Simply Indespensable

Is Steve Hutchinson the one player the Vikings could least afford to injury? Or is it Antoine Winfield? Or one of the Williams Boys? Or Bryant McKinnie? Fans are being asked to vote on which player is the most important to his team, and the Vikings' five don't include any skill position players.

What makes a player indispensable? ESPN is asking that question in its SportsNation section, giving fans the option of selecting which player each team could least afford to lose.

The five Vikings that can be voted on are all indispensable in their own way. Two are offensive players – tackle Bryant McKinnie and guard Steve Hutchinson – and three are defensive standouts – Pat Williams, Kevin Williams and Antoine Winfield.

While a case can be made for each of them, one thing that does stand out is that none of the five indispensable Vikings are offensive skill-position players – quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers or tight ends. Only one other NFC team in the voting process (the Bears) has five players listed and none of them are in the QB/RB/WR/TE realm.

Who do you think it is for the Vikings? VU will let you know the results when the voting is completed.

* Denny Green would cringe when he sees what they're doing to his team in Arizona. Green, a long-time proponent of the 4-3, two-gap defense, was fired after last season. The new coaching staff is installing the 3-4 defense, which could pose some problems since the team currently doesn't have the personnel to run the system effectively. * The NFL will conduct its supplemental draft next Thursday. If a team takes a player in the supplemental draft, they forfeit a similar pick in next year's college draft. Most teams aren't willing to part with a first-round pick – in fact, most teams don't participate at all – but it isn't unusual to see a team give up a third-rounder for a decent prospect. The supplemental draft has produced some stars, including former Browns QB Bernie Kosar.

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