Minnesota Vikings 2008 Draft

If we have learned anything from watching the Wilf/Childress regime in action on draft day, it’s that they draft for need. Not that the previous regimes didn’t; it’s just that this one does it well. They’ve earned my trust because they’ve had far more hits than misses on draft day.

In 2006, they picked Chad Greenway, Cedric Griffin, Ryan Cook, Tarvaris Jackson, Ray Edwards and Greg Blue. The only one who definitely didn’t work out was Blue. Jackson remains to be seen.

brought Adrian Peterson in the first round, followed by Sidney Rice, Marcus McCauley, Brian Robison, Aundrea Allison, Rufus Alexander, Tyler Thigpen and Chandler Williams. Alexander was injured during camp, so we should see what we’ve got with him this year. Thigpen was snatched up by the Kansas City Chiefs and Williams was last playing for the Dolphins. Another solid draft.

This year looks like it will be no different. After coughing up a first and two third-round picks for Jared Allen, the Vikes didn’t have a lot to work with this year. But I like what they did do.

Fourth rounder, safety , looks to be great value at that spot and he is likely the heir apparent to Darren Sharper.

They got their developmental quarterback with USC’s . It’s a nice pick in the fifth round because at that slot it’s not quite threating enough to cause TJacks to stay awake at night yet he’s a big enough name to give Tarvaris enough pause to realize this is his make or break year. And if TJacks doesn’t ultimately work out, we’ve got Booty.

With their second fifth round pick, the team added depth to the defensive line and selected an apprentice to Pat Williams in Florida State defensive tackle .

With their first sixth round pick, they drafted Notre Dame center to likely eventually replace Matt Birk. It’s said that Sullivan could also play guard.

With their final pick, and the second of the sixth round, the Vikes got a wide receiver in Jackson State’s . This is the pick we got for the Troy Williamson trade.

Johnson’s a burner–he runs a 4.4 40–but he’s small. Still, he can catch and he can return kicks, two things Williamson couldn’t do. It would be ironic if Johnson became the deep threat Williamson was meant to be or, at the very least, carved out a role for himself as a return man.

So all in all, given the picks that remained after the Allen trade, I think the Vikings had a solid draft. Though I really thought the Vikings would draft an offensive tackle early, given McKinnie‘s possible four game suspension, I wasn’t far off in . They addressed the needs I thought they would, just in a different order.

The team added depth and, with Tyrell and Jaymar Johnson, bolstered their special teams. Keep in mind, too, that we’ve got last year’s fourth round pick, linebacker Rufus Alexander, returning from injury this year, so he will likely be another special teamer.

It looks like the team will wait for the roster cuts to fill out the remaining weak spots on the roster: A quality, spot-starter left tackle, and a backup defensive end. I don’t think anyone’s signed Darrion Scott yet…

2008 Minnesota Vikings Draft Needs

After , the are left with no first-round pick and no third-round pick, leaving them with this year. This dearth of picks has left me with little enthusiasm for doing my typical pre-draft research on possible Vikings’ picks.

That said, these are the area I believe the Vikings will address.

With facing a possible four-game suspension and with a lack of depth at the position regardless, it looks fairly obvious that the Vikes will take an offensive lineman with their second-round pick at number 16 (47th overall), preferably a left tackle.

Fortunately, this draft has a strong , particularly at the tackle position. With the second-round pick, the Vikings should be able to get a player who will at the very least be able to challenge .

With the fourth-round pick, I could see the team taking a wide receiver ro a safety. The Vikings will need to find ‘s eventual replacement, and that could come soon, so wouldn’t surprise me at all here but only if value falls to them. The talent drops off sharply at this position after the top three players.

For that reason, it may be more likely the team picks here. While the addition of helps a lot, the team still doesn’t have that breathtaking athlete that you want at the position.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team in the latter rounds as well. Childress really didn’t want to lose Tyler Thigpen last year, so look for the Vikes to draft a QB to challenge for the third string position and provide another developmental project should Jackson ultimately not work out.

In the sixth and seventh rounds, the Vikes will likely look for depth on the or s and perhaps a or .

Let’s hope that last year’s strong draft was no fluke because this year the Vikes will especially need solid talent evaluation acumen.