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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Apr 12, 2010

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.

With all the strides he has made since being drafted, do you know if the Vikings have tried at all the sign WR Sidney Rice to an extension with his contract being up after next season? And if not, do you would know why that is?

-- Drew L., New Richmond, WI

I don’t know if there have been discussions between the Vikings front office and Sidney Rice’s representatives regarding a contract extension. One hurdle in these discussions and negotiations could be the current CBA negotiations. The league and players’ union are trying to hammer out a new agreement and it must certainly be difficult for teams and players to work out new deals with so much in flux at this point.

I’d like to see the Vikings lock Rice up for several seasons, but I don’t anticipate much happening on that front until the NFL and the NFLPA agree to a new CBA.

A couple of questions surrounding replacing Chester Taylor. 1) The Vikings have moved Darius Reynaud into the RB mix. My opinion is this nothing more than a stop-gap measure by the Vikings. Neither Reynaudnor Albert Young have the ability to replace Taylor. Do you concur with this? And 2) The Vikings need to spend a high draft choice for a RB this year (at least 2nd or 3rd round pick). What is your opinion on this?

-- Paul H., Denver, CO

Let’s answer each question one at a time…

1) I don’t agree with your assessment of Reynaud and Young or that moving Reynaud to RB is a “stop-gap measure.” Both players could potentially be solid RB2 guys in the NFL. In terms of Reynaud, look at it this way: what were his chances of making a difference as a WR? Not very good with Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian already in the fold. What are his chances of making a difference as a RB? I’d say much better because there is a spot on the depth chart open for competition, and he could win it. So moving Reynaud to RB is a good example of the Vikings managing their talent and trying to maximize what they currently have on the roster.

2) I think it’s too presumptuous to say what you said, that the Vikings “need to spend a high draft choice for a RB.” If a top-notch RB isn’t available in the 2nd or 3rd round, then the Vikings shouldn’t use a pick on one. Why waste such a high draft pick on a player who doesn’t rate as high? Just because you need a position doesn’t mean you should reach for a guy in the draft. It’s always best to take the best player available, regardless of position.

Mike, thanks for having something interesting to read Monday Mornings! It is great for distant fans to still feel connected with the Vikings. I keep reading how Vikings analysts are so high on Devin McCourty. Although I agree that he could be great in the NFL, why is he being considered a better CB than Boise State's Kyle Wilson? In my opinion, and the opinion of almost everyone at NFL.com and ESPN, Wilson is the better CB. However, most Vikings-related articles that I have read place McCourty higher. I understand that McCourty played in a far better conference than the WAC, but anyone who even tried to challenge Wilson got burned. Please shed some light on this for me. Thanks!

-- Brent B., Boise, ID

I'm not sure why McCourty is so highly-touted for the Vikings over Wilson, although I will say I’ve seen both names tied to the Vikings in various mock drafts. The one thing McCourty does that Wilson doesn't is cover kicks, I believe? If that's true, perhaps that's a reason to have McCourty higher.

I would give a slight edge to McCourty in size. But I would give the edge to Wilson in top end speed, ball skills and cover ability (slightly). I think both players can be overpowered by bigger receivers, but they'll get better at that with technique at the NFL level.

I really think the differences are pretty negligible at this point and an argument for one over the other can be made in both cases. I will try to get into the film room this week and take a look at both players to see if I can glean anything off the tape. If I can get some sort of advanced analysis on both players, I’ll mention something on the vikings.com Blog, so stay tuned there.

At this point, though, I don't know which player I would prefer in the Vikings system...

I have several questions. 1) What is the status of LB EJ Henderson and CB Cedric Griffen? 2) With E.J.’s injury, will the Vikings look for a middle LB in this year’s draft? 3) How content are we with RG Anthony Herrera and C John Sullivan? I think G/C Maurkice Pouncey should be the pick at #30 if he's there. Lastly, if Devin McCourty and Pouncey aren't available at #30, how likely is RB Jahvid Best as the choice? I think he'd be a great pick to complement Adrian Peterson. Thanks!

-- Alec J., St Cloud, MN

Let’s answer these questions one at a time…

1) Henderson and Griffin: They are both currently rehabbing their injuries at Winter Park and seem to be on the road to complete recovery.

2) Not sure if the Vikings will look specifically for a middle LB, but I expect the team will select another LB in this year's draft.

3) I was encouraged with Sullivan in his 1st year as a starter. He played the entire season with a future Hall of Famer (Brett Favre) taking snaps from him. The Vikings went deep to the playoffs with Sullivan calling the shots along the line. That's a very good start for him. I think Herrera had his moments in 2009 but he also struggled some. The good news is that most of his struggles came after his concussion, and I think he'll be fully recovered for the 2010 season and I expect to see the "old" Herrera back at it. He's very strong and tenacious, so I don't have any problems with the Sullivan/Herrera combo for next season. With that being said, I believe in selecting the best player available, so if Pouncey is there he certainly could be the pick. That's why we chose Adrian Peterson in 2007. Picking Peterson was not an indictment against Chester Taylor, rather, it was a function of the philosophy that dictates taking the best available player.

4) As good a player as he was in college and as good a career as he could have in the NFL, I personally don't like taking Jahvid Best at #30. I'm happy with Albert Young, Darius Reynaud or Ian Johnson trying to fulfill that RB2 role and using the 1st round pick on another position.

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