Draft chat transcript: Value at No. 22

With the Vikings selecting No. 22 in the NFL draft, who holds value at that position and does it match with the Vikings' team needs? Scout.com draft analyst Chris Steuber gave his insight to the matter, and answered many more draft questions posed by VikingUpdate.com subscribers. Who does he see holding a purple jersey on April 25?

vikingspub: It looks like Chris is here, along with a few others, so we can get started. Let's try to keep the questions to the Senior Bowl and draft prospects. Have at it.

csteuber: I'm ready when you are ...

mikeccarter: Chris, any possibility of picking up a good OT in the first round?

csteuber: MikeCarter: There will be a couple of options at No. 22. The Vikings could draft a player like Oklahoma's Phil Loadholt, Arizona's Eben Britton or Oregon's Max Unger. The top four OTs will be off the board at that time.

kajjansiblackmamba: Chris, how deep do you think this year's OL class is, especially for right OGs/Ts?

csteuber: KajjansBlackMamba: This is a fairly deep OL class. The OT class is very good and there's four elite tackles at the top of the draft. The center class is probably the best that it's been in years. Players like Max Unger, Alex Mack, Eric Wood, etc. make it a deep class. The OG class is probably the weakest of the positions, but still pretty good with Duke Robinson and Herman Johnson.

vikingspub: I saw Loadholt at the Senior Bowl and was really impressed with him. Do you view him as versatile enough to play either side?

csteuber: VikingsPub: Yes, I think Loadholt is versatile enough to play on either side of the line. He may be best suited to play on the right side at the next level, because he struggles with his feet and may get exposed on the left side.

lancep1: Was there any standout lineman other than Monroe at the Senior Bowl? At 22, would it be better to trade down and get more picks in the middle of the draft for depth?

csteuber: Lancep1: Eugene Monroe was invited to the Senior Bowl but didn't attend. The best OL at the Senior Bowl was Ole Miss OT Michael Oher. California center Alex Mack also did a nice job. I think there will be value at No. 22, and the Vikings don't have to draft an OL in the first round; they can draft a player at another position.

NorthernVike: How about depth of CBs in the draft? Who are good second-round selections?

csteuber: NorthernVike: There will be value at the CB position at No. 22. Utah's Sean Smith, Vanderbilt's D.J. Moore and Wake Forest's Alphonso Smith are interesting choices. In the second round, Connecticut's Darius Butler, Virginia Tech's Macho Harris and Oregon's Jairus Byrd are excellent options as well.

kloosf16: How will (should) the Vikes address QB in the draft?

csteuber: Kloosf16: This is a bad year to target a QB; this is the weakest crop of quarterbacks I've seen in a while. I think the Vikings would be better off signing a veteran free agent.

coyote62: Chris, are there any RBs in the later rounds that could come in and have an impact as a third-down back since Chester Taylor is only under contract for one more year?

csteuber: Coyote62: There are some interesting RBs in this year's class. Keep an eye on Wyoming's Devin Moore, Virginia's Cedric Peerman and Northwestern's Tyrell Sutton. They're versatile backs who can contribute in the running and passing game.

kajjansiblackmamba: Chris, what about this year's crop of WRs? Good depth?

csteuber: KajjansBlackMamba: It's a good WR class, not elite, but solid. There is good depth throughout the draft and you can find quality up until the fourth round.

VIKINGSRCK: Does Cassell really not have a strong arm or is that a myth? I didn't watch many Patriots games because I can't stand them, so Cassell or draft a QB?

csteuber: VikingsRK: I think Cassell did a nice job of running the Patriots offense. He doesn't have an elite arm, but he's efficient and can properly run an offense. I think in the right system, he can produce the way he did this past season in New England. I have a feeling he may end up in New York with the Jets.

NashvilleVikingFan: With the success of the Jared Allen trade last year, is there a player out there that warrants a similar trade consideration this year? Would the Vikes do that two years in a row?

csteuber: NashvilleVikingFan: Keep an eye on Carolina and their two highly regarded free agents: Julius Peppers and Jordan Gross.

kloosf16: Chris, what do you see as the Vikes' top priority in the draft?

csteuber: Kloosf16: The Vikings priorities are: OT, CB, WR, QB, S

jimg111: Why safety?

csteuber: Jiim111; Safety for depth; you can never have enough.

lancep1: Where do you see the Vikings going in the first couple rounds? BPA or position of need? I would hope we still pick the BPA in the first round.

csteuber: Lancep1: I always believe BPA is the way to go and when you're selecting at No. 22, you have to go BPA. I think the Vikings will be happy with the CBs available at that point.

purplehorns: Is there any chance the Vikes will move up in draft for WR or QB?

csteuber: PurpleHorns: There's always a chance for a team to move up, but I believe the Vikings should stay put and allow the board to dictate what they do. There will be quality players for them at No. 22.

