Written by: Barry Lewis on April 23, 2011
The Minnesota Vikings came into the 2010 season thinking that this could be the year where they are a serious contender to win the Super Bowl.
And – it was with reason. Brett Favre, considering the year that he had in 2010, looked prime to retire as a winner of a Super Bowl. Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin is about as an explosive set of starting wideouts and running back that you can find in the NFL.
However, the Vikings were exposed last year. Their offensive line was atrocious and the same can be said for their defensive secondary which was coupled by the defensive front 7 not being as nearly as dominant as everyone thought it would be.
Flash forward to this year. The Vikings need a quarterback. They need four new starters in the defensive secondary if Antoine Winfield falls off a cliff with his perfomance as he turns age 34. They have needed a solid starting center since Matt Birk left.
The Vikings completed a number of trades on draft day. They traded out of the first round by swapping out picks 12 and 16 for picks 39, 77, 114, 121 and 130. So essentially, they traded a 1st round pick for a 2nd round pick, a 3rd round pick, 2 4th round picks and a 5th round pick. Not Bad – Had the Vikings stopped right there and there: They would have essentially dealt QB Ryan Mallett for FS Rahim Moore, WR Greg Little, TE Luke Stocker, CB Chimdi Chekwa, and WR Ricardo Lockette.
That would have been a good deal considering the Vikings issues in the secondary, and getting Stocker would have shored up depth at tight end in light of TE Visanthe Shiancoe’s 2010 season.
Unfortunately, the Vikings continued to wheel and deal. The Vikings turned around and essentially dealt picks 43, 77, 106, 113, 114, 121, 130, 150, 181 for picks 48, 49, and 70.
That single deal delivered QB Andy Dalton, OG Marcus Cannon, and TE Lance Kendricks. They would have received the following players had they simply sat pat according to the draft results: QB Colin Kaepernick, the aforementioned WR Little, WR Lockette, TE Stocker and CB Chekwa, DE/OLB Greg Romeus, ILB Greg Jones, DE Eddie Jones, and ILB Josh Byrnes.
As much as I like Marcus Cannon and he should become a starting right guard immediately for the Vikings, the swap between Dalton and Kaepernick is negligable as is the difference between Kendricks and Stocker at tight end. Therefore, it is fair to conclude that Cannon came at the cost of Little, Lockette, Chekwa, Romeus, ILB Jones, DE Jones and Byrnes. That is a high price for Cannon no matter how good of an offensive line prospect he is probably going to be.
The Vikings rounded its draft by selecting Slippery Rock Center Brandon Fusco who should compete for a starting job in addition to a slew of 6th and 7th round picks, including ILB Mike Mohamed.
In the end, the Vikings were able to address two spots on that offensive line and got good ones in Cannon and Fusco. They overspent on Cannon and they clearly overspent on TE Kendricks, who is rated behind Stocker according to all of the NFL expert boards and rating systems. Rahim Moore is going to help their secondary some. However, cornerback was not addressed and until it is – the Vikings are going to need that defensive line to step it up and put pressure on the quarterback.
And had the Vikings kept the rights to the picks which led to the drafting of ILB Greg Jones, DE Eddie Jones, and OLB Greg Romeus, it would have given them some serious depth on their defensive front 7 considering that they are at risk of losing OLB Ben Leber, DE Ray Edwards which leaves DE Everson Griffen as a starter. Also, the Vikings are likely going to lose long-time starter DT Pat Williams to retirement. That issue was not addressed either in this draft.
I am giving this team a draft grade of a C+ which had the possibility of being an A had it not made those last three trades and simply drafted more wisely.