The Turkey Sundae Bye
Another Sunday without Vikings football has me looking for something to fill the day. I wanted to bust this out closer to the mid point of the season but today is as good a time since the team played on Thursday.
As dislikable as it is, this season isn't going anywhere. I get that the Vikes still have a chance of making the playoffs. That would be the best possible outcome because I don't think it's realistic to imagine them having a championship type run with the all the injuries. So after the playoff games are wrapped, there's a little event called the draft to pay attention to or maybe be subjected to depending on how you feel about the coverage. Well I'm going to leap frog the remainder of the year and take my first look at the Vikings draft.
First a little bit of hypothesis. I know there's no going back on the Bradford trade & I'm not sure I would if I could but with knowledge of all the injuries I'm not sure it was a good move. Bradford has kept us in plenty of games and has been a good player from day one practically. If he weren't in the mix I don't know if the Vikings would have gotten more then like five wins this year.
Sure, the defense can hold basically any team to under 15 points but if it were Shaun or now Taylor behind this line the offense would be awful. Scoring three or six points against 15 is still a blow out loss and as has been demonstrated lately, the defense can't score every game. A five win season would have gotten us a top ten and maybe top five pick.
But we can't go back so let's try to figure out where things will most likely end up when all things are final.
On the bright side, that is definitely not the toughest stretch of the season. At 6 - 5, with six other teams in the conversation for a wild car spot nine wins is the minimum for a playoff spot. Can they get there though?
Beating the Cowboys would be a giant step toward that but I would give it the lowest win odds of any of those games. After that, they could go 4 - 0. That's kind of unrealistic all things considered though.
Jacksonville has a bunch of talent and because of their head man I was hoping they would have more success this year but I think Minnesota will be able to do work against Bortles. So 7 - 6 in two weeks and heading home to play Andrew Luck.
That one will be a strength on strength, weakness on weakness match up. If the Vikings defense can win their part then the Vikings may get to eight wins at home. If Luck is able to make some plays then .500 would welcome us. My gut feeling is that they'll win this one as well. 8 - 6
Christmas Eve. Green Bay Packers. The Packers are already on the razor's edge of not being able to loss the rest of the way. So I'm pretty sure they'll be out of the mix a month from now. The ability to play spoiler may motivate them to come out - if they need added motivation. Whichever team wins, I think it will be by a narrow margin. I would love it if the Purple could be the Grinch to the Packers season. I'm going to give the narrowest of advantages to the Vikings. That would get them to 9 - 6.
Then the closer against Chicago. I don't think they will be able to manage a repeat of the first meeting. With a playoff berth hanging in the balance, the Vikings should and hopefully will come out like a freight train and put the game out of reach in the first half. 10 - 6
I don't think I'm looking at through Purple vision, just trying to be realistic. A 10 - 6 record would get us a pick around number 22. That definitely doesn't hurt as much as giving up a top pick would but does leave the team in a bit of a bind to start. More on that in a second.
After subtracting the traded first rounder, the Vikings currently sit at eight picks.
Five of those eight are in rounds two - four which could mean that Rick and associates will trade into the first round. That's worked out well in the past but with consideration of how poorly the team has drafted offensive lineman this decade I would rather they give themselves as many chances as possible to hit.
Of the eight picks I want three to be for the offensive line + more through the rookie free agent crew.
If there's a guy who falls like La'el Collins did a couple years ago, grab him the second the clock starts on the fifth round pick.
Getting back to the top picks. Of the first five, two should be along the front line. Depending on the resolution with Mr. Peterson, adding two running backs may be merited. Even if he's retained there should be a replacement brought in. Someone better then Asiata. He's been a fine player for several years now but when it comes to production on the field, it's lacking. Combine that with the fact that this will be a great group of running backs and I hope they take advantage of the opportunity.
So that's three of the top five. Linebacker and Cornerback are probably the next biggest area's of need. With the way they've played this year I wouldn't have any issue with the team keeping Greenway and Newman around at their respective positions, but they are still both late in their careers and finding guys to come in after they retire would be great uses of the picks.
Since I already addressed what I hope they would do with the fifth round pick - if a fall happens I'll move on to the final rounds. Realistically, I would say these will end up in a trade package but that's more speculative then I like to get. With the sixth pick, a defensive tackle who could sub in would be a nice add. Floyd is all but done padding up in Minnesota but the rotation hasn't seemed to be lacking. Finding another young guy would only make that better.
With the eight and final, it's basically a coin flip. It should be a guy at a position where another camp body is needed. Offensive line will probably still top that list but short of receiver and quarterback, any group could use an addition.
If you wanted names and such, sorry to disappoint. I Just wanted to take a stab at the direction the team should go when the clock starts rolling in Philadelphia. In the wake of the tryptophan calamity, it seemed like the right time to look at the rest of the year and the draft beyond.