Ever wonder how many different answers you would get if you asked various bloggers the same question? Well, I was able to get together a few friends from the Vikings blogging world to help out in a Q&A about various Vikings topics. We put together 12 questions answered by 8 writers from 4 different Vikings sites. Each site will post 3 questions and you will need to check out the other sites to get the remaining questions/answers. Just click on each sites headline to take you there.
Vikings Territory(Questions 4-6)
The Viking Den(Questions 7-9)
-Gil Alcaraz IV
TC Huddle(Questions 10-12)
1. The Vikings should be able to take a shot at a top tier FA this year, if we were to land one free agent who should it be?
Adam Warwas – I have gone back and forth between Carl Nicks and Vincent Jackson this offseason, unable to truly make up my mind. Now that the franchise tags have done some damage to the wide receiver market, however, I’m starting to think a number one wide out should be a bigger free agency priority than offensive line. The free agency and draft depth at guard is pretty solid, not to mention the Vikings do still have some in-house options.
Branden Lemke - I think the Vikings have a lot of options in certain areas. If Marquis Colston hits the market, I can see him as a good fit for the Vikings, and will immediately upgrade the receiver corp. In terms of secondary, Cortland Finnegan is going to get a lot of attention, and I don’t see why the Vikings wouldn’t be interested in signing him.
Brett Anderson – Well, after all the franchise tags, there are really only two receivers who are true number ones that I think could come into Minnesota and fit in that primary receiver role: Mike Wallace and Vincent Jackson. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Vikings will make a move on either receiver. Mike Wallace would come at a very, very steep price because he’s a restricted free agent, stealing him away fromPittsburgh would mean forfeiting a first round pick. On top of that, he comes with a huge price tag. If the Vikings didn’t have the #3 pick in the draft I would say maybe give it a shot… But with the third pick, I think there’s too much talent in this draft we’d be passing up on. Vincent Jackson has his own set of drawbacks, in my opinion. By the start of the 2012 season, he’ll be very close to 30 years old. With the direction this team is headed and what Rick Spielman has said about becoming a younger team, I don’t think he’ll be willing to take onJackson’s price. With all that being said, getting back to the question, if I had to choose one free agent this year it would be Carl Nicks, offensive guard for the Saints. Offensive line is a major need for the Vikes and bringing in a guy like Nicks, as well as potentially drafting Matt Kalil, would go a long way in establishingMinnesota as a team with one of the better offensive lines in the league. On top of that, Carl Nicks is still young (26 years old) and what better way to get back at the Saints than hijacking their all-star guard!?
Dan Buri - It’s no secret that the Vikings have more holes to fill than Sasha Gray, but we need to focus on the O-Line and defense in the draft. That’s where the most value is. With so many free agent wide receivers available—Vincent Jackson, Reggie Wayne, Marques Colston, Brandon Lloyd, and Mario Manningham to name a few—Minnesota can get a lot of value at WR without overpaying. While a big strong WR like Vincent Jackson would do wonders for the offense, competition will be significant for him and his price tag will be high.
Gil Alcaraz IV – The Vikings really need to make a legitimate run at cornerback Brandon Carr. The secondary was one of their worst weaknesses in 2011 and really put them in bad situations even when they had the lead. With Carr in the lineup, he severely upgrades the cornerback spot and gives the Vikings the freedom to part with Cedric Griffin, whose return to Minnesota is doubtful. Although a wide receiver like Vincent Jackson may be tempting, he’s too old for the Vikings’ youth movement and will cost way too much once the bidding wars begin.
Joe Buri - There is so much talent out there and the Vikings have so many needs. I feel like a 12-year old standing in the candy isle at the local Super America. How can I possibly choose just one candy? Maybe I’m a lunatic, but Adrian Peterson’s health is a major concern. Taking a one-year flier on someone like Michael Bush or even a low-ender like Thomas Jones might be worth their while. Outside of that, La’Ron Landry (even with his injuries) would be a nice addition at safety.
Randy Perrin – I think the main focus this off-season is building around Christian Ponder. Vikings feel that Ponder is their quarterback of the future so the logical thing to do is put him in a situation to succeed. I’m not overly thrilled about the free agent WR market anymore but my top choice would be Vincent Jackson but his price tag might get too high for us due to high demand. If Vincent Jackson doesn’t pan out, Vikings could look for a 2nd tier guy to stretch the field or shift focus to defense and get one of the high named cornerbacks in Brandon Carr or Cortland Finnegan.
Sean Ryan - Mario Williams. Need to beef up the D line and word is Williams’ perform well here.
2. It’s obvious the Vikings need to upgrade the OL, WR and CB but what other positions need to be addressed?
Adam Warwas – All of them. The Vikings should aim for youth and talent in free agency, with no regard for positional need. They should do the same in the Draft. Just take the talent… and if the short term benefit is being even better at something they are already good at, then so be it.
