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Thursday, March 28, 2013

NFL Draft Capsules: Minnesota Vikings

Wild on Sports
2013 NFL Draft Capsules:
Minnesota Vikings
 By Wild on Sports NFL Analyst Davis McGregor

On the Clock: Minnesota Vikings

Team Overview:
Right now, any team with Adrian Peterson is just about guaranteed to make the playoffs. But a little help from Christian Ponder would do the 2000- yard rusher some good. That’s a task that might be a little more difficult to accomplish this year without Percy Harvin in the lineup. Fortunately, the newly acquired Greg Jennings should be able to help the young quarterback continue to grow.

Team Needs:
1. Defensive Tackle
2. Wide Receiver
3. Defensive Back

Back in the day when people thought of Minnesota, they though of the Purple People Eaters. It’s time to bring that back.

Between Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Brian Robison, they are three quarters of the way there. To reignite the Fearsome Foursome the Vikings should look for help from Kawann Short or Sylvester Williams.

A revitalized defense is just what this team needs to remain a contender in the offensively charged NFC North.

Likely Fits:
The Vikings D-Line has been one of the most productive in the league over the last few seasons. In 2012 this team racked up 44 sacks, the problem with this is that starting tackle Letroy Guion only got in on 2 of those QB takedowns. It’s not too hard to see realize that Guion is the liability here and as everyone know, a team can only be as strong as its weakest link.

After looking through the free agency the Vikings seemed to have decided that bringing in a rookie makes the most sense. The names that seem to fit best into the Purple Gang’s defensive scheme the best are Short and Williams.

Purdue’s Kawann Short looks to be a bit of a risk though. His off and on performance makes him look like a top 10 pick after some games and a 3rd rounder in others. Under the tutelage of veteran Kevin William however, may be able to develop some sort of consistency at his high level of play. The boilermaker has a lot of potential and can help the Vikings defense hang to make another playoff run. His quickness and ability to slide by defenders or through double teams is his main skill. Definitely a plus and should help his team create more pressure on the quarterback.

A lack of play-to-play discipline remains his largest problem. He has a tendency to get just watch a play happen when he gets tired. Short also becomes frustrated when going against better players which can result in him giving up on plays. With the strong leadership and skill on the Minnesota D-Line right now, they should be able to whip him into shape and turn him into the dominant player he truly can be.

UNC’s Sylvester Williams is also looking like a pretty good addition to the Purple People Eaters right now too. Built as a large, run stopping defensive tackle, Williams can be an anchor in the middle of the line

If Williams is able to take care of business on the interior of the line it will allow stud defensive end Jared Allen to wreak even more havoc upon passers. The Vikings need to bring some youth into their front four so dedicating one of their two first round picks to this position is a necessity. While you can’t go wrong with either of the above mentioned players, Sylvester Williams might make a bigger impact on this rising team.

With two draft picks in the first round, Leslie Frazier should have an easy time filling in the holes in his team. Granting one pick of the pair to a defensive tackle, the next needs to be aimed at improving the receiving corps. Unfortunately for Christian Ponder there are a few other teams ahead of them with similar needs. Names like Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson will most likely be called before the Vikings first pick at number 23. Should either of those two receivers fall that would be a great pick, otherwise going with Cal’s Keenan Allen is the best move.

The addition of Greg Jennings is a huge get for Minnesota but combined with the loss of the versatile wide out, Percy Harvin still leaves them in need.

With his impressive speed and size Allen has the ability to be a legitimate threat down the sideline. Alongside Jennings, Ponder should be able to create a solid passing attack to complement Adrian Peterson on the ground.

With a mediocre quarterback in college, Allen was unable to display his true skills. Now entering the NFL he should have the talent around him to let him shine, especially with the extra attention that defenses will pay to his teammate Greg Jennings.

Drafting a receiver pretty much covers the main needs of the offense, the defense on the other hand still needs a little more work. Adding a defensive back should definitely cover their other needs.

Coming from the Crimson Tide’s NFL caliber defense, Robert Lester would be a solid 2nd round draft pick for the Vikings front office. He’s a great player that will drop out of the 1st round due to the great depth in this years draft class. With impressive speed and instincts Lester could be a great addition as a safety to the Minnesota secondary. He also has the size to lay big hits on players, if he can establish his presence in the middle of the field receivers will be scared to run through his zone. This size also allows him to play up more on the line of scrimmage and against the run. Lester isn’t a flashy pick but he will be a solid player for defensive coordinator Alan Williams.

If any of the Viking’s front office reads this and follows this plan it should allow them remain a real competitor in the NFL, even if Adrian Peterson can not put up the same kind of numbers as in his-almost-record breaking season. And with the help of some fresh new defensive lineman, ring in the return of the fearsome foursome, The Purple People Eaters

 Check out our other 2013 NFL Draft Team Capsules


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