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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Apr 4, 2011

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the vikings.com Mailbag! Every Monday during the offseason we’ll post several comments and/or questions as part of the vikings.com Monday Morning Mailbag feature. Although we can’t post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

To submit a comment or question to the mailbag, send an email to Mike Wobschall at wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. Remember to include your name and town on the email.

 

I think the Vikings should draft a left tackle in Round 1, move Phil Loadholt inside and move Bryant McKinnie to right tackle. Do you think that is something that could work?
-- Jon S.
Seattle, WA

In theory, that idea could work. But I don’t see the Vikings pursuing that route. An offensive line must have continuity and to make that many changes would prohibit the Vikings offensive lineman from building continuity. Also, I think the style of play of both Loadholt and McKinnie is such that they are in the appropriate positions. Right now I’d give the edge to McKinnie in pass protection, which is why he’s the LT (to protect the QBs blind side). Loadholt’s strength is his strength and run-blocking ability, which makes him a great fit as a RT.

With all of that said, though, I won’t be surprised to see the Vikings address their offensive line – even offensive tackle – in the draft this year.

I was wondering what you think about the Vikings trading their #12 pick to move back in the 1st round and possibly get back a 3rd-round pick. There have been reports that New England is shopping their #28 pick and they have numerous other picks throughout the draft; they could be a possible option. This would allow us to maybe go after a QB like Colin Kaepernick, who a lot of scouts are saying is very athletic.
-- Kyle J.

Given Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman’s track record in the draft, it’s entirely possible the Vikings will decide to trade their 1st-round pick. In 2007, Spielman’s first draft with the Vikings, he traded back in the 2nd round (wound up selecting WR Sidney Rice) and traded up in the 4th round (wound up with DE Brian Robison). In 2008, the Vikings made their blockbuster trade for DE Jared Allen, sending a 1st-round pick and two 3rd-round picks. Also, the Vikings made several other trades in that year’s draft, including trades to move up in the 2nd and 5th rounds. In 2009, the Vikings traded up in the 5th round to grab LB Jasper Brinkley and in 2010 the Vikings made a number of trades, including trading out of the 1st round (took Chris Cook early in 2nd round) and eventually trading up in the 2nd round to select RB Toby Gerhart.

Also, going back to Kyle’s question, I think the Vikings might be able to get more than a 3rd-round pick for trading back into the 20s of the 1st round. The reason I think this is because in last year’s draft the Dolphins traded pick #12 and moved back to pick #28, getting a 2nd-rounder (#40 overall) in return and also swapping picks in the 4th round.

On the other hand, the Vikings have room for talented young players who can make a difference immediately, so it also won’t be a surprise to see the team use the 12th pick on an impact player.

This is probably the first time you have heard this from any Vikings fan, but I don't think it's smart, given the Vikings position in the draft, to go after a QB unless they take one in the 3rd or 4th round because there are just not any QBs that will be left at #12 that are worthy of that pick. I think it would be smarter to take a QB in the later rounds so they get a chance to replenish the youth in some other key positions on defense and the offensive line. They should also consider trading back to get a pick in the 3rd round. I think that would be a way of finding talent that is more worthy of their draft position and that also follows their needs in the draft. What do you think?
-- Austin P.
Kindred, ND

I think that Austin could very well be right. I’ve mentioned in previous mailbags and during some of my radio appearances that Vikings fans should be prepared for anything in this year’s draft. It’s certainly not a given that the team will pick a QB in the 1st round. Spielman has shown in previous drafts that he and his staff are disciplined when it comes to making selections. They are committed to taking the best player on the board rather than filling needs.

With the Vikings having the 12th overall pick, I really see them taking a defensive lineman and then picking up a QB in Round 2. I would really like them to take Andy Dalton in the 2nd round. He reminds me so much of Aaron Rodgers. Do they have a real interest in him and will he still be available? Or will they have to trade up to get him?
-- Aaron
vikings.com Blog commenter

I don’t know the extent of the Vikings interest in Dalton, but I do know he’s considered a 2nd-round prospect by a lot of people and he’s a guy who could be on the board when the Vikings are slated to make their 2nd-round pick (#43 overall). The one thing that could happen, though, is with several QB-needy teams ahead of the Vikings in the draft order, I can see a few of them taking QBs in the 2nd round after taking another position in the top of the 1st round. So, in order to acquire Dalton or another 2nd-round QB prospect, it’s very possible that the Vikings would have to trade up in order to do that. Ultimately, if the Vikings don’t take a QB with the #12 pick it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Vikings executed a trade later in the draft to get the QB they want.

Why wouldn’t the Vikings place the transition tag on WR Sidney Rice to keep a receiver of his caliber around?
-- Brian F.
vikings.com Blog commenter

In a normal year under the old Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), teams were not allowed to use the transition tag and the franchise tag in the same year. So normally the transition tag would not be available to the Vikings this year because they placed the franchise tag on LB Chad Greenway. But, with the CBA expired, the rules allowed NFL teams to use both tags in the Uncapped Year. So that’s why Brian is asking the question about placing the transition tag on Rice, who has said publically that he’ll test the free agent waters before deciding whether or not to re-sign with the Vikings.

The only problem is that the new rules of the Uncapped Year dictate that a player must have 6 years of service in order for his team to use the transition tag on him. Rice has 4 years of service, therefore the Vikings are not permitted to use the transition tag on him.

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