Vikes Bring In the Rooks

The Vikings have turned their focus to the NFL draft and fans can read into the players immediately scheduled for visits as they wish.

The Vikings have been tight-lipped about their draft plans, giving the public perception that they are happy to be at No. 7 in the draft and intend to take a player there when the team is on the clock.

In a worst-case scenario by the draft board of teams at the middle or bottom of the draft -- best-case scenario for the Vikes -- that may be true. However, the public statements and the behind-the-scenes discussions don't match up.

Need convincing? The Vikings have scheduled a series of workouts with top rookie draft prospects. On Monday and Tuesday, the Vikes expect to entertain DT Albert Haynesworth, OT Mike Williams, CB Phillip Buchanon, DE/OLB Kalimba Edwards, DT Wendell Bryant and CB Quentin Jammer.

What is wrong with this picture?

While the rest of the group in question are seen as players that might be selected at No. 7 when the Vikes pick, nobody actually sees Edwards as a pick at No. 7. What do we make of this? The Vikings have an interest in Edwards, but as part of a trade to move down in the first round.

Naysayers, as they always do, will say VU is stirring the pot -- the Vikings haven't come out saying they're going to trade their pick. Then why bring in Edwards? He won't go at No. 7. The Vikes are clearly covering their bases. If Edwards blows them away, the Vikes will be more willing to move down to get him, clearing out space for quarterbacks and the glut of defensive tackles to go off the board.

While Mike Tice and top team officials are saying that the team is content to stay at No. 7, the fact that Edwards is being brought in for a look is a clear sign that the team is considering moving down in the first round.

SUNDAY NOTES * The Vikings are working out visits from OT Bryant McKinnie, DT Ryan Sims and DT John Henderson for later in the week.
* While VU is a partner with The Insiders, we are widely divergent on our opinions about how the draft will fall. For premium VU subscribers who have read The Insiders take on how the first round of the draft will play itself out, we offer this note. According to The Insiders, safety Roy Williams will not only be on the board when the Vikings pick, but make it past Minnesota. From the sources VU has spoken to with a couple of other teams in the NFL, if that scenario is played out, the Vikings will get offered multiple picks -- this year and next year -- to move into the No. 7 slot to grab Williams. The Raiders and another team are openly shopping for Williams and, with the Raiders projected at $50 million over the cap next year, having a single first-round pick this season makes sense. We acknowledge that every media source is entitled to its opinion, but, when April 20 comes, the Vikes will get an offer they won't refuse if Roy Williams is on the board at No. 7.
* Rumors have circulated that Detroit is interested in matching the offer for D'Wayne Bates. Unless they're willing to "pull a Bears" -- match the offer, try to bring down Bates' demand and then release him in hopes the Vikes don't take him -- don't believe a breath of it. After investing in Germane Crowell, Az-Zahir Hakim and Bill Schroeder in the off-season, the Lions have no interest in Bates -- unless they want him as a high-priced, inexperienced punt returner.
* VU has been told that the agent for Bates is strongly advising teams in front of the Vikings in the waiver draft order to not select him. It has heated up over the weekend and the only team expressing an interest is apparently Buffalo and that is tepid, considering the Bills have a pair of young receivers they are high on as current backups.

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