It appears that, now that the 2006 season is over, the Vikings are going to draft seventh overall in April's rookie draft.
The Raiders "won" the No. 1 spot with a 2-14 record, followed by Detroit, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Arizona, Washington and the Vikings. There may have to be a coin flip to decide the third and fourth picks in the draft, because the Browns and Buccaneers had identical opponent win-loss percentages (.535).
For the Vikings, it will be the third time in seven years that they've draft from the seven-hole. In 2002, they used the seventh pick to take Bryant McKinnie. In 2003, they were supposed to pick seventh until a botched trade attempt let the Jaguars and Panthers jump ahead of them before taking Kevin Williams No. 9. In 2005, the Vikings received the seventh overall pick from the Raiders and used it on Troy Williamson, who has been an unqualified bust in his first two seasons.
The rest of the non-playoff teams have also been determined. The other 12 picks remain subject to slight change because the two teams that play in the Super Bowl are awarded picks Nos. 31 and 32. The rest of the non-playoff picks are as follows: 8. Houston; 9. Miami; 10 Atlanta; 11. San Francisco; 12. Buffalo; 13. St. Louis; 14. Carolina; 15. Pittsburgh; 16. Green Bay; 17. Jacksonville; 18. Cincinnati; 19. Tennessee. The Broncos are behind the Giants at Nos. 20 and 21 and the only way Denver can move ahead of New York into the No. 20 draft slot is if the G-Men advance to the Super Bowl.
* Of the teams in the NFL with 10 or more losses, the Vikings were the only team whose opponents combined to have win percentage of less than .500 (.484).
* Vikings radio analyst Joe Senser said he wouldn't return to the position next season following Sunday's game, claiming that extensive restrictions on access to players made it difficult for him to do his job.
* Brad Childress didn't say much about the team's direction in free agency or the draft, but said that the only position that may not be subject to investigating an upgrade is at quarterback, which could be a sign that Tarvaris Jackson will be his starter in 2007 and that Brad Johnson might return as a backup. If he doesn't believe in either of those points, it would seem logical that the position would be upgraded – at least through free agency to get a veteran to replace Johnson. If that isn't the case, Brooks Bollinger would compete for the starting spot and, like Mike McMahon entering the 2006 training camp, it seems only Childress sees Bollinger as a viable season-long option.
* All season the Vikings rush defense had drawn comparison to the Ravens of 2000, who still hold the modern-era record for rushing yards allowed in a season. The Vikings hadn't allowed any of their last 13 opponents to rush for more than 100 yards as a team, but Steven Jackson and the Rams shredded the Vikings for 168 yards, making Jackson the first rusher in 27 games to top 100 yards and left the Vikings 15 yards behind the record set by the Ravens.
* Chester Taylor set a team record for rushes Sunday, but fell short of the team record for touches – the combination of rushing attempts and pass receptions. Taylor finished with 346 touches – good for third all-time on the Vikings behind Ted Brown (357 in 1981) and Chuck Foreman (353 in 1975).
* The prayers of all of us at VU go out to the family of Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams, who was shot and killed after attending a New Year's Eve party in downtown Denver early this morning.
Vikings to Pick Seventh in Draft
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