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Monday Morning Mailbag: Peterson's Trade Value

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Just for the record, I want Adrian Peterson back more than anything. But what do you think his trade value would be right now? Again, I want him back, but if that's not an option, I would hope we could get some draft compensation in a trade! -- Derek Schnorr

I am hopeful Peterson will be in Vikings backfield in 2015, too. He is a special player, I feel he has a lot left in the tank despite approaching the dreaded 30-year old mark, and I feel he is going to have a monster season in 2015. With that being said, I don't know what his trade value is (the market determines that) but it ought to be pretty high because he can score from anywhere on the field at any time and you can win any game you play when he's on your side.

Could you ever see the Vikings taking the best player available at No. 11 and that player being one of the top two quarterbacks? I know that in that spot they would likely look to trade down. But could they take the QB and then trade him to a team that is lower down the draft order for a mixture of top players? -- Steve Grimsley United Kingdom

At this point I wouldn't rule anything out, but that is an unlikely scenario. I feel there are enough good players in this class that the Vikings will have several non-quarterback options at No. 11 and won't be forced into taking one of the top two passers (Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston).

When it comes to "deep" positions in the draft, like running back and pass rusher, is it better to wait and draft someone at that position later because you're still going to get a good football player or draft someone at that position early and get the best of the best? -- Paul Silva

This is an excellent question and it's a question with which NFL decision makers wrestle constantly in the draft room. But this is exactly why teams spend so much time constructing their draft board. Once that board is set, the best thing a team can do is use it to make these decisions. Every player is given a grade, and players who are graded equally are then stacked within their subgroups. When a team is on the clock, the best thing to do is exactly what the board says. Straying from that philosophy marginalizes all the effort that went into stacking that board – why go through all that effort if you're just going to disregard the board at the most important time?

Are you fearful that break out players like QB Teddy Bridgewater, DE Everson Griffen and WR Charles Johnson are going to hear their "hype" and not put the work in, thus having a down year in 2015? -- Paul S.

No, that doesn't concern me with those players and it doesn't concern me with any Vikings because I don't believe Mike Zimmer fosters the kind of atmosphere within Winter Park that would generate or permit that mindset.

Do you think the Vikings should follow what the Dallas Cowboys have done recently and go offensive line-heavy in the draft, perhaps taking Brandon Scherff from Iowa? Then they could wait on a wide receiver – there seems to be a lot of talent there in this year's class. -- Tom Bird

The Cowboys have used a first-round pick on an offensive lineman in three of the last four years (LT Tyron Smith at No. 9 in 2011, C Travis Frederick No. 31 in 2013 and OG Zach Martin at No. 16 in 2014) and this past season that strategy paid dividends as RB DeMarco Murray led the League in rushing and Dallas ranked No. 2 in scoring offense. The Vikings have not used a first-round pick on an offensive lineman since 2012 (Matt Kalil at No. 4), but given how many injuries the team had along the line last year and with protecting young Teddy Bridgewater likely being a priority, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Vikings select Scherff at No. 11 and move him to guard for the time being.

What's the latest with Christian Ponder? Have/will we re-sign him? -- Michael Utley

He is currently under contract with the Vikings but is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent once the new League year begins on March 10. Only time will tell if the Vikings re-sign Ponder, but keep in mind it's a two-way street. For Ponder to remain a Viking, the team must desire to retain him and he must desire to stay. If either of those aren't the case, then the two sides will part ways.

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