarterback they so desperately need, solidify the ageing offensive line, take a corner so that we never have to see Frank Walker or Lito Sheppard cover another player ever again, or take a defensive playmaker to get our defence back to where it was a year or two ago.
With the likelihood that both Pat Williams and Ray Edwards are going to leave when free agency finally comes around and Rick Spielman saying that we won’t reach for a quarterback, the most likely position our 12th pick will be used on is Defensive line due to the abundance of talent in that position at the top end of this year draft. That is of course unless a player like Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Patrick Peterson or Julio Jones somehow slips down the draft to us.
The first player the Vikings should be looking at is Da’Quan Bowers, yes he has major health concerns hanging over him, but if the Vikings can get past that and if their doctors and specialists give them the ok the Vikings could steal another top-5 talent later in the round thanks to pre-draft concerns (remember Adrian Peterson’s injury concerns?). He has all the stats you look for in a top quality defensive end including 15.5 sacks last season in college. Yes his knee is a concern but he is a freakish talent.
Other defensive players the Vikings could well have in their sights are Nick Fairley and Corey Liuget. Nick Fairley is yet another player that has been moved down draft boards due to health or character concerns. Could he slide down the draft far enough for the Vikings to get him at 12? Some mock “experts” say yes. Both Fairley and Liuget are big powerful defensive tackles that could take over from Pat Williams and both are capable of getting to the quarterback something this team desperately needs next season.
If the Vikings choose not to go defensive line the quarterback position has to be the next option. While im with Rick Spielman on not reaching for a player, if it comes to a point where you can’t move down to a respectable position to draft a prospect (which could very well happen this year) then im of the opinion that if you think the player will improve your team and help you win then you take that player.
At quarterback the Vikings are said to be keen on Jake Locker who has tremendous athletic ability, but has concerns with his accuracy and decision making. They’re also thought to be seriously considering Ryan Mallett a player that can throw the ball as well as anyone in this year’s draft with excellent height and arm strength. His character concerns are troubling but are not that bad. Percy Harvin failed a drugs test which allowed him to slip down the draft to the Vikings two seasons ago that worked out pretty good and there is no reason Mallett to the Vikings couldn’t work out for the Vikings too.
When it comes to the Vikings taking a quarterback in this year’s draft whether it is in the first or second round it has to be taken into consideration that they will likely not be starting for the Vikings for a season or even two. No quarterback it seems from this draft class has the ability to go straight into a team and win. With the Vikings as interested in Donovan Mcnabb as they apparently are you have to believe that unless he doesn’t want to be, he may well be a Viking next year.
Mcnabb is clearly not happy in Washington and Mike Shanahan is clearly not happy with Mcnabb as his quarterback. Whether he is traded or released he is not going to be there next season. He is certainly worth a Vikings conditional draft pick in next year’s draft, or they could just wait and see if any other team would want him. If there is no interest he would more than likely be released. But if the Vikings want him he is certainly available.
With Donovan Mcnabb starting next season for the Vikings suddenly the prospect of drafting Jake Locker or Ryan Mallett becomes a lot more appealing. It would give either players a year or two to learn the playbook, get settled, learn what it is to be an NFL player before being thrown in at the deep end and most importantly a year or two on the sidelines will give either player the time and opportunity to improve their flaws under the direction of NFL coaches.
Even if the Vikings don’t get Mcnabb there are a lot of other veterans out there in free agency or via trade that can provide more than adequate cover for a season or so.
I like Ryan Mallett a lot and I believe if he were put in the scenario above he could be “the” quarterback the Vikings so desperately need in a few years. That would be my pick. But a case could be made for a whole host of players, we’ll just have to wait and see.