Thanks for joining us. Matt Vensel will be here at noon for your questions and comments. You can leave them here -- and be sure to follow our draft coverage through the weekend at startribune.com/vikings.
Good afternoon, Vikings fans. Thanks for joining me today to talk about the NFL draft and everything else related to the Vikings. I plan on chatting until sometime around 1 or 1:30 p.m. and will try to get to everyone's questions. If it is taking me a while to get to yours, please hang in there. OK, let's do this.
We'll start with Barney, who has the question on the minds of most fans. Given where the Vikings are supposed to first pick, at No. 48 overall in the second round, they have a LONG way to go to get back into the first round, though they made a similar jump in 2013 when they moved up to get Cordarrelle Patterson, so I guess it's not impossible. I think it's more likely that the Vikings try to trade up early in the second round if a player they love is still available.
Their biggest need, especially in the long term, is still offensive line. They need a long-term answer at defensive tackle with Sharrif Floyd's career in jeopardy. And another running back is a serious want, though I don't know how they feel about first-round running backs today in 2017.
Thanks. Honestly, it's mostly a lot of guessing based on what prospects might fit what they need and which ones they have been linked to in the draft process. If I get two of the eight picks in my most draft correct, I will be pleased.
We don't know if the Vikings have removed him from consideration or not, but they spent a lot of time looking into him, so they clearly like him as a player.
I don't think that's how they look at it. They filled holes in the depth chart in free agency, so they don't need to force things. They do need contributions from this draft class (and last year's, too), but they will and should be looking for players who can be difference-makers down the road, not simply fill-ins for this season.
Sendejo actually played pretty well last season, in my opinion. Did a much better job of not giving up the big play. That being said, safety will be a position to watch, especially if Mike Zimmer is serious about trying out some three-safety sets with a S/LB hybrid at weak-side linebacker.
I don't think all three of their day-two picks are linemen, but you could make a case for them picking linemen with two out of three.
It's a delicate situation with Bradford and Bridgewater. They seem to be holding out hope that Bridgewater will be back, which puts them in a holding pattern while they wait for answers. They do have the franchise tag at their disposal when it comes to Bradford if they opt not to give him a new deal before the season.
I don't think it impacts what they do on the second and third day too much. Rick Spielman is always active in moving around in the draft, so presumably there will be a couple of trades as he looks to maximize value based on his draft board.
You mean trading one of their 2017 picks for a future second? Sure, that's theoretically possible. But Spielman said he likes the depth of this draft through the fourth round and the Vikings roster isn't as deep this year as it was last, so I would be surprised if he made another future-minded deal like that.
Scott, it's not my job to opine on what they should do morally, so I must keep my opinions on that to myself. But I know a couple of our columnists have weighed in and said that the Vikings should not draft him based on that ugly incident in his past.
I'm not sure the diluted sample thing is that big of a deal. It's not like he failed a drug test. But teams have dug a little bit into that. I think the reason that many draft analysts have him falling a little is because he might not have an obvious position, which is maybe an outdated line of thinking. If you think the guy can play, pick him and figure it out.
A red dot means they have removed him from draft consideration.
No, the fifth-year option thing does not necessarily mean that the Vikings are moving on from Bridgewater. It's no sure thing that Bridgewater will ever play again, and if they picked up the option, they could be on the hook for $12.2 million in 2018. So it makes sense if they don't want to chance it, especially if his contract tolls if he did not play at all in 2017.
If they draft a quarterback in the first three rounds, that will probably say something about the likelihood of Bridgewater playing again. I don't think a late-round pick means they are moving on from Bridgewater. As for Heinicke, they are intrigued by what he can do, but fans need to remember that he was not drafted in 2015 for a reason. I'm not saying he can't become a starter. Look at, say, Tony Romo and Kurt Warner. I just don't understand all the hype about him. I blame my buddy, Paul Allen.
It would be very surprising.
They actually were in the nickel about 70 percent of the snaps, so you'd be looking at a part-time player at 30 percent. Plus they have three potential fill-ins on the roster already. I think they will draft a linebacker at some point, but I don't see it as a priority. Kendricks and Barr are good, young linebackers, assuming Barr bounces back from a poor 2016 season.
It just didn't happen that way. I could see them drafting one, sure.
It is supposed to be a good group of corners and Mike Zimmer can't get enough of them, so I could see the Vikings taking one sooner than later.
Peppers is a "questionable character guy" because he had a diluted urine sample?