News

Print
RSS

Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Mar 15, 2012

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the vikings.com Mailbag! Every Monday during the offseason we’ll post several comments and/or questions as part of the vikings.com Monday Morning Mailbag feature. Although we can’t post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

To submit a comment or question to the mailbag, send an email to Mike Wobschall at wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. Remember to include your name and town on the email.

 

The Vikings need help in a lot of places, with wide receiver being my main concern. Do you think WR Michael Floyd could drop to us in the 2nd round? He has off-field issues, so teams might shy away from him. Or do you see us taking WR Stephen Hill out of Georgia Tech in the 2nd round because Floyd will be off the board?
-- James B.

I will be shocked if Floyd is on the board when the Vikings choose in the 2nd round (#35 overall). James is right that he does have off-field concerns for some people, but he also logged an impressive time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine and he has prototypical NFL size for his position and skill set. I anticipate him being a mid 1st-round pick, with teams such as the Jets (#16), the Browns (#22) and the Steelers (#24) as potential landing spots.

As for Stephen Hill, he’s become the apple of the public’s eye, and it’s all because of his performance at the Combine. Fans are of the “height-weight-speed-need” mindset, so impressive Combine performances can inflate a player’s status in the public’s eye. And sometimes, this can happen to coaches and/or scouts as well. As a result, Hill went from a relatively unknown to a player fans want their teams to take in the 1st round. To me he’s a 3rd-round value at best, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some team reach into the 2nd round to get him. He has blazing speed and he’s 6-4, so perhaps he’ll transition to the NFL very well and be worth a high pick. I don’t think the Vikings will take him in the 2nd round, but if he’s on the board in the 3rd round then I can see him being a possibility for the Vikings.

This draft is loaded with mid-round wide receiver prospects, so the Vikings will be in good shape when it comes time to choosing a receiver or two to add to this roster.

Just a thought on the Vikings 1st-round draft pick. I realize that taking LT Matt Kalil seems like a solid idea. But I believe you have to take a playmaker with that pick, and I would take Morris Claiborne to pair him with Chris Cook and have two corners in this pass-happy league. As you know, our division alone has Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford. I’d love to hear your opinion on this.
Bill S.
Indonesia

It's an interesting idea, but I think the Vikings will be better-served to take Kalil. In my opinion, 2012 is all about the development of quarterback Christian Ponder. While we want the entire team to be solid, I think this is a two-year rebuilding project and the most important phase is Ponder. We need to know if he's the answer at quarterback, and that can’t be accurately determined unless he's adequately protected and has quality weapons around him. Taking Kalil is a giant step toward making sure he's adequately protected.

Don’t get me wrong, it’d be great to add a player the caliber of Claiborne in this draft. And for some teams, he’s the guy they should target. For the Vikings, though, I believe Kalil should be the target at #3.

Could you help me with my understanding of the restricted free agent process? Once a team assigns a tender offer to a restricted free agent (1st round), could another team interested in that player offer less than its 1st-round pick (like a 2nd- or a 3rd-round pick) in order to talk with and potentially sign that player? Or is everyone locked into only accepting the 1st-round pick? This is just a general NFL free agency type of question and less about Pittsburgh WR Mike Wallace. Perhaps Pittsburgh would prefer to trade him to a team outside of their conference and division. Please feel free to use this as an example, if you would like.
-- Bill D.
Fairfield, CT

For starters, a restricted free agent (RFA) is a player with three or fewer accrued seasons whose contract has expired. An unrestricted free agent (UFA) is a player with four or more accrued seasons whose contract has expired. The RFA signing period began on March 13 and expires on April 20, while the UFA period goes from March 13 to July 22. Also, according to this piece by ESPN.com NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert, there are three levels of RFA tenders under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. A player who receives a 1st-round tender will receive a $2.742 million one-year contract; a player with a 2nd-round tender will be paid $1.927 million; and the third tender is an original round tender (round that player was drafted in) and will pay the player $1.26 million. So, using Wallace as an example, a team that wants to sign him would have to give the Steelers a 1st-round pick and then sign Wallace to a contract. You may not offer draft-pick compensation below the round the tender requires.

I've been reading a lot about the upcoming draft. Like most fans, I watched some of the prospects at the Combine. I'm a huge Vikings fan and have been for a long time. I know this is an important draft and free agency period. One player in the draft that I find very interesting is WR Devier Posey. He's never played with a good passing quarterback, but still put up some very good numbers at Ohio State. I know the scouts due a great job finding talent. I just have a feeling about Posey. Sure would like to see him wearing Vikings purple. I would appreciate your opinion.
-- Doug
Wabash, IN

I got a very close look at Posey at the Senior Bowl because he played for the Vikings coaching staff on the North squad, but unfortunately NFL scouts weren’t able to get a great look at him this past season because he was suspended for 10 games. I thought his Senior Bowl performance was good-not-great, and it sounds like that’s how he grades out as well. This scouting report from Wes Bunting of the NationalFootballPost.com characterizes Posey as a player with natural ability and good athleticism but also with some concerns in facing press coverage at the NFL level and being a consistent playmaker. Bunting has Posey ranked as the 16th best wide receiver in this year’s draft, and that makes me wonder if he’ll be a 4th- or 5th-round selection.

With Ryan Longwell going into his 16th year, I’m wondering if the Vikings have plans to use a late-round pick on a kicker. I have nothing against Longwell, but he does not consistently kick into the end zone, thereby sometimes giving opposing teams great field position. At times this has come to haunt the Vikings. With extra picks in the late rounds it would seem to make a lot of sense. I’m thinking about Blair Walsh (Georgia), Carson Wiggs (Purdue) and Randy Bullock (Texas A&M). Wiggs had a 67-yarder last spring.
-- David B.
Byron, Minnesota

You're in my head, David. I've actually formulated this same opinion, with the genesis of the opinion coming from my time at the Senior Bowl when Wiggs was on the Vikings coaching staff’s North squad.  He impressed me at the Senior Bowl, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a team used a 6th- or 7th-round pick on him. I don’t know if the Vikings plan to add a kicker in this year’s draft, but with 10 selection its certainly a possibility. That is not an indictment on Longwell in the least. He’s been a great contributor for the club since he signed here and I think he’ll be the kicker in 2012. But at some point Longwell will retire, and the Vikings need to have a plan in place for his successor. If that plan was consummated this offseason or during the 2012 season, I wouldn’t be surprised.