TFY Draft Preview Chat Transcript

See what Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Preview had to say about a visiting prospect for the Vikings last week and a whole lot of other draft topics and prospects surrounding the Vikings' needs, as Pauline answered questions fired out by subscribers.

vikingspub: Tony, let me start with Cromartie. He was in for a visit. Your thoughts on him?

TFYDraft: Vikespub, Cromartie was my highest rated draft-eligible cornerback last summer until he hurt his knee. As most know, he tore his knee ligament prior to the season and ended up on the sidelines all year. Why did he enter the draft after missing the season? Basically he had no choice in the matter as he would've been academically ineligible to play at FSU in '06. Now, he felt physically ready to play in the Fiesta Bowl against Penn State, but the Seminole coaches would not let him play. Assuming he had played in the '05 season and met expectations, he would've been the first CB selected and likely a top-8 choice. As it stands right now, he is climbing up boards. We posted and article which stated sources from both the Bears and Jags told us they love Cromartie and would grab him, yet neither team expects him to be available.

TFYDraft: Bottom line with Cromartie – he could be the best cornerback to come out of this draft if he returns to health and regains prior form. He has tremendous size/speed and outstanding CB skill.

Tyr: ESPN's draft special reported that LenDale White has a hamstring tear. How far is his stock going to plummet now?

TFYDraft: Tyr, don't be surprised if White falls out of the first day for a variety of reasons. The hamstring will take a while to heal and the fact is teams do not like his attitude.

Tyr: It's a shame, he's an excellent player, but I can certainly understand why teams would pass on him.

playa768: First day? Isn't that a little extreme for USC's all-time touchdown leader?

TFYDraft: Playa, considering what's gone on the past few months and the depth at the RB position in this draft, no.

TFYDraft: Some may know I do all the draft info at (reports, pro days, etc). He stood up one of our writers, Michael Silver, who wrote a scorching article about what happened. This took place the day after the USC pro day and I can tell you the whole thing did not go over well with NFL people.

davev: From a Vikes perspective, if Ernie Sims is not there at 17, what do they do?

playa768: What quarterback, do you feel the Vikings have number one on their draft board?

TFYDraft: Playa, right now Jay Cutler, who they will try and move up for if he starts to fall.

kajjansiblackmamba: Tony, what players/positions would be a good value for the Vikes in rounds 2 and 3?

TFYDraft: Kajjan, there will be a run on DB's from the late part of round one to the middle of the second; Charles Gordon of Kansas would be a good fit for a variety of reasons on the second.

UltraPurple: Tony, do you feel Greenway doesn't have the speed they want coming off the weak side?

TFYDraft: Ultra, I think you make a good point; Greenway is solid yet never deserved the grades he received coming into the year. National Scouting ranked him as a top-three player. Watching him on film you could see he was not very fast and lacks the top sideline-to-sideline range, a la A.J. Hawk or Ernie Sims.

Cowskull: Tony, why is there no talk of trying to get the TE Leonard Pope from Georgia?

vikingspub: Cow, I don't know if you saw the story we posted, but this Ed Nelson from U Conn would be an interesting late-round flier if they don't get a TE early.

Tyr: I've read that some draft experts are claiming that Matt Leinart's stock is falling. Is that true and, if so, how far do you see him slipping?

TFYDraft: Tyr, I disagree with that. Leinart has some limitations because he does not have a cannon of an arm yet he is a polished, smart leader that stood up well under pressure at SC. He may not be a fit for all teams or offenses (vertical game like the Raiders), yet he does not get out of the top five picks.

kajjansiblackmamba: With the signing of Tank Williams, is safety no longer a position that the Vikes might look at on day one?

TFYDraft: Kajjan, I think the only type of safety they'd look for is a cover safety who could be used in nickel packages.

UltraPurple: Tony, if Vikes do stay at 17, Cutler/Sims are gone, a trade-down possible?

TFYDraft: Ultra, the problem is not many teams will be looking to trade up. There is not a lot of difference between the 15th-best player in this draft and the 25th. The best chance for trading down is a team who wants one of the pass rushers like Manny Lawson.

Tyr: Can Davin Joseph play RG in the NFL?

TFYDraft: Tyr, yes; Joseph is versatile and very efficient. He can't play in a system such as the Denver Broncos', which puts linemen in motion, yet can handle RG in most others.

davev: What happened to DeMeco Ryans. Wasn't he considered a top-10 choice just a few months ago? He seems like a good fit for the Vikes with high character.

