Ranking The Best Available Free Agents

Posted Mar 17, 2014

The first week and the first wave of free agency are over. But plenty of good players remain unsigned, and GM Rick Spielman said recently the Vikings are not finished making moves.

After scanning the market of unsigned free agents and players recently released by teams, has ranked the top 31 players available. Below is that list, with some of our commentary. Without question, free agency’s second wave has first-tier talent. 

1. C Alex Mack


2. DT Henry Melton
Disruptive versus both the run and pass, Melton would strengthen a Vikings defensive line that has already been bolstered by the re-signing of Everson Griffen and the addition of Linval Joseph.

3. TE Jermichael Finley

4. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
The Vikings already added a stud cornerback with the signing of Captain Munnerlyn, but in the NFL, and particularly in the NFC North, you can never have too many good defensive backs.

5. DE Jared Allen

6. QB Michael Vick

7. CB Antonio Cromartie
See: Rodgers-Cromartie, Dominique

8. WR James  Jones
There are likely too many receiver-needy teams (Carolina, NY Jets) for Jones' asking price to be reasonable for the Vikings, but he fits the profile of a typical Spielman free agent signing - young, ascending career arc, looking to be a full-time starter.

9. DT Pat Sims

10. OL Donald Penn

11. OT Zach Strief

12. RB Knowshon Moreno
Whether the Vikings were in on the bidding for Darren Sproles or not, Moreno may actually be a better get because he's younger and is a more capable ball-carrier.

13. DE Shaun Phillips

14. OG Davin Joseph

15. RB LeGarrett Blount

16. S Chris Clemons
Personally, I like the combo of Harrison Smith and Jamarca Sanford. But Clemons is the best safety on the market after six of them were signed on Day 1 of free agency, plus he's just 28 years old, has six years of experience and shares a birthday with me.


17. RB Maurice Jones-Drew

18. OL Travelle Wharton

19. WR Sidney Rice, 20. WR Santonio Holmes, 21. WR Miles Austin
There are things to like about all three receivers, but each of them also have drawbacks. Selecting a receiver in the draft seems more appealing.

22. DT Kevin Williams
Sounds like a reunion is still possible. And who wouldn't love to see Ticket finish his career with the Vikings?

23. DE Anthony Spencer

24. QB Josh Freeman

25. C Brian De La Puente

26. CB Carlos Rogers and 27. CB Asante Samuel
Their talent level would provide an upgrade in Minnesota, but does their age preclude them from consideration?

28. TE Owen Daniels

29. WR Kenny Britt

30. S Kendrick Lewis

31. DE Alex Carrington