True Intentions?

The Vikings' Triangle of Authority has done a great job of hiding their true intentions for the draft. There are several options open today, but it's uncertain who will end up in purple at the end of the day.

The Vikings have given no indication they are prepared to make any draft-day moves, but the team certainly is in a good position to do just that if they so choose.

And no one should be surprised if that is the case.

Coach Brad Childress and vice presidents Fran Foley and Rob Brzezinski proved during the NFL's free-agency period that the new-look Vikings plan to be proactive in their approach.

The poison pill inserted into the rich contract of left guard Steve Hutchinson — not to mention the early signings of running back Chester Taylor, kicker Ryan Longwell and linebacker Ben Leber — was a clear indication that things are much different in Minnesota with the Triangle of Authority now in charge and the Wilf checkbook backing them.

Holding five selections in the first three rounds of the draft, including the 17th overall pick, the Vikings will have leverage when other teams come calling. The Vikings' second-round choices will come at Nos. 48 and 51 and their third-round selections at Nos. 83 and 95.

There has been speculation the Vikings might have interest in a quarterback – Texas' Vince Young, Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler and Clemson's Charlie Whitehurst were brought in for visits — and could look at moving up. However, the reality is Minnesota can't afford to overlook its need to obtain help at linebacker.

As much as they would like to deny it — and probably would if given the opportunity — Minnesota likely will have no choice but to draft for need at this spot. Quickly.

Fortunately for the Vikings, there is plenty of talent at linebacker in this draft. The key will be making the right call and obtaining a player who can step in and compete for a starting role.

Among the names that have been tossed around are Florida State junior Ernie Sims, whose speed would be a welcome asset to the Vikings' Cover-2 scheme that new defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin brings from Tampa Bay.

There are mixed feelings on when Sims might go — it could be around 17th — but Minnesota might not want to take any chances and could try to advance a few spots. The Vikings were not believed to have brought in Sims for a pre-draft visit but that could be considered an attempt to convince other teams they aren't that interested.

Among the linebackers who did visit were Alabama's DeMeco Ryans, Iowa's Chad Greenway and Stanford's Jon Alston.

One of the most interesting dynamics will be to see how things work in the Vikings' draft room.

Owner Zygi Wilf is hoping Childress, Foley and Brzezinski will be able to make draft-day decisions in a collective manner but made it clear that given any disagreements Foley will have the final say on matters.

That final say could be needed as early as the first round.

The Vikings also are sure to rely on the expertise of Scott Studwell, the team's director of college scouting. Studwell likely has the most knowledge about this draft class of anyone at the Vikings' Winter Park facility.



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