The Draft is here! This is always one of my favorite weekends of the year! It’s time for football again and I couldn’t be happier, right now…
As a Vikings fan this is the time of year that I get all worked up for the upcoming season. I eat Golden Grahams, drink Goldschlager, and crap purple! And yes, I know what you’re thinking. I have a doctor’s appointment next week. Beyond the fact that a diet of Golden Graham’s and cinnamon schnapps with gold flakes may have adverse, though team-spirited health effects, be it known that I am full of purple pride every April.
The Vikings swapped picks with the Cleveland Browns and acquired a 4th, 5th, and 7th round pick. Awesome, yep I like it so far. Now with the fourth overall pick the Vikings selected Matt Kalil, LT, USC. Lots of speculation as to whether or not the GM Rick Spielman and Coach Frazier would pull the trigger on Kalil over the past couple of weeks. A franchise left tackle is not something you pass on in the NFL. Especially when they currently have a Bryant McKinnie sized hole to fill in the offensive-line. So I was a little nervous that the trade was a flash in the pan. I was so certain they would let the clock run out or go all Troy Williamson again that I almost couldn’t believe it when the pick came in. Had to pinch myself. Kalil is a great pick!
Fast forward to the end of the first round. Once again the Vikings were active trading their Second-round pick (No. 35) and Fourth-round pick (No. 98) to the Baltimore Ravens in return for their First-round pick (No. 29). That picked was used to select Harrison Smith, S, ND. Another impact starter in another huge area of need. I admit outside of Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay I don’t know a hell of a lot about Harrison Smith. From the research I’ve done since the pick and my first impressions of him in an interview setting, he comes off as a tough kid.
From a fans perspective, I think you have to be very pleased with the approach of Spielman and Frazier in the first round. I am, for one. And its just a downright pleasure to make it through the first round of a Vikings draft without contemplating throwing your flatscreen across the room.
Now I am a rube, I’ll admit it. But I am a pragmatic rube. The Vikings have always found a way to let me down eventually so I am at least trying to keep my expectations in check. Come on, its the draft. I have the rest of the year to be disappointed. Right now is all about what if. A crappy 3-13 record and a mild foray into free-agency means that the Vikings are rebuilding. The NFC North is going to be one of the toughest divisions in the NFL for a lot of years to come. If the team needs to rebuild, do it now. Seeing how this team is approaching the draft makes me feel a lot better about free-agency. At least I know the strategy and tend to agree.
As evidenced above, I like the first two picks for the Vikings. Add Kalil and Smith to other young players QB Christian Ponder, TE’s Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson, etc. and I think the Purple have some good, foundation-type, building blocks in place.
How about you Vikings fans? What do you think so far? For that matter if any of you Cheese-Head, Motor City Kitty, or “Fall Down, Chicago” Bear fans care to to chime in I’d love to hear from ya.