March 10, 2005
Let me cut to the chase. The Vikings' recent free agency moves have left me very happy. In fact, I can think of little else now besides what the Vikings will do with their two draft picks in the first round to complete their Super Bowl team. First let's recap:
- Vikings trade Randy Moss to Oakland for LB Napoleon Harris the the 7th pick in the draft. Immediate improvement to our LB corps with addition of Harris.
- Vikings sign former Bill Pat Williams, a big, fast, run-stuffing DT who will immediately improve our defensive line.
- Vikings sign free agent CB Fred Smoot giving the Vikings two of the best corners in the league
- Vikings sign TE Jermaine Wiggins.
Now, if I could digress here for a minute to talk about Fred Smoot. Not the player, but the name: Fred Smoot. Wow, that has got to be the best/worst football name I have ever heard. The name Fred Smoot belongs in a Victorian era mystery novel, "My dear Smoot, could you pass the tea and crumpets?" Before he became a football player did he just get pummeled at school? I sincerely would like to know. Anyway, Fred Smoot is now one of my favorite Vikings. I just love saying that name! Fred Smoot!
Back to the business at hand. With the trade of Randy Moss and the signing of Smoot and Williams our two first round draft picks are just packed with intrigue. Here is how some of the big boys map out the first 7 picks:
- San Francisco 49ers: Alex Smith (jr.), QB, Utah
- Miami Dolphins: Ronnie Brown, RB, Auburn
- Cleveland Browns: Aaron Rodgers (jr.), QB, California
- Chicago Bears: Cedric Benson, RB, Texas
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carnell Williams, RB, Auburn
- Tennessee Titans: Adam Jones (jr.), CB, West Virginia
- Minnesota Vikings (from OAK): Braylon Edwards, WR, Michigan
You read that right, Braylon Edwards, the best WR in the draft. Personally, I would be shocked if Edwards fell this far, but I would take him. About Edwards Kiper writes:
Edwards' size, strength, speed and overall athleticism would go a long way toward filling the void left by the trade of Randy Moss, which is how the Vikings acquired the selection in the first place. Minnesota also has needs on defense but can address them later in the first round.
Yes indeed, Next we have:
- San Francisco 49ers (2-14) Aaron Rodgers* | QB | California
- Miami Dolphins (4-12) Ronnie Brown | RB | Auburn
- Cleveland Browns (4-12) Alex Smith* | QB | Utah
- Chicago Bears (5-11) Braylon Edwards | WR | Michigan
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11) Carnell Williams | RB | Auburn
- Tennessee Titans (5-11) Adam Jones* | CB | West Virginia
- Minnesota Vikings (from Raiders) (8-8) Mike Williams* | WR | USC
About Mike Williams, Scouts Inc. writes:
The Vikings have few needs to address and can really focus in on the ones they do have with two first-round picks thanks to the Randy Moss deal with the Raiders. The team is trying to improve the depth of its receiving corps by signing Rod Gardner in free agency, but Gardner is nothing more than a No. 3 receiver in the NFL. Williams might not possess Moss' freakish talents, but he's a dynamic weapon in his own right. Running in the 4.5's at the combine really solidified Williams as a top-10 selection and the trio of Williams, Nate Burleson and Gardner could make the transition a lot easier than expected for QB Daunte Culpepper.
Agreed. I think even if the Vikings get Rod Gardner, Williams would still be a great, and necessary pick.
So, Kiper and Scouts have the Vikings going with WR with the 7th pick. Unfortunately for us, they haven't updated their mock drafts since the Vikings signed Smoot, so I had to do a little digging to see who the Vikings may pick up with their CB situation taken care of (and if they don't give up this pick to get Donivin Darious).
- Mike Williams
- Thomas Davis, S, Georgia
Now we are getting somewhere. The play of Russell and Chavous has been horrendous. Put a decent safety in the secondary and we may see the defense reach at least a level of mediocrity. And I'll take mediocre over awful any time. About Thomas Davis, FoxSports.com writes:
Davis plays safety like a linebacker and excels in run support. The Vikings already have a run-stuffing tackle up front in former Bill Pat Williams; now Ted Cottrell's defense needs a sound tackler and punishing hitter in the secondary.
Wow, I get visions of Joey Browner in my head reading that. Smoot and Winfield, and the possibility of a decent safety? Oh my goodness, what have we done to deserve this? This kind of good fortune usually doesn't happen for Viking fans. Now if we could only get our linebacking up to par ...
About.com's James Adler
Who? Well, I'm not saying this guy is as well known as Kiper, but About.com is a respected site and his guess is as good as any. Let's see who he thinks the Vikings will pick up:
- Derrick Johnson, OLB Texas
- Troy Williamson* WR South Carolina
You read that correctly. Adler thinks both Edwards and Williams will be gone by pick seven, which will leave the Vikings with arguably the best LB the draft has seen for years. About Johnson Adler writes:
With the addition of cornerback Fred Smoot and linebacker Napolean Harris, the Vikings could really go a long way toward finally solidifying that defense with the addition of a potential superstar in Derrick Johnson.
Wow, I could go for that scenario, too. How can the Vikings go wrong with this 7th pick? Williams, Edwards, or Johnson ... I'm feeling really good about this. I'm feeling really excited about next year. Adler writes this about Williamson:
After picking up a playmaker on defense with their first pick, the Vikings might look ease the blow of losing Randy Moss by adding a talented playmaker to the receiving corps as well.
Randy who? Just kidding! He's no Mike Williams, but I 'm sure Williamson can at least catch the ball. And that will be more than we had with Jake Reed.
Anyways, that is the way things are shaping up. The way I see it, the Vikings will get Gardner. I expect that will happen soon. I'm 50/50 over whether or not the Vikings will pick up Darious. If that happens they would probably have to give up that 18th pick. As much as I'd hate to do that I think Darious would be a good pick up.
That's all I got for now. See you soon!
Posted by snackeru at March 10, 2005 9:41 AM | Vikings
Your comparasion of Thomas Davis to Joey Browner brought a smile to my face. My autographed Joey Browner card is one of most treasured possessions. If Davis is even half the player that Browner was, he'll be a fine pick. I certainly hope they don't give up much for Gardner; he was about as consistent as Marcus Robinson last year! Interesting to read that ownership will not be settled until May at the earliest. Does that give Taylor enough time if Fowler falls through, or are we stuck with Red again?
Curt in Grand Forks
Posted by: Curt Hanson at March 10, 2005 11:33 AM
Curt, I'd say we are stuck with Red. Hey did you see that Cheer or Die is reporting that the Vikes are working out Buress today? I wonder if they would still draft Williams or Edwards if they sign Plaxico, or if they would focus on defense with the 7th pick...
Posted by: Shane at March 10, 2005 1:32 PM
Joey Browner has the strongest hands in the N!F!L! I wish I'd gotten a nickel every time I heard that. I'd have at least $100.00.
Having a little defense might actually make this team good. Think of it.
Posted by: SBG at March 10, 2005 5:30 PM