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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Mar 8, 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.

Do you think the Vikings will look at trying to sign CB Leigh Bodden? It appears with the injury to Cedric Griffin that a CB might be a priority for the Vikings. Thanks for all your information.
-- Eric J.

I haven’t spoken to anyone in the building about Leigh Bodden, but I must admit that of the UFAs still available Bodden seems to me like a great fit for the Vikings. He played well in New England last season – 55 tackles and 5 INTs in 15 games – and he’s also garnering plenty of interest among NFL teams. Those are both good signs. I also like his size – 6-1, 193 pounds – and his experience – 8 years in the NFL.

What I’m not sure about, though, is if he’s considered to be better in man coverage or better in zone coverage; I guess that would determine whether or not he would be an ideal fit in Minnesota.

The other aspect to consider is how much he commands in terms of salary. Remember that the Vikings can only offer a 1st-year salary greater to or less than the salary that either Artis Hicks or Chester Taylor will receive in the 1st year of their deals with Washington/Chicago. And, after the 1st year, the salary can’t escalate by more than 30%.

Suffice it to say, I think it’d be great for the Vikings to bring Bodden to town but there are also a number of potential hurdles that the Vikings would have to clear.

Hey Mike! After such an amazing college career at Boise State, do you think Ian Johnson will have any chancefor the #2RB position now that Chester Taylor is gone?I know he went undrafted, but so did John Randle.
-- Eric, Big Sky, MT

I would never say a guy has “no chance” to earn a roster position, but I will say that Johnson has an uphill battle to earn that spot. He must first compete with Albert Young for the job and remember that last year Young beat him out for the #3 spot. Also, he must beat out any RB the Vikings add to the roster between now and training camp – this includes free agent RBs and RBs added through the draft.

Johnson has the chance to be a contributor on an NFL team some day, but I think he faces a stiff challenge to be that kind of player for the Vikings in 2010.

Here in the middle of all the free agent and draft questions I have just a generic, fun question for you. In a straight 40-yard dash, who do you think wins – Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin or Bernard Berrian? Is there another horse in that race I don’t know about that I should be considering?

-- Nate A., Minot, ND

Percy Harvin.

There actually might be another player on the Vikings roster to put in that race – WR Jaymar Johnson. I think Berrian comes in a close 2nd behind Harvin, but it seems to me that #12 will get to his top speed the quickest of the bunch and that will be too much for the other 3 to overcome.

With that being said, Adrian Peterson is the player I’d least like to run into at the finish line and I think if you extended the race to 100 yards, Berrian would be closing the gap quickly.

The Raiders put a 2nd round tender on QB Bruce Gradkowski. Do you think that thiscould be a fix for the Vikings QB issue? Personally,I think a 2nd round pick for a younger, semi-proven player is a reasonable price. If Favre doesn't come back this year, then Gradkowski offers experience and ability as a potential starter or at least in a competition with Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels. If nothing else, he's cheap at less than $1.8m and would allow us to focus on our secondary in the draft.

-- Dave B.

I don’t see this as a viable or prudent option for the Vikings. Why go after a guy such as Gradkowski and give up a 2nd round pick when you already have players such as Jackson and Rosenfels? Also, I don’t think Gradkowski is better than either Jackson or Rosenfels. Gradkowski’s career passer rating is just 65.9, while Jackson and Rosenfels have ratings of 77.9 and 81.2, respectively.

I’m a big Sean Weatherspoon fan. Do you think the Vikings would draft him and, if so, do you think he would suit our style of play? Go the Vikings!

-- John D.

I can’t really answer either of those questions definitively – I don’t know where the Vikings have Weatherspoon slotted on their board and I can’t say I’ve watched him play much. But based on what I know about him, I have a few thoughts…

-- His size might be a little concerning. He’s listed at 6-1, 239 pounds, which would make him the 2nd-smallest LB on the Vikings roster behind Heath Farwell. Ideally, especially for a 1st round prospect (which Weatherspoon is), you’re looking for a good combination of size and agility. Weatherspoon has the agility, but the size isn’t quite there.

-- Speaking of agility, that’s something that seems appealing about Weatherspoon. The reports I’ve read state that he’s fluid in the hips, which means he has potential to be a good player in pass coverage and also good at moving from sideline to sideline.

-- Another thing I like a lot about Weatherspoon is that he was a 4-year player at Missouri and he was also very productive. Those are 2 great traits to see in a 1st round prospect. You’d be surprised, actually, at the number of so-called 1st round prospects who don’t have that specific combination.