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Into the deep end

Before jumping into the later rounds of the draft (the deep end), it may help to go back to see my thought process about the picks in the first few rounds.




The first point I want to make is about the most important position on the field. The Vikings had a tremendously successful season and now have equally tremendous amount of uncertainty about the future of the quarterback position. Will they roll with Bridgewater, Sloughter & someone else? Will they bring Keenum back? What's going to happen with Bradford?

The last of those questions I hope will be a resounding nothing. Bradford was good in Purple but he either needs to retire or latch on somewhere else. His time in the kingdom should be over.

Those other two questions are not so easy to answer. What Keenum did this season is nothing short of amazing. No one saw it coming and if someone claims they do, don't believe a word he or she say's about anything because that person is a pathological liar. But back to the point, we don't know what the front office and coaches truly think of the man. He'll get paid but how much and by whom is a great unknown.

As for question number one, I've been as glad about Teddy's recovery as any fan but to hand him the keys to this Super Bowl caliber team with no strong alternative on the roster would be foolish. At best he should be given a chance to compete for a starting job but the economics of the NFL will make the whole situation very interesting (& stressful) theater over the next several months.

Truth be told I wouldn't mind them addressing the quarterback position in the top two rounds of the draft. The odds of that are about as my odds of winning the lottery though. But that brings this back to the main point.

Should the Vikings select someone in the latter rounds?

Unless they sign a former Spartan I wouldn't mind another youngster coming into the fold. For the sake of this, let's say they don't get a deal done with Cousins. Is there a guy that may be worth bringing in late in the draft?

There may not be but the one guy that I'd be most welcome to seeing in Purple is Tanner Lee (Nebraska).

It's been quite some time since Cornhusker football was a powerhouse but Lee put up decent numbers and could have been better with another year of seasoning. With the latest coaching change for big red, he decided to take his talents to the pros due to the conflict of styles. He has the size that all organizations adore but would likely need some time to develop before being deserving of playing time. No matter how it all plays out with the names that we know, I'm a proponent of drafting a QB every year and Lee is a late round guy that I'm going to keep my eye on.

He wouldn't answer the quarterback conundrum for 2018 but would at least put another card in the deck for the team. This is giving me a migrain though so I'm going to move on to some other options that could or should be addressed with late.

The offensive line still needs bolstering, even if they peg someone early in the draft that they think would be a contributor blocking for whoever is under center come September. There are all kinds of interior offensive lineman rated low in the group but I don't know any more about them than what the experts have to say. I'll throw this dart at Larry Allen Jr. (Harvard). He needs to add some weight but the Vikings have had success with their Harvard players in the past and Jr. could continue that tradition.

The final position that could benefit from a late round selection is wide receiver. Thielen and Diggs are locked as the top two. Wright makes plays basically every time he's given a chance. And we still have those former first rounders on the roster. Michael Floyd has been a disappointment but could be re-signed anyway while Treadwell still has at least two years left on his rookie deal in which to prove some worth. And then there is the trio of even younger guys getting checks from Winter Park. So maybe receiver doesn't need anything but let's say Floyd, Wright, Adams and Jones all find their ways to other teams. That would leave space to be filled.

With the way that both Diggs and Thielen can slide in and out of the slot they really only need one other receiver to earn regular field time. A fifth - sixth round rookie is a long shot to fill that role but of all the options, Jester Weah (Pittsburgh) could be another steal for the Vikings. He was at his best when Nathan Peterman and James Connor were in play. Even though those two didn't have good rookie seasons they were both drafted and well thought of coming out of Pitt, so a regression without them is understandable. Playing with NFL level talent again and being shown how to become great could be just what he needs. It would fit with Spielman's style too, trying to find guys with the highest upside, even if they're raw & need work.

Are there other areas that could be addressed?

Of course. There has never been a perfect team, even that one undefeated one, but the Vikings are as close to without flaw as they've been in a LONG time so trying to find positions and players who could make great even better will be a tall order. Those are the positions and some players that I think could fit that billing.

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