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Monday Morning Mailbag: Boone's Impact On Pick No. 23

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With the signing of Alex Boone, I think we should go after a wide receiver in the 1st round of the draft. I like Josh Doctson because I hear he is the most NFL-ready receiver. What are your thoughts?

-- Dmitri R.

Albuquerque, NM

I wouldn't predetermine a position to take in any round of the draft and I don't think anything the Vikings have done in free agency makes it easier to predict what they'll do in the draft. The best philosophy is to take the best player available. Even if you've identified WR as a top need for your team, you open yourself up to a mistake by taking a WR over another player who is graded higher. The point of the draft is to add the best talent you can add to your team and then to groom those players to help you win for the long haul. In free agency you can be a bit pickier about acquiring players who fit a specific need. The draft is about pure talent and accumulating as much of it as you can. If, when the Vikings are on the clock, a WR is among the best available players, then that could be the pick. But I don't think the team will force it.

Thanks for all the great free agency content. I just listened to the tape of Alex Boone meeting the media. I got the sense that he's the type of player that Rick Spielman & Coach Zimmer want. Is it unreasonable to think that Alex will be a leader almost immediately? He certainly came across that way.

-- Gary

St. Cloud, MN

It's not unreasonable to think Boone could be an instant leader on the offensive line, but I would also say that group has some players with leadership ability already and I would also add that leaders earn that role with their teammates. I'm sure Boone understands that whole process and I have no reason to think he'll have any problems assimilating into that offensive line group. It won't surprise me if Boone has a positive impact on his teammates, particularly on some of his fellow linemen.

With the new signing of Alex Boone as the probable LG, will this move Brandon Fusco back to his original spot at RG?

-- Matt Soenen

Rockwell City, IA

None of this has been disclosed by the team, so all we can do is speculate on what might happen. Also, what the Vikings do in the draft could dictate or determine what the plan will be along the offensive line. Coach Zimmer and his offensive staff have a lot of time to make this decision. But, for the sake of answering the question, my guess is Boone will be the starter at LG and the team will consider moving Fusco back to the right side to compete with Mike Harris for time at RG. If this is the plan, the Vikings would have a great situation at the reserve position because both Fusco and Harris have played well for the Vikings and would make for quality backups.

If you had to choose between a player that is coming out of college football with raw talent that you could mold or a player coming out of college who is a high profile player, which would you pick/prefer? We've seen a lot of high profile players come into the League and not live up to expectations, and a lot of players with raw talent come in and tear it up. Raw talent? Or high profile?

-- Ian

Strasburg, VA

I'm not fundamentally opposed to having a high-profile rookie on the team, but I don't view the player's level of celebrity as any indication as to whether he's going to be able to help the Vikings out or not. So I would most certainly look at raw talent as the more attractive trait, without a doubt. And that would especially be true here in Minnesota with the coaching staff the Vikings have – this group knows how to develop talent.

The Vikings need some more talent at wide receiver. How much does production weigh in on the discussion? Production would make Tyler Boyd perhaps the best pick and he would likely be there in the 2nd round. What do you hear?

-- Jerry Carrier

You could put a picture of Boyd next to the word "production" in the dictionary and I wouldn't have a problem with it. He has the Pennsylvania state high school record for career TDs with 117 and then he went to the University of Pittsburgh and set the program's career record in receptions with 254 and receiving yards with 3,361. When it comes to the evaluation process, production most certainly matters. But it's not everything. Nothing in the evaluation process is the be-all, end-all. Every part of the process and every angle there is to analyze is all part of a large body of work that teams study. The level of competition at which that production was created matters to evaluators, as does a player's health and character, his fit in the scheme and the potential for physical and ability growth. There are a lot of factors and teams try their best not to let any one factor dwarf many others.

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