TFY Predraft Chat Transcript Regarding Vikings

What does TFY Draft Preview think of the Vikings' draft options at No. 7 and No. 18? Who might fall and which players would be good pieces for the Vikings? See what the TFY Draft crew — guys who attend the college games, study films, talk with agents and scouts and makes their own evaluations — thinks of everything from first-rounders to borderline draftable kickers for the Vikings.

Below is a predraft chat transcript with premium subscribers to asking questions of TFY Draft Preview's Tony Pauline (TFYDraft) and Football News and Injury Report's Adam Caplan (TFYStaff).

ParadiseLostVIKE2X2: Who do you think the Vikes (should) take with the 7th and 18th pick and why? ... And who do you think the Vikes (will) take? And why?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Paradise, right now Mike Williams, but the Vikings are finally in a position to take the best player available. I don't think you could have said that in previous seasons.

SouthernVik: Any chance Vikes take Pac-Man (Adam Jones) or Antrel Rolle, move them to safety and let them return punts and kickoffs?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Southern, some teams see Rolle at safety, but most like him at CB. I don't see them taking a CB.

GopherNative: Is Mike Nugent worth a top 50 pick? If so, will the Vikings take him in the second round?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Gopher, a little early for him, third I think is the area.

GopherNative: thanks.

PurpleAz2: Do you see the Vikes taking an OL in the first or second round?

TFYStaff (Caplan): They do need a guard to replace Dixon, but none are worth taking there. With Mike Rosenthal coming back they're fine at RT. I spoke to his agent recently; he's doing OK.

ParadiseLostVIKE2X2: Do you think Nugent would be there in the third round?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Paradise, tough call there.

SackmasterV: Two of the most intriguing prospects are at opposite ends of the spectrum. David Pollack has all the talent, but is smaller. Troy Williamson has all the measureables — speed, height, blocking ability — but came from a run-oriented offense. What about each of these players leads you to believe they can succeed at the next level?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Sack, I had that talk about Williamson with an NFL scout who said he would be a better No. 2 WR, not a No. 1.

GopherNative: A lot of mock drafts have Marion Barber going late in the second. Is that realistic?

SouthernVik: TFYStaff, do you think Packers will match offer sheet on DE?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Southern, 75 percent they match.

TFYStaff (Caplan): I like Aaron Kampman a lot. That would be a great move if GB didn't match, high-energy player with a nice upside.

PurpleAz2: Where is DE Demarcus Ware going to end up?

TFYStaff (Caplan): As early as Dallas at No. 11.

ParadiseLostVIKE2X2: If Derrick Johnson the LB were still there at No. 7 and so was Mike Williams, who would they take out of the two?

TFYStaff (Caplan): I say Williams as of now.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Both have issues.

GopherNative: Aaron Rodgers or Alex Barron at No. 1?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Gopher, on our next mock, we're going with Smith.

ParadiseLostVIKE2X2: What are the chances that the Vikes would actually take a RB at No. 7 if one of the three elites were still available? .

TFYStaff (Caplan): Paradise, possibly since Mike Tice said they're committed to running the ball this season.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Cedric Benson is the type of RB who really is better in a system where they are going to run the ball a lot, not your typical West Coast offense RB.

GopherNative: Any trades that are probable?

ParadiseLostVIKE2X2: Yeah like John Abraham, Darren Howard or Michael Bennett?

TFYStaff (Caplan): The Vikings could trade down from both spots, wouldn't surprise me at all. .

TFYStaff (Caplan): Howard will be traded, just a matter of when.

GopherNative: Couple rumors have Vikings trying to move up, any truth?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Gopher, heard nothing of that.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Then again, it's early for that talk.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Usually I get a lot of info 48-72 hours before the draft.

SouthernVik: Moe Williams and Mewelde Moore are the best backs the Vikes have. Moe is too old and Mewelde too small for every-down back. The Vikes offense looked at its best in 2003 when Moe was pounding the line. Bennett and Onterrio Smith are not the answer. I think a stud RB would be an immediate impact.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Southern, agreed, they need to make a decision on one back and stick with them.

GopherNative: Second that thought!.

PurpleAz2: Who do you like the Vikes to take in the second round?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Purple, depth in the second OL, LB.

SouthernVik: Any concern about the beating the big three backs have already taken in college?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Southern, not really.

ParadiseLostVIKE2X2: How do you feel about Eric Shelton, the RB out of Louisville?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Para, nice RB with good upside.

TFYStaff (Caplan): That show will be on Thursday on Friday.

