Vikings Improved Without Huge Draft Numbers

The Vikings had the fewest amount of draft picks in the NFC North, but they may have improved themselves the most in the last week, mainly with the acquisition of Jared Allen.

The Vikings have been lauded by draft analysts for making the most of out of their 2008 draft, which many include Jared Allen as being a part of. With just five picks, the Vikings added depth at safety, quarterback, defensive tackle and center – and all four are expected to make the final roster. WR Jaymar Johnson might be a candidate to be sent to the practice squad.

The Vikings won't have nearly as many draft picks at this weekend's rookie camp as the other teams in the division. Thanks to a series of trades, the Packers drafted nine players – including three in the second round – with the Lions making nine picks and the Bears making a whopping 12 picks.

The numbers aside, the Vikings may have taken the fewest draft picks of any team in the division, but it seems clear that no team in the division has improved itself more from a week ago at this time to now. With a lot of buzz suddenly surrounding the Vikings, look for them to be viewed as the favorite by many in the NFC North


  • One of things we learned over the weekend was some of the jersey numbers assigned to new Vikings veterans. Safety Michael Boulware has been assigned number 27, quarterback Gus Frerotte will wear number 12, running back/return man Maurice Hicks is 43, linebacker Derrick Pope is 55, cornerback Benny Sapp is 22 and defensive lineman Ellis Wyms is 97. Among those still without assigned jersey numbers are defensive tackle Kenderick Allen, wide receiver Brent Little and linebacker Dallas Sartz. Wide receiver Bernard Berrian had already been assigned 87, defensive end Jared Allen number 69, fullback Thomas Tapeh 44, and safety Madieu Williams 20.

  • Former Viking Ivan Caesar, who played with the team in 1991, was identified as a murder victim in Orlando. Caesar was shot and killed early Monday morning. No suspect was taken into custody Monday.

  • Final auditions for the Vikings' cheerleading squad for 2008 are being held at the Mall of America Rotunda, starting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The squad will be pared from 50 to approximately 30 tonight.
  • Of all the players rumored to be traded before the weekend – a list that includes Jason Taylor, Lito Sheppard, Chad Johnson, Anquan Boldin and Jeremy Shockey – the only one that moved was Jared Allen.

  • Former Viking Daunte Culpepper visited the Packers prior to draft weekend and it looked as though he was going to sign a deal with the team. Instead, Green Bay took two quarterbacks in the draft, all but eliminating the chance that Pepp will get signed as well.

  • The Lions as an organization have been something of a joke on draft day in recent years, but the story wasn't funny coming out of Detroit concerning one of their newest additions. Safety Kalvin Pearson, who signed a three-year, $3.5 million deal in March, was charged with assaulting his pregnant girlfriend and could be subject to an immediate suspension from the league.

  • Fans reading USA Today may have thought the Vikings took two quarterbacks Sunday. Defensive tackle Letroy Guion was listed as a quarterback on the team-by-team picks page.

  • The Raiders eliminated part of their log-jam at running back Monday by releasing Dominic Rhodes, signed last spring as a free agent. The Raiders still have Lamont Jordan, who was given a big free-agent deal following the 2005 season, and Justin Fargas, given a $4 million-a-year deal this spring.

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