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Do you know who the fastest Viking is? If they all lined up in a race, who would win between (Cordarrelle) Patterson, Adrian Peterson and Joe Webb? -- Lori C. Fergus Falls, MN
This is a good question and one I'd love to see answered in the fashion Lori mentioned. Unfortunately, that won't be happening any time soon, so we have to go to other methods to figure this out. In the spirit of the Combine, perhaps the fairest way is to use 40-yard dash times from each Vikings Combine performance.
In doing that, the fastest Viking is cornerback Josh Robinson, who ran a 4.28 in 2012. The next fastest is a three-way tie among Patterson, Xavier Rhodes and Marcus Sherels (at his pro day), who all were timed at 4.37. Peterson is next at 4.39 and Greg Jennings and Jarius Wright are next at 4.42. For the record, since 2007 Rhodes has registered the highest vertical leap at the Combine with a 40.5-inch measurement and Everson Griffen has lifted the most bench press reps with 32.
Given the draft needs of teams ahead of us, it seems possible that arguably the most talented player in the draft, wide receiver Sammy Watkins, could fall to us at No.8. Rick Spielman has shown that he is not afraid to go with the best talent on the board, so he could potentially go for Watkins. Do you think this scenario is at all likely? And would it be worth it to pass on a top defensive player to grab the talented receiver and possibly go for a big name defensive back in free agency? -- Isaac S. Collegeville, MN
I watched five games of Watkins' tape from the 2013 season, saw him in person at the Combine this past week and had plenty of conversations about him with people at the Combine, and I will be completely blown away if he's still on the board at No. 8. If he is, the Vikings will be in a position of strength because they could go one of two productive routes: 1) select Watkins and add another dynamic playmaker to the offense, or 2) hold an auction for that pick among receiver-needy teams and trade back to acquire more selections.
It seems likely that the top three quarterbacks in the draft will be gone by the time the Vikings select at No. 8. Do you think the Vikings should keep their pick and get the best defensive player? Or should they trade back for additional picks? -- Terrel T. Honolulu, HI
I'm not so certain that three quarterbacks will go before the Vikings select at No. 8. It could happen, but at this point it's too early to have a strong opinion either way. For the purposes of this discussion, though, let's say the top three quarterbacks on the Vikings board are unavailable at No. 8. How the Vikings should react then depends on which top defensive players are still on the board and what trade offers exist. All things being equal, I lean toward trading back to acquire more picks because of the depth of this draft class. We've heard countless people, from Mike Mayock to Rick Spielman, explain how deep this class is.
I have been very intrigued of how Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton is not mentioned in the defensive line talk of this year's draft. Many are knocking down is draft stock for his height (6-1) and arm length. But when I see this guy, I envision him as a guy we once had with that height, and he is a Hall of Famer – John Randle. Fast, explosive, and a guy with a chip on his shoulder. What do you think of the Vikings going after a guy like Sutton on the second day of the draft? -- Cody R. Page, AZ
There are a lot of different ways to look at Sutton. I see an undersized but athletic, disruptive and productive defensive tackle who probably fits best playing the three technique in a 4-3 front, similar to Sharrif Floyd. Others, such as the NFL.com scouting report on him, see Sutton as a player who added bad weight and has questionable competitiveness and desire. For a variety of reasons, including the fact that I think Sutton will be gone before the Vikings pick at No. 40 and the presence of Floyd on the Vikings roster already, I don't see Sutton and the Vikings being a match in this draft. But I could be wrong, and I do think Sutton is worthy of a top 40 selection.
While a lot of talk about personnel has focused on quarterback and defense, I am wondering about the offensive guard position. Are there any free agent guards who might be worth pursuing? And what do you think about the Vikings drafting a guard in the second or third round (say David Yankey or Xavier Su'a-Filo)? -- Joshua KB
Re-signing Charlie Johnson and having players already under contract compete for depth chart positioning at right guard is more appealing to me than what may be out there on the open market; NFL.com has zero guards listed among its top 25 free agents this year. I'll be interested to see if Jeff Baca can take a step forward in his second season and Johnson brings value as a veteran who knows how offensive line coach Jeff Davidson wants the job done. As for Yankey and Su'a-Filo, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock has them rated first and second, respectively, in this class, so I don't sense they will land with the Vikings. I do like Notre Dame guard Chris Watt as a mid-round prospect who could come into a NFL team and compete for a starting spot along the interior as a rookie.
Eric Decker recently said "It's not all about the money." What are the chances he would want to come home and play for the Vikings? -- Thomas A. Pierre, SD
I can't speak for Decker and I haven't heard him discuss the Vikings specifically, so we don't know if he'd consider coming "home" to play for the Vikings. The question for the Vikings, when it comes to Decker and any prospective free agent signing, is about the relationship between what value that player can add to the team and how much it would cost to sign that player. The Vikings already have a talented and fairly young corps of receivers with Greg Jennings (30), Cordarrelle Patterson (22) and Jarius Wright (24), plus the team could re-sign Jerome Simpson (28) and Joe Webb (27). With all of that talent at receiver, does it make sense to use a bunch of cap space on another receiver when there are other parts of the roster that need addressing, as well?