SackmasterV: If Brian Williams doesn't sign his offer sheet today, what are the chances of us taking a top CB prospect at No. 18. Would Justin Miller be considered because of his special teams ability?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Sack, he'll be back as the nickel.

TFYStaff (Caplan): I don't think they're that concerned with Williams right now.

SouthernVik: I like the prospect of Shelton or another BIG back. I'm tired of these little scat backs. A big pounding RB fits Tice's style more as well.

TFYStaff (Caplan): The concern has to be at LB, lots of questions there. Will Sam Cowart regain his form; same with Napoleon Harris.

PAVikeFan: One mock draft has us taking a G in the second round. What do you think?

TFYStaff (Caplan): PA: Marcus Johnson can play a G would be a nice pick.

ParadiseLostVIKE2X2: What do you think the future holds for E.J. Henderson?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Henderson will be a backup unless he beats out Cowart which I doubt.

SouthernVik: Do you think Mike Nattiel will come around?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Nattiel is good on specials, and should be one of the key backup LBs.

PAVikeFan: E.J. back to playing nickel?

TFYStaff (Caplan): PA: Problem is Henderson is a two-down defender, can't cover well.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Probably the only bad pick by the Vikings in recent years.

PAVikeFan: I thought he did ok 2 years ago spelling for Biekert, but he was bad on third downs last year.

GopherNative: Are the Vikes going to split the first two picks between offense and defense or is there a possibility of going RB/WR?

SouthernVik: Is Dontarrious Thomas the real deal? Last year was mixed.

TFYStaff (Caplan): South, they like Thomas, smart kid, but he needs to be more sure of himself on the field.

SouthernVik: E.J. looked less confused at year end. I think he's got a chance if his character allows him to hang in there and not give up.

TFYStaff (Caplan): South: His play late in the season is why he'll be on the bench.

SackmasterV: The Nuge (Mike Nugent) can kick the long field goal, 8-9 over 50 yards in his college career if I remember right. I have never read any statistics on what percentage of his kickoffs go for touchbacks. Any info?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Nugent was great during Senior Bowl week and is a good kicker, but second round is too early to take a kicker but he still might be drafted there.

ParadiseLostVIKE2X2: I've heard rumors of the Vikes getting rid of Corey Chavous ? I don't agree with that. Am I missing something?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Para, Chavous will start this season, but that might be it for him. They need a hitter back there. Sharper isn't going to scare anyone — solid player but they still need a thumper.

GopherNative: Tommy Davis.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Gop: Bingo.

PAVikeFan: If he wants to play and can, shouldn't they bring him back regardless?

TFYStaff (Caplan): PA: Unless they think they can get someone better, why not ….

PAVikeFan: Is Dixon coming back?

vikingspub: Rob Brzezinski tells me they are waiting on Dixon until the summer, which tells me they are waiting to see what the draft brings.

GopherNative: Any chance we go QB on the second day and, if so, what are some names?

vikingspub: The Vikings spent extra time with Charlie Frye.

SackmasterV: Who are some other kickers we could have targeted in a more realistic round, like the fifth through the seventh?

vikingspub: Studwell said there are only two kickers they'd be interested in drafting.

TFYDraft (Pauline): Sackmaster, Tyler Jones of Boise State, maybe Nick Novak of Maryland.

SackmasterV: Go Terps.

TFYDraft (Pauline): vikingspub, that would probably be Nugent and Jones, though Jon Nicholls of Ole Miss is getting a lot of late action.

vikingspub: Welcome aboard, Tony. Sorry you were having so many problems.

ParadiseLostVIKE2X2: What are the chances Erasmus James or Marcus Spears will be available at No. 18?

TFYDraft (Pauline): Paradise, minimal for Spears. Outside chance for James.

SackmasterV: Is Spears a run-stopping DE?

TFYDraft (Pauline): Sackmaster, probably more so than any other DE in this draft.

SackmasterV: Is Spears minimal because he should be gone by 18? Kampman might be here because he stops the run.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Sack: Kampman was amazing in that one game late in the season against the Vikings against the run.

TFYDraft (Pauline): Sackmaster, yes. There are a lot of 3-4 teams that could swipe Spears earlier. At one point in his career he was rated a lot higher than he is now, but uninspired play last year and a knee injury on the postseason has hurt his status.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Kampman is an ascending player who will only get better.

TFYStaff (Caplan): I can't see how GB would let him go.

PAVikeFan: Darren Bennett was a terrible punter last year. Why aren't they looking at improving that position?

TFYStaff (Caplan): PA, I wouldn't say he was terrible, I would say he's not the same player he once was clearly.

