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Playing With Hindsight

Hindsight is always 20-20, or so they say.  I know segments like this cause a lot of grumbling, but I thought it may prove to be a fun little game for us to play.

What I did was look back at the 2009 draft results and by assuming the other 31 teams drafted the exact same way, I did a “re-draft” for the Vikings.  By that I mean I go back, use hindsight, and decide who I think the Vikings should have drafted.  I do not expect everyone (hell, anyone) to agree with me, but figured we could have some fun with this one in the comments section at the very least.

For this exercise, I assume the Vikings draft in the same exact spots, including their trade to acquire Jasper Brinkley.

FIRST ROUND (#22)

Real Pick:  Percy Harvin, WR

Harvin has not disappointed anybody, in fact I think it is safe to say that he exceeded the expectations of most fans.  His capabilities as a slot receiver and as a kick returner helped the Vikings find a spark they were needing.

New Pick:  Michael Oher, OT

This is nothing against Harvin, I am thrilled that the young man is on our side (hell, I named my dog after him) but should be thought of more as a compliment to Oher and a lack of respect for Bryant McKinnie.  Also, as you’ll see, there are some awfully good slot receivers and return men available later on in this draft. 

Oher will be a dominant offensive tackle for many, many years.  His ability to play on both sides of the line is incredibly valuable.  He did a great job filling in for Jared Gaither at left tackle for some of the 2009 season, paving the way for one of the NFL’s best rushing attacks and did an admirable job of protecting Joe Flacco.

The fact that an offensive tackle is likely to play in the NFL about twice as long as a speed receiver also factors into this decision.

SECOND ROUND (#53)

Real Pick:  Phil Loadholt, OT

Phil Loadholt had a very respectable first season.  He was immediately installed as the starting right tackle, and the mammoth player was fairly productive.  He struggles with speed rushers and probably always will, but one can assume he’ll only improve after a fairly decent season of run blocking.

New Pick:  Phil Loadholt, OT

I cannot imagine Loadholt making it out of the first round if all the other teams were able to re-draft like I am now.  The guy was a steal and I find nobody worthy of picking over him at this spot.  If the Vikings were to pick up both Oher and Loadholt, then Bryant McKinnie is more easily traded away for solid value.

THIRD ROUND (#86)

Real Pick:  Asher Allen, CB

Allen had a mixed season.  He was inactive at the start of the season, but showed some promise later on.  Perhaps his biggest play was a sack and forced fumble against Ben Roethlisberger.  Still, he seems like a very raw prospect that fans not named G.P. still don’t know what to expect from.

New Pick:  Johnny Knox, WR

I told you we’d get a slot receiver with great return abilities.

Knox was one of the very few bright spots for the Bears this season.  He had 527 yards and five touchdowns with Cutler as his quarterback.  The speedster also averaged 29 yards per kick return.  Basically, I see Knox being even better with Favre throwing to him, and see him filling the role that Percy Harvin did this season.  He may not be quite as good, but the value is there two rounds later.

FIFTH ROUND (#150)

Real Pick:  Jasper Brinkley, ILB

I was real high on this pick back in April.  In fact, at the time I thought this was the best pick of the draft for the Vikings.  After struggling to adequately fill the shoes of E.J. Henderson, however, I am doubting my assessment.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Brinkley can be a solid contributor but his lack of coverage skills and the number of times he was caught out of position was worrisome.  He was very solid on special teams, however, which is about all the Vikings were really expecting out of a fifth round pick.

New Pick:  Jasper Brinkley, ILB

Despite his struggles, Brinkley has shown enough to make me believe he has potential as a starter.  Not to mention he was a big part of the Vikings improvement on special teams. 

Mainly, I just couldn’t find anyone else that I thought deserved being drafted ahead of him.  I thought about Captain Munnerlyn because of his punt return abilities and awesome name, but Brinkley is still the right choice.

SEVENTH ROUND (#231)

Real Pick:  Jamarca Sanford, S

Putting aside the fact that he knocked E.J. Henderson out for the season, Sanford showed a ton of promise as a special teams player and also as a potential starter.  By the end of the season, many fans were calling for the aggressive youngster to replace Tyrell Johnson in the starting lineup.

New Pick:  Jamarca Sanford, S

Once again, I feel like the Vikings got solid value out of a late round pick.  Sanford should have every chance to battle for the starting spot this training camp, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win.  There is nobody after this that I would select over him.

 

Well, that was a fun exercise that showed, to me, that the Vikings had a very solid draft.  You can see that I put the emphasis on offensive line, which to me was a big reason for the Vikings falling just shy of the Super Bowl.

So, what say you guys?


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18 Responses to “Playing With Hindsight”

  1. Tomb... says:

    I see your point about Oher over Harvin, but I just can’t personally go that way.

    Harvin is ultra dynamic, and if he figures out this migraine thing, I can see him being a perennial pro bowler.

    I just can’t go with you on that one. He’s just WAY too fun to watch with the rock in his hands.

  2. Kevin WI says:

    Oher over Harvin in hindsight? nope…

  3. Adam Warwas says:

    I knew it would be an unpopular decision, but when it comes down to it, I would trade Harvin and Allen for Oher and Knox, straight up.

    • Tomb... says:

      How about Adrian “I’m not worried about fumbles” Peterson for Joe Thomas, straight up?

      Yeah I know Freds, my Joe Thomas bromance is coming through. Can’t help it.

  4. Adam Warwas says:

    And the point of this article was to show how well the Vikings did at drafting last offseason. Someone can nit-pick like I do, but in the end even I ended up keeping 3 of the 5 picks.

    They did a nice job last year.

    My only real criticism is that when both Harvin and Oher fell that far in the draft, they should’ve found a way to get them both.

  5. bigjohnny84 says:

    I gotta go with Tomb and Kevin and keep Harvin. Didnt Ohers big mouth get him in a little trouble?

  6. bigjohnny84 says:

    Hey Adam, I was taking a peak at your mock draft and the letters are so small I cant hardly read them. Is there anything you can do?

    • Adam Warwas says:

      Johnny, yeah, I’m not happy with that format yet and will keep tweaking it as I update the mock (coming soon). I’m just not much of a web designer (that’d be more up your buddy Matt Loede’s ally) and don’t always know the best way to something like that.

      I’ll keep working on it though.

  7. G.P. says:

    Warwas, Warwas, Warwas, all I can say is uh disappointed and thanks for the shout out. However, I must say that given a bit more time you’ll see why drafting Asher was a good idea. I’ve grown to really like Vikings Gab and understand that it’s part of your job to voice your concerns. Double A is a beast.

  8. G.P. says:

    Noted and filed Warwas. You’re entitled to feel how you feel, after all it is your blog. Just know that Asher is as always working on his game. I appreciate the honesty fuel for his fire.

  9. Viking John says:

    Remember how lost EJ was his first couple of years. Maybe the light will come on for Jasper??? Hopefully sooner than later.
    Go Vikes

  10. Lost Viking says:

    Viking had a fantastic draft last year. Many good decisions.

    However, would agree on Michael Oher over Percy Harvin narrowly. OTs tend to have longer careers than slot receivers.

    Would also make the case for Sebastien Vollmer OT (58) over Loadholt (54). I love the toughness I saw from Vollmer this year. Very difficult to project at this stage but it will be interesting to watch.

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