Monday Morning Mailbag

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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Apr 1, 2013

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 the Vikings having multiple draft picks in the first round, and with GM Rick Spielman's love of draft picks, do you see the Vikings trading one of the first-round picks for additional picks since the draft is so deep this year?  For example, the two second-round picks that Cincinnati has.
-- Adam J.
Hayfield, MN

I won’t go so far as to predict this happening, but I most certainly would not rule out the possibility of the Vikings trading back. If a particular quarterback or two, for example, remain on the board when the Vikings are on the clock at No. 23 or No. 25, it wouldn’t be a shock to see a quarterback-needy team decide to trade back into the first round to satisfy that need on the first day of the draft rather than go to bed after the first round knowing they are going to have to compete with other quarterback-needy teams for the one or two top prospects who remain.

At the same time, given Spielman’s propensity to make draft-day trades, I also wouldn’t rule out the Vikings moving up to grab a player they covet. The Vikings did this just last year, trading with Baltimore to get back into the first round so they could grab Harrison Smith.

I know the Vikings already have several Notre Dame players, especially at tight end. But could TE Tyler Eifert still be a realistic possibility for them? The Vikings utilize tight ends well, and Eifert is a good blocker and could help Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder.
-- Mike D.
Chicago, IL

This is an intriguing question. At surface level one would say no in answering this question. But let’s remember a few things on this topic. First, we all know that Spielman insists on staying true to the board and taking the best player available. Secondly, the Vikings have two first-round picks. And thirdly, both the Vikings first-round picks (No. 23 overall and No. 25 overall) fall right about where Eifert is projected to be selected. Considering all that, the question Mike has posed is one the Vikings may have to consider when they’re on the clock in the first round.

This reminds me a lot of the situation the Vikings were in during the 2011 draft when they were on the clock in the second round and Kyle Rudolph was still on the board. There is one big difference, though: that was in the second round, not the first round. There are a lot of moving parts on this one, and at this point I wouldn’t rule anything out, especially with how disciplined the Vikings are when it comes to staying true to their board.

Speaking with Harrison Smith and Kyle Rudolph at an event in Leeds (England) last week, they praised Manti Te'o's ability as a player. Given the Vikings need at the middle linebacker position, what do you think the chances are of the Vikings using one of their two first-round picks to select Te'o if he is available? Also, how do you rate Te'o as a prospect?
-- Rob W.
Leeds (UK)

It’s too hard to actually put a percentage on the chances the Vikings take Te’o from my chair, but it’s certainly within the realm of possibility given the fact that the Vikings starting middle linebacker from last season – Jasper Brinkley – signed a free agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals a couple weeks ago. Let’s also remember that the Vikings have several of Te’o’s former college teammates on the roster, so perhaps the locker room environment in Minnesota is better for Te’o than other locker rooms across the League.

We addressed this topic in last week’s Pick 6 Video Mailbag.

Do you think our depth at slot receiver (Greg Jennings, Jarius Wright) will make us less likely to draft Tavon Austin if he falls to #23? Austin is tremendously talented, but plays primarily slot. Would the Vikings be better off choosing Robert Woods or Keenan Allen?
-- John R.
Suffolk, VA

Ordinarily, the presence of Jennings and Wright on the roster may preclude the Vikings from drafting a receiver in the first round who would play primarily in the slot. But when you consider the fact that Austin could also contribute as a kickoff and punt returner, the team may be willing to deal with a logjam at slot receiver by selecting Austin to join Jennings and Wright.

At the end of the day, it’s about accumulating the best collection of players at every position that you can. The best way to do that is to take the best player available, regardless of position. It’d be a shame to miss on Austin by taking a different receiver just because you perceived a greater need at another position.