Welcome to our Access Vikings Draft Day Live Chat with Matt Vensel. He'll be here at noon to respond to your questions and comments, which you can start leaving now.
Happy draft day, folks. I'm excited to talk Vikings and the draft. We'll get started in a couple minutes, but you can submit your questions now.
OK, I'm ready to roll. Let's do this.
I would not be surprised, Bradford. I like what they did adding Alex Boone and Andre Smith. They now have nine guys who have started at least 16 NFL games. But five of them are in contract years and the Vikings likely need a new long-term option at left tackle. I'm not ruling out a career turnaround for Matt Kalil, but I don't think you can count on him being better than average based on the past three years.
I'd say Locke. Walsh obviously gave us the shank heard 'round the Midwest, but he was solid last year and just signed a contract extension. Locke, meanwhile, has never been a consistent punter in the NFL and is entering a contract year. I don't think they draft a kicker or punter, but they should bring in a rookie free agent or two to provide competition.
I don't think Greenway came back to be a backup, and I don't think the Vikings signed him to be one, so I expect his role will be the same as last year -- he'll be the weak-side linebacker in the base defense then take a seat in passing situations. If Barr and Kendricks stay healthy, that would mean Greenway plays about 40 percent of the snaps, which should keep him fresh and effective. But they also gave decent money to Emmanuel Lamur, who could push Greenway at weak-side linebacker.
Without knowing how they have stacked their board or what their medical staff thinks of Jack's troublesome knee, that's tough for me to say. But theoretically, yes, if a player they love falls to them and they think that player is much better than a wide receiver, sure, I could see them waiting until Day Two to snatch a receiver.
I would not have a problem with them taking a chance on Jaylon Smith in the mid rounds. They have plenty of depth at linebacker and could basically red-shirt him for 2016 and allow him to get healthy.
Larry, I haven't been on the beat long enough to gain an understanding of how they typically handle the Ring of Honor, but given that they just signed Allen to a one-day contract so he can retire as a Viking, I'd think he's the most likely option there.
I assume you are talking about the media reports and projections? I don't know why there were mixed signals about who they would pick, but the reporters I trust said Goff all along.
As I said a couple of questions ago, I don't know what they think about Jack's knee, so it's hard for me to say. But I think they would give strong consideration to Conklin because he could be a solid left tackle in the NFL and good receivers can still be found in the ensuing rounds.
He has a lot of influence, but Rick Spielman has the final say. But Rick is a smart guy. He knows Zimmer knows what he is doing in both identifying talent and developing it. So if Zimmer loves a prospect and thinks he can be a star, that is certainly something Spielman will take note of.
I know my colleague Mark Craig had the Vikings taking Will Fuller, but I'm not seeing it. Yes, he is a Notre Damer, but given how infrequently they throw deep and Bridgewater's inconsistencies with deep ball accuracy, that selection wouldn't make much sense to me.
If he's the top safety not named Jalen Ramsey, then why not take him in the first or second round if he's the best player on the board at a need position? Michael Griffin is a one-year stopgap, so there would be no need to rush Joseph back from his injury. Even if he is healthy, Zimmer would make him earn the job.
Not seeing it. They are in good shape at the tight end spot and this isn't a good class for tight ends, according to the draftniks. Maybe on Day Three.
I'd say you're closer to correct, but they could bring in a rookie free agent as insurance in case Walsh doesn't bounce back.
I know my strengths and evaluating draft prospects is not among them, so I tend to go by what the analysts say and determine which fit the Vikings best. But the consensus is that Tunsil and Stanley at the top-tier tackles and Conklin and Decker are in the second tier. After that, you're getting into guys like Spriggs and Ifedi, but most analysts don't have them as first-round prospects.
I enjoy mock drafts. I read them all the time. But I don't take them as gospel. For the most part, they are entertainment, especially when the analyst puts out like a dozen mock drafts starting in January up until the day of the draft. I like it when guys like Mayock release just one.
I think it's much more likely the pick is an offensive player, either a wide receiver or offensive tackle.
Robison, yes. As for Loadholt, we'll see how he looks once he can get on the practice field, but he is far from a certainty to be on the roster after taking a pay cut.
I'm not worried about how other teams have had success, especially when one of those teams has maybe the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Every team is different. The Vikings need a receiver with size to help Bridgewater out. That is their most glaring need by far.
Why do you think the Vikings need a linebacker? They absolutely do not. Barr and Kendricks are under team control for three more years and the Vikings will be in their two-linebacker nickel defense on 60-70 percent of the snaps next year. So you think the Vikings should take a linebacker who is going to play about a third of the snaps in the first round? Sorry, but that would be puzzling.