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Monday Morning Mailbag: At No. 11 The Vikings Will...?

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Between CB Trae Waynes and WR DeVante Parker, which one do you think the Vikings should take at No. 11? -- Colt Landers

They should take whichever player is higher on their board. If both players have an equal grade, then several factors can come into play, including depth of the position's draft class behind each player and which position the Vikings perceive is a greater need for them. I feel cornerback is a more premium position, so on one hand I lean toward Waynes. On the other hand, I believe in QB Teddy Bridgewater and I feel that when you have a quarterback in whom you believe it's wise to dress that quarterback up with as many weapons as possible, and Parker is a tremendous weapon plus he has already played and played well with Bridgewater. This is a good debate and I can see it going either way, and either way the Vikings would get a good player who can contribute immediately.

Why do mock drafts have the Vikings picking an offensive lineman a lot? I think we have a good offensive line, but it just was injured most of last year. Thoughts? -- Alex Singapore

I agree the Vikings offensive line is good and there's no question that injuries forced the team to adjust along the way. But with a vacant starting position at left guard and with how the Vikings spread out their free agent signings to different parts of the team (not giving away where they are leaning in the draft), I can see why some who put together mock drafts have the Vikings slated with an offensive lineman. This year's class has a lot of good offensive linemen and a lot of linemen who could play either guard or tackle, which is good for the Vikings as they look to fill the starting guard position and add depth across the line.

Most of the mock drafts I have seen have us taking CB Trae Waynes or WR Amari Cooper. With that being said, if a top edge rusher slid to us, do you think we would take that player given the fact we don't really need one at the moment like we didn't need Sharrif Floyd a couple years ago? -- Chris Ladd

If an edge rusher is the top player on the board when the Vikings are on the clock, then I think the Vikings are going to take an edge rusher. Vikings GM Rick Spielman insists the team stays true to its board and it's hard to doubt him with instances such as Floyd in 2013 and Adrian Peterson in 2007 as perfect examples of the team turning away from need and simply taking the best player available.

Which DEs and LBs in this year's class do you think fit the Vikings 4-3 defense the best? -- Josh Thrush

At this stage in their careers, these prospects are capable of fitting into any defensive scheme. My sense from speaking with and knowing coaches is they are teachers at heart and they are passionate about molding players into great pros. Many of the good coaches are willing to look at a player's skill set and use his strengths to his advantage rather than forcing that player into a mold that he doesn't naturally fit. That's not to say coaches don't pride themselves on developing skills in a player, but it doesn't come at the expense of what the player already does well.

How will new additions to the wide receiver position affect players like Jarius Wright and Adam Thielen next year? They are talented players and I hope to see them starting a few games next season. Do they have what it takes? -- Mitch Friesenborg

Thielen and Wright already have shown they have what it takes to contribute at the NFL level. Both guys made big-time plays for the team last season and that goes a long way in the eyes of coaches. But the addition of Mike Wallace along with any additions the team makes to the position in the draft and undrafted free agency will create some competition so it's no sure thing anyone will make the roster. And that's a good thing. The more competition you can foster on your roster, the better off your team will be once the final cuts are made.

How are DE Scott Crichton and G David Yankee progressing? Being deactivated most of last season, I'm worried we may have struck out with our 3rd- and 5th-round picks from last year. Any whispers they have the ability to compete and be activated on Sundays? -- Dante' Javier Brentwood, CA

It's too early to be concerned about their progress or to categorize them as misses in the draft. Remember, Crichton played on perhaps the strength of the team (the defensive line) and it's tough to expect a rookie to contribute on the strength of the team. As for Yankey, he was a 5th-round pick and often times those picks don't even make the team coming out of camp, so that he is still on the roster is a credit to him. Both Crichton and Yankey will continue to improve as they mature and spend another season in the Vikings program.

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