I am done guessing which rookie QB amongst BLAKE BORTLES, JOHNNY MANZIEL or TEDDY BRIDGEWATER would be best around the eight spot for the Vikings. The public/private consensus is there most likely is nary a 'slinger in this draft worthy of face-of-franchise status, so I am all in on defense with our first selection May 8.
Then if we wheel back the next day around 40 and take the same approach I am in on that, too. If we go defense at eight and trade up from 40 to get a QB I support that because the three mentioned in the lead do not overwhelm me more than like DEREK CARR, ZACH METTENBERGER, JIMMY GAROPPOLO et al.
Longstorylonger, I want the Vikings to parlay the free-agency approach into the top part of the draft and redefine this defense in a way it goes from one of the league's worst last year to a bad-ass bunch with personality, aura and toughness.
If SPIELMAN likes a QB at eight so be it, and of course I'll root loudly for which ever one we select. But after moving on physical CB CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN, run-plugging NT LINVAL JOSEPH and DE COREY WOOTEN I want more. I want at least two defensive players through the first four picks who play a bunch next season and help posthaste.
Our new HC is one of the most well respected minds in the game, and clearly by his FA approach he wants new defensive personnel, and the draft is a supreme way to shore this thing up in a big way. Thus, here's my approach to the early part of the draft three weeks and change in front of the process:
Preferred: Trade back from eight and acquire a cool pick to help with a potential trade up later. Bortles is the only QB who may go before eight, and if we eyeball Manziel and/or Bridgewater and pass I am fine due to all the questions surrounding them.
So, say we swap with Saint Louis at 13, that would be a place I'd like to see us move on either CB JUSTIN GILBERT of OSU, CB DARQUEZE DENNARD of MSU, OLB ANTHONY BARR of UCLA or MLB C.J. MOSLEY of Alabama. My preferred two in order are Gilbert and Barr.
There's a decent chance two of the most-mentioned QBs drop from the top 10, and the landing spots will become unpredictable. There's maybe a 30 percent chance we can select defense around eight and have a shot at trading up for Bridgewater or Manziel with the currency attained via the trade back. Or we do what Spielman has done so well the last two years -- move to the end of the first round and select Mettenberger, my preferred second-tier QB.
If the team is sketchy on a QB around the 40 wait longer and ponder MURRAY of Georgia or FALES of SJSU. Even though it's clear we need a long-term solution at QB I am not in favor of forcing it this year. MATT CASSEL will be fine for what we want to do this year.
Instead, I want defense to become the identity of this team. If we have seven new starters in the 4-3 "base" I am cool with that. Three-quarters of our DL is guaranteed to have new starters, there most likely will be two new starting LBs and maybe two newbies in the secondary.
Our head coach knows how to win with defense, and our well respected OC will make things happen at a high level with what we have. Let's mash on this defense and better compete with the top-shelf offenses in our division.