With the 2017 NFL Draft fast approaching, a number of analysts have opined who the Vikings might select at No. 48.
Recently, NFL Media analysts Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah on the Move the Sticks podcast weighed in on "Perfect Pairs" – the ideal top two picks – for each team in the NFC North. For Minnesota, the duo decided on Florida safety Marcus Maye at No. 48 overall and Pittsburgh guard Dorian Johnson at No. 79 overall.
Jeremiah said the following on Maye:
"I'm starting to hear some buzz about Maye moving up the board. He's a physical tone-setter in the secondary. I love the energy he brings to the field."
According to Brooks, the Vikings still need to add a guard to bolster the offensive line, and Johnson could fit the bill. He said:
"Johnson is a mauler who does a great job of moving people off the ball. The Vikings are at their best when they can run the ball when they want, and Johnson can help in that effort. He can also help keep Sam Bradford upright."
A breakdown of 2017 TE draft prospects
John Holler of *Viking Update *expects the Vikings at the end of the month to take a tight end with one of their draft picks.
According to Holler, this year's tight end class is a deep one, and he delved into the group for a position breakdown. Holler expects O.J. Howard and David Njoku to be off the board in the first round, but he said he wouldn't be surprised if an additional eight or nine tight ends are selected in the second and third rounds alone.
In addition to Howard and Njoku, Holler included Evan Engram (Ole Miss) in the "cream of the crop" section. He then listed three players he considers to be in the "next level": Virginia Tech's Bucky Hodges, South Alabama's Gerald Everett and Michigan's Jake Butt.
Holler wrote the following of Hodges, a redshirt junior:
Started 37 of 40 career games, catching 133 passes for 1,747 yards and 20 touchdowns – all VT school records…His 20 TDs tied the ACC record for tight ends held by Heath Miller…Came to VT as a high school quarterback…Has an elite combination of strength, size and athleticism…A big-play receiver who can create mismatches down the middle of the field…Makes strong cuts to get immediate separation
PROJECTION: The [NFL Scouting Combine] was a blessing and a curse for Hodges, who tested extremely well in the drills that included running and jumping. But he looked very sloppy in position drills that required blocking and route running. His athletic talent should get him off the board by the third round, if not the second, but he has a lot of refining to do.
In the "best of the rest" grouping, Holler included Clemson's Jordan Leggett, Arkansas' Jeremy Sprinkle, Ashland's Adam Shaheen and Florida International's Jonnu Smith.
Vikings among top U.S. sports teams by winning percentage
According to StatisticalFuture.org, two Minnesota sports teams fall within the top 29 major U.S. sports teams by winning percentage.
Steven S. arranged a chart that compared the best winning percentages across NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL programs in the U.S.
The Vikings, who have an overall record of 457-387-10, came in at No. 21. They ranked just behind the Denver Broncos, whose overall record is 465-393-10.
There were 10 total NFL teams that made the list: Cowboys (No. 7), Packers (No. 9), Bears (No. 10), Dolphins (No. 12), Patriots (No. 14), Giants (No. 18), Ravens (No. 23) and 49ers (No. 28).
The Minnesota Wild were 15th on the list. Steven wrote:
NFL and NHL teams are relatively well-represented in the top chart with 22 teams, showing at least a bit of parity in the respective leagues. NFL stats are a bit quirky due to the relatively short schedule they play, giving more weight to each individual victory, while the NHL has a clear historical higher and lower echelon of teams.
The three sports programs with the highest winning percentage were the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Montreal Canadiens.