Vikes To Discuss Plans Tomorrow

After perhaps learning from last year's mistakes, don't expect to see the Vikings do too much to tip their hand about their draft intentions -- although the choices look pretty obvious from here.

A year ago at this time, Mike Tice held his first pre-draft press conference. In that and in private meetings with media types who had the forsesight to ask the question, Tice was honest. Brutally honest.

Of a small group of defensive tackles available in the first round, there wasn't a clear consensus as to who was the best -- except in Tice's opinion. Ryan Sims was the only DT the Vikings would consider and, if he was available at No. 7, they would take him.

The rumor mill in Dallas has it that Cowboys officials called the Vikings when they hit the clock with the sixth pick asking if the team was considering safety Roy Williams. The Vikings allegedly told them no. So, the Cowboys made a trade with the Chiefs that let them move ahead of the Vikings, take Sims and let the Cowboys drop behind the Vikes and take Williams.

As Tice steps to the podium tomorrow for his second pre-draft news conference, don't expect to see similar harsh honesty. Having been burned once, Tice may not be as forthcoming as he was when he announced his interest in Sims or when he made it clear he thought Dewayne Robertson was the best DT in this year's draft -- which coincidentally was about the time he went from being viewed as the No. 11 pick to Seattle to No. 7 to the Vikings and now No. 4 to Chicago.

The reality is that when the Vikings pick, barring a trade down, the pick will likely be made for them. With Carson Palmer and wide receivers Charles Rogers and Andre Johnson expected to go with the first three picks, the Vikings will be guaranteed that one blue-chip defender -- Robertson, Jimmy Kennedy, DE Terrell Sugss or CB Terence Newman -- will still be on the board. It will be a waiting game at that point, so don't expect Tice to make any big predictions tomorrow when he speaks publicly about the draft. Hopefully, he learned from last year's mistake.

* Former Vikings LB Jim Nelson signed with the Colts Tuesday, opening up another vacancy in the backup LB corps and special teams. While Nelson hadn't been targeted as a priority re-signing, VU was told the Vikes had hoped to bring him back.
* Red McCombs won't be attending the draft at Winter Park because it conflicts with his annual cattle auction at his Texas ranch, where he flies in dignitaries from around the country.
* At least eight teams attended a private workout by RB Willis McGahee -- 13 weeks after knee reconstruction. He got rave reviews and some think he made end up being drafted in the first round despite his injury.
* CB Dennis Weathersby, who VU has tabbed for the Vikings to select in the second round, was shot after a gun fight broke out in his California home town among rival gangs. Weathersby, who was thought to simply have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and not affiliated with either gang, was hospitalized when a bullet when through his back. However, he was said to not be seriously injured and will be released from the hospital today.

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