SouthernVik: Any chance WR Braylon Edwards is still there at No. 7?

TFYDraft (Pauline): Southern Vike, 99 percent no.

TFYStaff (Caplan): The Vikings are clearly the favorite in the NFC North.

PAVikeFan: Any interest in other WR's other than edwards and williams?

TFYDraft (Pauline): PAVike, there has been some talk Minnesota likes Troy Williamson. Doesn't replace the size you lost with Randy Moss, but on that turf he is a deep threat everytime he lines up on the field.

SouthernVik: Do you think two QBs will be gone by the 7th pick?

TFYDraft (Pauline): SouthernVike, yes.

PAVikeFan: Who do you think they take if both WR are gone at pick No. 7?

TFYDraft (Pauline): PaVike, possibly Williamson but I'd be very surprised if both Mike Williams and Braylon Edwards are gone by 7.

ParadiseLostVIKE2X2: How do you think the new additions will mesh together as a unit on "D" being as there are so many new faces?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Para, very well. It's too bad they didn't get Antonio Pierce, though.

TFYStaff (Caplan): We still need to see what Cowart has left in the tank and if he's on the bad side of 30.

TFYStaff (Caplan): I think Harris will be a solid fit at SLB.

SackmasterV: Do you see more trades than usual in this draft due to the limited pool of top talent? Would we want to stand pat, or take advantage of more draft picks? I don't see too many team needs that would warrant moving down for more players.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Sack, the top teams want to move down.

TFYStaff (Caplan): No one wants to move up except maybe TB.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Teams 20-32 will try to move up though.

TFYDraft (Pauline): Sackmaster, probably not. You correctly stated there is a limited pool of talent, especially at the top, so not too many teams will be clamoring to get up there.

SouthernVik: Do you think we reached a little with the big contract to Sharper?

TFYStaff (Caplan): South, he's not a good box player from watching some film on him late last season as he was earlier in his career. He's better in coverage. .

TFYStaff (Caplan): Still, Sharper is an upgrade over Russell.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Which is the point. Brzezinski is doing his job well, now it's up to the coaches to do theirs.

LittleJake: What are the chances of us picking up Shaun Cody at 18th.

TFYDraft (Pauline): LittleJake, that is a pretty big reach, Cody at the 18th slot.

vikingspub: If you are the Vikings and are forced to choose between Derrick Johnson and Shawn Merriman, which one do you like?

TFYDraft (Pauline): Vikingpub, good question. A lot of people are enamored with Merriman, yet I think Johnson's versatility and explosion would be a great fit for Cotrell's defense, hence that would be the choice.

TFYDraft (Pauline): Vikingpub, and that is not a bad choice to be "forced" with.

vikingspub: The local rap on Johnson is that he's not physical enough. What's your response?

vikingspub: And can Merriman be a 4-3 DE?

TFYDraft (Pauline): Vikingpub, I don't agree with it...125 tackles as a senior....130 tackles as a junior...120 as a sophomore does not seem like a guy who is afraid to mix it up to me...especially in a run oriented conference like the Big 12.

TFYDraft (Pauline): Vikingspub, Merriman seems to be heading in that direction. He weighed 270 pounds during his pro day and ran a 4.7, hence he will more than likely get bigger as time goes on.

SackmasterV: Do we have the correct personnel in the front seven for a Carolina-type blitz package? If not, who in the top 50 picks would be the best complement to improving that package?

TFYStaff (Caplan): Harris can blitz some, he did a lot more earlier in his career with Oakland. If the pass rush is better, the coverage will be better.

SouthernVik: I love Corey Chavous. The day he retires I hire him as an assistant coach. That said, I still see safety as a weakness. Do you agree?

TFYStaff (Caplan): South, he's not the kind of hitter they need back there.

TFYStaff (Caplan): He may be smart, but he doesn't have the suddenness to play the position at a high level.

Viking15: From what you guys are stating, it looks like Vikes would be very happy with Mike Williams/Derrick Johnson and Thomas Davis in the first round?

vikingspub: Who are the deep threat WRs that would be good value in the second and third rounds. Craphonso Thorpe?

TFYDraft (Pauline): Vikespub, Thorpe when fully healthy, though he seems to still have lingering effects from his broken leg of 2003. Jerome Mathis of Hampton, Courtney Roby of Indiana.

SackmasterV: How close is Anthony Hererra to being a capable backup or starter? Could he be good enough to minimize our need to draft a Guard?

vikingspub: Sack, he's an OK backup with upside potential and should make the roster, but I wouldn't want to count on him to start if someone went down to injury.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Sack, Herrera is backup material. They'll look for depth at OL in the draft for sure.

