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.
The 2007 draft 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 Tyrell Johnson, 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 John David Booty. 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 Letroy Guion.
With their first sixth round pick, they drafted Notre Dame center John Sullivan 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 Jaymar Johnson. 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 my pre-draft speculation. 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…