TFYDraft: Davev, not by me. Ryans is an intelligent, swift weakside LB with size limitations. He's efficient but not spectacular or a dominator one wants in a top-10 choice (a la A.J. Hawk).

kajjansiblackmamba: Tony, how far do you see my boy Mathias Kiwanuka falling?

TFYDraft: kajjan, Kiwi was my boy for a while too. Right now I think the Seahawks take him at the end of round one.

kajjansiblackmamba: Good, I'd hate to see him go to the Pack in the second round

Tyr: It's not a Vikings-related question, but which players or positions do you see the Rams targeting at 11?

TFYDraft: Tyr, they'd like a TE but won't get Davis. They could go for Jimmy Williams and make him a safety.

playa768: Tony, any chance the Vikes look at a guy like Greg Jennings, WR, Western Michigan in Round 4 or 5 to replace Nate Burleson? He seems to be a good character, ultra-productive WR. Have you heard or seen anything connecting his name with the Vikes?

TFYDraft: playa, Jennings is a first day pick. Expect him to go in the third round.

Tyr: Tony, do you think that right guard is a priority for the Vikings or are they happy with letting Chris Liwienski, Anthony Herrera and Adam Goldberg fit it out for the position?

TFYDraft: Tyr- if good value is available I think they'd look for an upgrade in the first day. Problem is the talent at OG really thins out after a handful of guys.

PaVikingMan: Tony - could you see the Vikings picking TE Klopfenstine in the 2nd or Scheffler a little later at #95? They need a TE to stretch the field.

TFYDraft: PaVike. The Rams will probably take Klopfenstine in round two. Scheffler is an interesting guy, but you give up a lot in the blocking department with him.

davev: What's up with Thomas Howard the LB from UTEP? I haven't heard why he has dropped into the 2nd round?

TFYDraft: davev, Howard could go anywhere as early as the late first to the 40th pick. Cincy and Jax are seriously considering him in round one.

Tyr: Where do you see Marcedes Lewis going? Can he slip into the latter third of the first round or is an early to mid second rounder?

TFYDraft: Tyr, Lewis is a late first-round pick at the earliest; maybe Chicago. If not, depending on what SF does in round one, he could end up there in the second frame.

Tyr: Do you think that San Francisco will take Davis at 6 or does it depend on whether or not Hawk is still available?

TFYDraft: Tyr, first, I'd be shocked if Hawk is available at 5. Second, yes, I think SF takes Davis.

davev: Sorry for all the LB questions. Who's a good fit for the Cover-2 defense from the top LBs?

TFYDraft: davev, Sims, Howard, Ryans, Roger McIntosh, Jon Alston, James Anderson of Va. Tech.

hokster49: Tony, do you see the Vikes targeting a wide receiver? If so, who and when do you think they'll get him?

TFYDraft: hokster, I think with the need and coach it will be a priority. We mentioned Travis Wilson of OU last week. Demetrius Williams of Oregon would also be a solid fit, though they have to grab him in round two.

UltraPurple: Tony, what was your opinion on Vikes Dustin Fox, seems like a decent cover-2 type CB?

TFYDraft: Ultra- I think Fox would be better off as a zone corner when he can face the action.

vikingspub: Ultra, Fox was getting a lot of time inside on nickel in minicamp. He was all smiles when I talked to him about it. Very happy to be back at CB.

PaVikingMan: Tony- do you think OLBs Anderson & Johnson are a good fit for the Vikings' scheme? Where do you see them going?

TFYDraft: PAVike- Anderson is an underrated player and second-day pick (fifth round area). Johnson (I'm assuming Brandon of UL) is a terrific athlete yet average football player. He's also a second-day pick.

vikingspub: OK, say the Vikings lose out on Leinart, Young, Cutler, Croyle and Whitehurst. Who is the next West Coast QB, and tell me your thoughts on Tavarias Jackson.

TFYDraft: Vikespub, Kellen Clemens of Oregon, though he really lacks a big-time arm. Brett Basanez of Northwestern late in the draft. As far as T. Jackson, good arm, solid athlete but sprays his passes all over the field and needs a lot of work on his accuracy

davev: I read a lot good things about Charles Spencer. Thoughts? Sounds like he has great potential. Right guard, second round for the Vikings? He is versatile, too ... maybe backup left tackle?

TFYDraft: davev- great size and upside for Spencer but a guy that needs constant prodding and needs to be pushed. He did not play well at LT last year at Pitt, though many feel he has the feet to develop at that spot.

kajjansiblackmamba: Tony, how do you see the top 5 picks panning out?

TFYDraft: kajjan, right now I'll say Bush, Ferguson, Leinart, M. Williams, Hawk.

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