Monday, April 09, 2007

NFL Draft Rumblings

We are still two weeks away from the 2007 NFL college entry draft and the Minnesota Vikings appear intent on cloaking their targets in the draft. While that probably is the best approach for the organization to take if it wishes to leave open it's numerous draft-day options, it does tend to make for a dull, pre-draft period.

But just because the Vikings' aren't talking much, doesn't mean that we cannot deduce the Vikings' options from what those who are speaking are saying. With representatives of most of the other NFL teams at least leaking rumors, there is more reason to believe that the Vikings' will have the option of drafting Adrian Peterson--a player most insiders believe the Vikings covet much more than they are letting on--than ever there was.

Domino Effect

The hottest rumor in NFL circles isn't really much of a revelation. Rather, it is a contradiction of conventional wisdom that is highly expected. The presumption all along has been that the Oakland Raiders will select LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the number one overall selection in this year's draft. The move would make sense as it would pair a great-armed, mobile quarterback with two wide receivers who can make a difference when healthy and willing to play, Randy Moss and Jerry Porter. Rumor has it, however, that Al Davis simply cannot overcome his infatuation with Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

Oakland has numerous holes, including running back and offensive line. But the most glaring weakness is at quarterback. How diseased is the Raiders' quarterback situation? You be the judge.

After benching Aaron Brooks two games into the season, then starting him again, then benching him again, the Raiders finally wised up and cut ties with him. That left the team with two quarterbacks on their roster--neither of whom looks like they would be in the league if not for the Raiders.

If the Raiders select Calvin Johnson, barring trades, they will start the season with Moss, Porter, and Johnson at wide receiver and...Andrew Walter at quarterback? That's pretty tough to accept if you're a sensible Raiders' fan. Last year, Walter compiled these wonderful statistics after replacing the broken down Brooks--1677 yards on 53 percent completed passes with 3 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

The 3/13 line is enough to make one shudder--or call for Joey Harrington as the starter next year. Alas, it sounds as though Davis is comfortable in his own skin (yuck!) with Walter throwing misses near a solid corps of receivers. It ought to be fun to watch so much talent at receiver run really fast for one quarter before two-thirds of the trio goes to the bench to rip the rookie coach.

If Oakland selects Johnson at number one, the board opens up dramatically for the Vikings at number seven, possibly giving the Vikings their pick of one of the top two quarterbacks and Adrian Peterson. And that's where things could get very interesting for Vikings' fans.

Up Next: Dominos Falling? Plus, Quinn versus Peterson.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Running backs are a dime a dozen. Paying top ten money to a back is a sign of organizational incompetence. I expect you're exactly correct that the Vike's brain trust (sorry) has AP in their sights.

The number one required RB skill in today's NFL is receiving ability. If you can't catch the ball you've given the defense a huge edge. The Vike's should trade down and take Lynch if they insist on taking a first round running back. Better yet, they should forget RB until the third round or later.