Free Agency To Fuel Draft

With free agency officially beginning at midnight Eastern Time, teams will look to fill the holes in their roster. For some it will mean a flurry of activity, while others prepare for April's draft. Both could have a big influence on what the Vikings do with the seventh pick.

This week, Viking Update will release Version 1.0 of its 2005 mock draft. It will coincide with the beginning of free agency, so if history has taught us anything, multiple signings and trades will alter team needs and the teams moving into spots.

But, as the Vikings delve into their own draft preparation and ranking of players, Vikings fans are posed the question of who will the Vikings take with the seventh overall pick in the draft acquired in the Randy Moss trade?

It may not be as difficult to try to figure out who the Vikings will get, because there will be teams drafting in front of them that will take players off the board that can be assumed.

There very likely will be two quarterbacks taken before the seventh pick. The 49ers and Browns are bleak at QB and both Alex Smith of Utah and Aaron Rodgers of Cal have been stamped with the "can't miss" tag.

It's also safe to assume that someone will make a move on at least one running back before No. 7 -- whether it's Miami taking someone like Cedric Benson, Carnell Williams or Ronnie Brown or a trade made to a team looking for the top young RBs in the draft.

Where it gets a little dicey begins at pick No. 4. The Bears seemed like a lock to take Michigan standout Braylon Edwards, but, after inking Muhsin Muhammad to a big-money contract, they may wait until later rounds to address the deep class of wide receivers. But, it is safe to assume that both Edwards and linebacker Derrick Johnson -- the only legitimate blue-chip linebacker in the draft -- will be gone.

So where do the Vikings stand as of our first mock draft? With the choice of a wide receiver like Mike Williams of USC, cornerback phenoms Adam Jones or Antrel Rolle and their choice of any defensive lineman in the draft. For our money, the choice (for now) is Williams. But, with the amount of talent available, that is subject to change -- and a potential trade down for more picks.

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