The clamor for draft information is as pronounced this year as it's ever been. Following along with the trend, Viking Update will release the first of many mock drafts in the coming weeks. While some think it's silly to project the first round of the draft with three months to go until draft day, others can't get enough information of who will be the impact players of this year's draft class.
For the Vikings, that question is going to be part of a wait-and-see approach. The Vikings, like many teams, say they don't target a specific position, but rather look at the athlete. To a certain extent, that's true, but if the Indianapolis Colts had a high-rated draft prospect at quarterback fall to them, you know they wouldn't use a first-round pick on him with Peyton Manning in the prime of his career.
The Vikings have said that they likely won't take a quarterback in the draft, but if Brady Quinn, viewed by some as a can't-miss franchise-type quarterback, falls to them at No. 7, can they say no? The same can be said for wide receiver Calvin Johnson or offensive tackle Joe Thomas. Both are viewed as blue-chip pro prospects, but, based on the multiple needs at wide receiver and tackle of the teams in front of the Vikings, it's unlikely either of them (or LSU QB JaMarcus Russell) will be available when the Vikings make their pick at No. 7.
So, at this early juncture of the draft speculation, what does that leave? Running back Adrian Peterson would be a tantalizing option. While Brad Childress has expressed his love and admiration of Chester Taylor, Peterson is game-breaking threat who could be to the Vikings offense what Reggie Bush provided to the Saints in 2006. There has been some speculation that the Vikings will take a long look at Ohio State wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. While undersized at just over 175 pounds, Ginn's amazing speed makes him a pick that will likely be on the rise if he participates in the Combine and posts a huge 40 time. Another name that has been circulating is USC's Dwayne Jarrett, who, while not the most fleet of foot, has good size and makes the difficult catch look easy.
One nagging problem for the Vikings has been at defensive end, where former first round picks Erasmus James and Kenechi Udeze have each missed an almost entire seasons with injuries. A couple of the names jumping out include Arkansas DE Jamaal Anderson and Gaines Adams of Clemson. As a lover of position flexibility, Childress might also consider Michigan's Alan Branch, who can play all four D-line positions. One name that could be a rising sleeper is LaRon Landry. With Darren Sharper not getting any younger and Dwight Smith always seemingly being just one step from Childress' dog house, Landry could be a player who could mentor under the veterans much like Cedric Griffin did at cornerback this year and take over as a starter either in 2008 or later this season if someone goes down to injury.
Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for VU's Version 1.0 of its 2007 mock draft and see who we have the Vikings taking at this point. As the Senior Bowl and Combine buzz builds, many of the picks are sure to change, but, if the Vikings stay at No. 7, they're guaranteed of getting a player that most believe will be able to make an immediate impact. But, then again, that was the belief the last time the Vikings had the seventh pick and selected Troy Williamson.
Options Plentiful with Draft's Seventh Pick
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