INDY -- Great start to the 2017 NFL Combine for #92Noon. This is my seventh year attending the combine, and it's Speculation Central again.
The modus operandi for me here is to get a feel for the Vikings approach to free agency, which commences next week, and to learn more about rookies than I knew before arriving. My preferred potential free agent for Minnesota to flirt with is Detroit Lions OT RILEY REIFF. I love the way he played with his move to RT last season, and that's where I would play him in Minnesota. I also am a fan of re-signing MATT KALIL and drafting a high-end guard in the second round.
From a rookies perspective I have heard wonderful things about TEXAS TECH rookie QB PAT MAHOMES. One NFL personnel guy told me "he has the best arm talent he has seen in several years." Thing with Mahomes, though, is he is very raw, wild at times and takes too many chances.
I bring him up because I do believe the Vikings are in the market for a new back-up QB and most likely will draft one. I am not done with Old Dominion CFA TAYLOR HEINICKE but am not sure I'd be comfortable with him as the full-time two behind SAM BRADFORD.
Running back most likely is a position of need for the Vikings, and I think there's a 25 percent chance at best ADRIAN PETERSON returns. He is an unrestricted free agent and might want to play elsewhere. The team, too, may want to move on give Peterson is approaching the end of his career. I'd expect JERICK MCKINNON to be part of the mix next season, not sure if they will bring back MATT ASIATA and from legit reports this running backs draft is rich, deep and promising.
My goal before leaving is to uncover a running back or two Minnesota might like middle of the draft. This appears to be a draft year teams can house a quality running back middle of the draft, and we have two third- and fourth-round picks.
Grinding away in Indy courtesy of Whiting Clinic and can't wait to hit the airwaves Thursday at 9 a.m.