Branden Lemke - Other than those three, linebacker comes to mind. EJ and Erin Henderson are most likely gone, or at least one of the two, so I think the Vikings will look around in free agency, and quite possibly the draft to find a long-term solution.
Brett Anderson – Upgrade is somewhat of an understatement for those three positions, Huh? Besides those three though, I would say defensive tackle is another big area of need. Kevin Williams is getting up there in age and won’t be with the team much longer. After him, who else is there? Ayodele? Guion? I don’t think so… I wish I could say there were no needs after that, but what I lie that would be. Tight End is another need that is kind of being overlooked right now. Rudolph did pretty good last year and I think it’s safe to say he will be our tight end of the future. But with the retirement of Kleinsasser and the likely departure of Visanthe Shiancoe, we suddenly become awfully thin at the position. Want more? You got it… MLB, SS, FS and, just to top it off, K! Yes, a kicker. I know it may seem kind of silly but Longwell is another one of those guys who is getting old. He doesn’t have the range he used to. The Vikings need to consider getting a young kicker who can solidify the position for many years to come.
Dan Buri – Although I love Ponder and really want him to be the long term solution, I’m still not positive we have the QB situation figured out. Beyond that, Minnesota also hasn’t had a legitimate safety threat that opposing teams must plan around since we showed Darren Sharper the door in 2008.
Gil Alcaraz IV – The other position that I really see as a concern this offseason is defensive tackle. When the Vikings lost Pat Williams last season, it left a gaping hole in their defensive front. It seemed like signing Remi Ayodele and drafting Christian Ballard would fill the void, but it didn’t. Without his partner in crime by his side, Kevin Williams struggled at times to be as effective as seasons passed. This offseason, there will be several options to choose from either via free agency or the draft. Whichever avenue the Vikings choose, they’re going to have to find a suitable sidekick for Williams if they want to resurrect their dominant defensive line.
Joe Buri - Well, as I mentioned above, Adrian Peterson’s health is a major concern. He will not be at full strength to start the season and might struggle all season. Adding depth at running back is an absolute must if it appears that Peterson is anything less than 100%.
Randy Perrin – LB and S need to be addressed but I also think we have a big need at NT. Its obvious Remi Ayodele did very little in an attempt to replace Pat Williams last year. Our NT requires a guy to demand double teams to open things up for the linebackers and allow Kevin Williams to see single coverage. Without a guy capable to clog the middle I think it showed it effects other positions also.
Sean Ryan - Defensive line. Jared Allen can’t do it all.
3. With the 3rd overall pick in the draft, the Minnesota Vikings select…and why?
Adam Warwas – Matt Kalil. He is the best player available, assuming Luck and RGIII really do go one and two, and fills a huge need for the Vikings. No brainer. If I felt a player at another position was actually the best player available, however, I would have them selecting that player.
Branden Lemke - Matt Kalil. We’ll get our receiver in free agency, and the Vikings are desperate at OL. Someone will most likely trade St. Louis for the 2nd overall pick to grab Robert Griffin III, and Andrew Luck will more than likely be drafted first overall by the Colts, so I think having the 3rd pick will play into our favor.
Brett Anderson – I hope with all my being that it is Matt Kalil, LT, USC. If the Rams end up trading the #2 pick to another team to move up and take Robert Griffin III, it’s almost a lock that this is exactly what the Vikings will do. Unfortunately, if the Rams don’t end up trading, I fear Kalil will end up inSt. Louis. Matt Kalil is the best non-QB in this year’s draft. He will solidify the side of the Vikings line and protect Ponder’s blind side for many years to come. He has the strength, quickness, smarts and the physical frame to grow. On top of that, Kalil was very impressive at the combine and separated himself even further from the other tackles behind him.
Dan Buri - Matt Kalil. The only reason we don’t is if St. Louis decides it doesn’t want another QB or trade its pick and drafts Kalil first. Why? If my Vikings-writing colleagues don’t explain it well enough, God help us all.
Gil Alcaraz IV – USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil. At this point, there’s no better option for the Vikings. Not only will Kalil’s presence improve the offensive line tenfold, but he’ll also help keep 2011 first-round pick Christian Ponder out of the hospital. When you have the ability to grab the best non-quarterback in the draft at the No. 3 spot, you take it.
Joe Buri - I know there is a lot of talk about trading down for more picks. But we have an opportunity to draft a tackle who will be an All-Pro every year for the next decade. It’s a no-brainer. Keep the pick and go with Matt Kalil out of USC.
Randy Perrin – Matt Kalil. Vikings could surprise us but I think Matt Kalil would be the wise choice. Kalil could start at LT right away and allow Charlie Johnson to move inside, addressing 2 needs with one pick.
Sean Ryan - Blackmon – pure talent, stretches field, game changer. Valuable OL picks can be had in 2nd and 3rd rounds.
VikingsGab would like to thank TC Huddle, Vikings Territory and The Viking Den for contributing. Each site brings it’s own identity and unique insight to the table and have provided plenty of great material. Thanks again guys!