SackmasterV: Are there any strong safeties in this draft worth a top-50 pick? Thomas Davis has been criticized for his coverage skills. Is he coachable?

TFYDraft (Pauline): Sackmaster, Davis can cover in the right scheme. He is not a traditional sideline-to-sideline safety, rather a two-deep zone DB. Sean Considine of Iowa is making a move up the boards and there will be good value in the third and middle rounds at SS (James Sanders/Fresno....Nicholson/OU....Diamond Ferri/Syracuse).

bsmith20: Considine would be a good pick in my opinion. Watched most Iowa games last year. The guy can play!.

DonT77: Is Bradley, WR Oklahoma considered a deep threat or just a YAC guy?

TFYDraft (Pauline): DonT77, he's got adequate deep speed but more of a third WR/KR kind of guy that must be developed further in a pro game.

ParadiseLostVIKE2X2: What are the chances that Mark Clayton would be available at #18? Other than his size, he sounds just as good if not slightly better to me overall than Edwards, Williams or Williamson.

TFYDraft (Pauline): Paradise, the Ravens' signing of Derrick Mason in FA caused Clayton's stock to slip some and he should be available.

SackmasterV: I really like Clayton, just for the record. He reminds me of Nate Burleson, who should be great.

TFYDraft (Pauline): Sackmaster, a lot better playing speed then Burleson.

DonT77: I'm high on Clayton too. He is available at #18 in 37 of 47 mocks I reviewed this week.

w00006: Yeah, Clayton is a lot like Burleson, but a step faster. Still he catches everything in sight.

bsmith20: Burleson may not have blazing speed, but he showed something special at the end of the year for making the big play.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Sack, Mason is more like Clayton for sure.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Clayton was dominant during Senior Bowl practices.

SackmasterV: If Burleson is an arguable #1 receiver, would Clayton's speed make him more of a #1 type receiver? And shouldn't this put him above Williamson on our draft board. He is only about 0.08 seconds slower.

TFYStaff (Caplan): Have to run guys, it was fun.

BozoSkeleton: What do you think about Vikes and Cedric Benson at #7, TFY?

TFYDraft (Pauline): Bozo, wouldn't do it as this is too deep a running back draft and the Vikes have too many holes in other positions to pass up a WR or top defensive front-seven player. They can get a good RB in the 2/3/4 rounds.

BozoSkeleton: Thanks, all.

ParadiseLostVIKE2X2: Thanks a lot, I appreciate the time.

vikingspub: OK, let's give Tony, TFY Draft, a few more and let him go too. We'll probably do another one next week.

DonT77: Since Studwell and company seem to value production over potential I'd say they have Clayton ahead of Williamson on their board - JMO.

GopherNative: Is Derrick Johnson sliding or is it based on needs of the teams early on?

TFYDraft (Pauline): Gopher, Is he sliding? It is all relative to what you thought about him a month ago. If you thought he was a top-three pick (which I did not), then he's sliding, but if you thought he'd go between slots 7-10 then he is not.

SackmasterV: I remember Jerry Jones saying DJ is a second-round quality LB. It sounds to me like they want to devalue him to the #11 overall pick so they can take him.

GopherNative: Seen everything from 3-12.

bsmith20: Do you think DE Matt Roth of Iowa will be around in the second round, or is he definitely a first-rounder?

TFYDraft (Pauline): bsmith..he'll be off the board by the 40th pick.

DonT77: Any chance the Vikes go DE with one of their top 3 picks, and if so any idea who they might be targeting?

TFYDraft (Pauline): DonT: I think it is a definite priority, but it depends who is available. We have them taking Justin Tuck in our latest mock as Tuck is a solid run defender with terrific growth potential and upside for the future. .

SouthernVik: Where do you see Matt Jones going?

ParadiseLostVIKE2X2: How about Darrion Scott? What are your thoughts and feelings on him and his potential?

vikingspub: OK, let's make those the last questions for Tony and give him a chance to answer. Like I said, we'll probably be aiming for another chat next week, maybe Wednesday night.

TFYDraft (Pauline): Southern Vike, Jones will go between picks 26-38...I doubt he gets past Chicago in the second.

SackmasterV: Thanks, Tony.

DonT77: Thanks, Tony.

GopherNative: Thanks for all the information.

TFYDraft (Pauline): Paradise, I thought coming out of Ohio State, Scott would be better then he presently is.

vikingspub: Thanks, Tony. We appreciate your insights. I'll be talking with you again soon!.

TFYDraft (Pauline): Okay fellows, thanks for having me as usual.

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