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Monday Morning Mailbag: Draft Day Edition

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I think we need to go strong on the offensive and defensive lines in the draft. Let us not forget the NFC Championship Game. I'm all for moving back into the top of second round if it works out, or trading back up into the middle rounds where the best value is truly at. Here's to a great draft. Can't wait. -- Doug Rabenberg

Between the defensive and offensive lines, there are nine starting positions. You want about one primary backup for each of those spots, too, so you're looking at 16-19 spots on the roster dedicated to these two position groups. That's why it almost always makes sense to address these positions at some point fairly early in each draft, and I won't be surprised if the Vikings do exactly that tonight and tomorrow.

Could you see a slight strategy adjustment where Rick Spielman would move up from No. 30 to snare offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame? He does like Fighting Irish players. It may cost us from getting double digit players, but quality over quantity sometimes makes more sense. -- Chris Kulak

A lot would have to fall into line for something like that if you think about. If McGlinchey is available, if the Vikings like McGlinchey, if the drop off at offensive tackle after McGlinchey is steep and if another team offers the Vikings the right deal, then it could happen. *Could. * Remember, Spielman has moved up to get players in the past, perhaps most notably Harrison Smith and Teddy Bridgewater. So it's not as if Spielman has demonstrated exclusively the propensity to move back. He'll move up, too, if the situation calls for it.

I predict the Vikings trade back out of the 1st round to the early part of the 2nd round so they can get back into the 4th round. What are your thoughts? -- James Lushin Indiana

I think that would surprise no one. If a bunch of players are graded similarly and are available when the Vikings are on the clock at No. 30, that's not a bad option. It's also not a bad option if no players the Vikings love at that value level (No. 30) are on the board. The Vikings are in a great position, no doubt, and it'll be exciting to see what happens in the late stages of the 1st round. There will likely be teams interested in coming back into the round at the end to snag a player they can't believe is still there.

I've been looking at all the mock drafts and none of them have us picking a running back in the first four rounds. With us losing Jerick McKinnon and Dalvin Cook coming back from an injury, I disagree that running back isn't a need. Zimmer tries to really prepare and we just can't put all our eggs in one basket with Cook. What do you think? -- Jim Barber Alta, IA

The Vikings haven't put all their eggs in the Cook basket. Latavius Murray was the Vikings leading rusher last season and he tied Stefon Diggs for the team lead in touchdowns with eight, and he will be back in 2018. I wouldn't say running back is a true "need" for the Vikings, but I also wouldn't be surprised to see a running back taken at some point in the middle or late stages of the draft.

My gut feeling is that our first two picks will be versatile offensive linemen. We could go another way depending on who is available, but depth on the offensive line is our greatest need. We will have to wait and see! -- Gerald Goblirsch

It's not common to spend each of your first two picks on the same position, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. The ultimate goal is to select good players and part of the goal with early picks is to select players who can contribute in some way right away. If the only way to accomplish those objectives is to wind up with two players who play the same position, then the Vikings will do it. Remember, it's not about filling needs. It's about adding good players who fit into your program.

Do teams do analytics on other teams and who they might draft before their team has their pick? -- David Maanum

Definitely. There's no way to know for certain, but teams do their best to assess what other teams may do. This information helps you build your board, particularly as you try to rank players who are in the same cluster (have the same grade).

After Kickoff Weekend, there is no single annual NFL event I greet with more anticipation and relish than the draft. It's NFL Christmas. And usually I know exactly what I want under my Gjallarhorn. This year I confess, I'm trusting Spielman Claus and his Skol Elves to fill my stocking. Surprise me. There truly are no glaring needs. Not one. Yes the offensive line can improve and adding quality depth at a few spots would make sense, but if the Vikings went to battle with the current roster, I'd feel great about the odds of success. So bring it on! Surprise me! And let's have Christmas in February next year! Skol! -- Jeff Kilty Sacramento, CA

I love it! As Steve Smith, Jr. said yesterday during the NFL Network availability session, you don't want to shop hungry, meaning you don't want to go into the draft with a bunch of needs and have those needs dictate who you take. The Vikings roster is stacked and they can go into the draft with the mindset of hunting for good players, not trying to fill holes.

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