Harrington Key to Vikes Draft

It's rare when a player you have no intention of taking is so tightly linked to your team, but the Vikes and Joey Harrington have a groove thing going.

There is one certainty in tomorrow's NFL draft -- Joey Harrington will not be a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

Yet, as the final hours tick away before the other first-round QB -- David Carr -- is formally announced by the Houston Texans as the first overall pick, the question becomes when will Harrington follow.

Until a couple of days of ago, it looked like he would end up with Cincinnati at No. 10 -- which would have little affect on the Vikings. However, that has changed. Now, if you see media reports out of Detroit and Buffalo, you hear that the Lions are seriously considering Harrington at No. 3 and Buffalo, if it can't work out a deal for Drew Bledsoe, is sitting at No. 4 with a potential to take a shot at him.

While those of us at VU still believe the Lions will take CB Quentin Jammer and the Bills will take OT Mike Williams, the newest member to the tough talk club has become Kansas City at No. 8 -- which is good news for the Vikings.

Apparently not 100 percent happy with the performance of Trent Green, word out of K.C. is that the Chiefs are considering Harrington with their pick. Is this simply draft posturing? Quite possibly, but, if teams behind K.C. are convinced the talk isn't merely lip service, there could be big ramifications to the idle Kansas City chatter.

The point then becomes, if you want Harrington, you'll have to move in front of Kansas City. Translation: You have to talk to San Diego, Dallas and the Vikings.

While those of us at VU that follow the draft don't think a deal for Harrington will be struck to move somebody into a slot ahead of the Vikings or that the Lions or Bills would take him, it would not only be intriguing if one of them did, it would be great for the team, since it would allow another player to slide to the Vikings that wouldn't be available if Harrington is still on the board.

Yes, Harrington has no chance of being a Viking, but he could hold the key to whom the Vikes end up with in the first round.

* TE Hunter Goodwin is very close to signing a deal with the Vikes, which could happen today. As reported earlier, if a deal isn't done before the draft, the Vikings may simply shut down talks with Goodwin.
* The No. 7 pick in the draft is by no means a lock for success. The last five No. 7 selections have been a mixed bag of success and failure -- DE Andre Carter to the 49ers in 2001, RB Thomas Jones to the Cards in 2000, CB Champ Bailey to Washington in 1999, OT Kyle Turley to the Saints in 1998 and WR Ike Hillard to the Giants in 1997.
* After returning from an extended mission to the Sunshine State searching for the meaning of life, VU publisher Bob Lurtsema has returned and searched out the meaning of the Vikings draft. His answer: The Vikings will take Texas OT Mike Williams if he is available at No. 7 or trade down. Shockingly, Lurtz says he will be available for reaction on Monday. Others on the VU staff believe the trade-down scenario is likely only if Williams, Bryant McKinnie and Ryan Sims are all gone by No. 7.
* The Vikings off-season workout program has included a team-record 40 players. While that may not be news, the fact that franchise players Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss are taking part is big news.
* From the draft busts past department comes this: Former Viking (as in one practice) Dimitrius Underwood has found more trouble. Not suicide, but perhaps even worse. A California woman is suing Underwood and the Cowboys, claiming that when Dallas played at Oakland last year, she was raped by Underwood in his hotel room. She not only is seeking damages from Underwood, but from the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones as well -- claiming the team is partially responsible for the actions of its players.
* In a non-controversial note, be sure to click early and often to the VU website over the weekend. We're going to have wall to wall coverage of the draft with profiles on the newest Vikings and comments from the players themselves, head coach Mike Tice, Frank Gilliam and position coaches as to how the rookies are expected to fit in. If you're a Vikes fan, you'll have one-stop shopping, as VU covers the draft from David Carr to Mr. Irrelevant.

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