VIKINGSRCK: Would (Brad Childress) be able to use Cassell the right way?

csteuber: VikingsRCK: Childress did a nice job with Donovan McNabb in Philly; I don't see why he couldn't help Cassell in Minnesota, if he ended up there.

kajjansiblackmamba: Chris, anyone really shock you, positively or negatively, at the Senior Bowl?

csteuber: KajjansiBlackMamba: The guy that shocked me was NC State RB Andre Brown. He was really explosive and proved he's a quality all-around back. He's really elevated his stock; you're looking at this year's Matt Forte.

NashvilleVikingFan: Chris, is there much difference at 22 or say 26-30 … in case there are offers to trade down?

csteuber: NashvilleVikingFan: It depends what position you're targeting that late in the first round, but honestly, I don't think there's much of a difference this year.

VIKINGSRCK: We really need a right tackle. Should we go hard after Gross or try in the draft, and if so, who?

csteuber: VikingsRCK: Michael Oher, Eugene Monroe, Jason Smith and Andre Smith are the top four OTs in the draft. After them, the crop thins a bit, but Eben Britton and Phil Loadholt are possibilities in the first round.

purplehorns: How soon will Pettigrew go off the board and is there another TE that the Vikes may target?

csteuber: PurpleHorns: I think Brandon Pettigrew could go off the board as high as No. 11 to Buffalo and as low as No. 21 to Philadelphia. Missouri's Chase Coffman and Rice's James Casey are solid second-round picks. But keep an eye on Southern Miss' Shawn Nelson; he will ultimately be a third rounder.

VIKINGSRCK: Is there a WR not named Michael Crabtree that can make an impact as a WR, not KR this year?

csteuber: VikingsRCK: I think Hakeem Nicks will have a big impact next season. He's very consistent, runs solid routes and has strong hands. He will be a late first-round pick.

washinr: Chris, where do you see Hakeem Nicks or Percy Harvin going, possibly the Vikings?

csteuber: Washinr: I think Harvin goes between No. 15-22, while Nicks goes between No. 25-32.

washinr: Thanks, Chris. Harvin and AP would be a nightmare for defenses.

ProGaber: Chris, Vontae Davis is regarded by many as the #2 corner in this draft, yet he was benched earlier this year. Do you know why he was benched and what some of his weaknesses might be?

csteuber: ProGaber: I don't know officially why he was benched, but it may have something to do with his cover skills. He's very aggressive and physical and tends to over-pursue. He has a tendency to give up big plays and that's a concern. He was more impressive as a sophomore than he was as a junior. But Davis has a lot of ability and should be off the board in the top 20.

VIKINGSRCK: Looking for an eventual replacement for Pat Williams in the draft.

csteuber: VikingsRCK: A good replacement for Pat Williams could be Stillman's Sammie Lee Hill. He's a big interior force who can be had in the fifth or sixth round.

vikingspub: I few more questions and we'll have to wrap it up. We'll try to have Chris back often between now and the draft.

VIKINGSRCK: Any QBs in the later rounds worth taking?

csteuber: VikingsRCK: Central Washington's Mike Reilly had a bad week of practice at the East-West Shrine game, but he has a lot of potential. I think a team will be happy to use a sixth-round pick on him.

ProGaber: If Cassel is traded to the Jets, then what happens with Farve?

csteuber: ProGaber: I think Brett Favre will retire ... Cassell becomes the starter.

rdkjrk: Chris, I didn't see a response to my earlier question.

csteuber: Sorry, there's so much going on ... you got the last question, RDKJRK

rdkjrk: Do you really think we could get anyone at #22 that would be a difference maker for us at RT?

csteuber: RDKJRK: I think Phil Loadholt could make an immediate impact. Imagine having his 6-foot-8, 343-pound frame on one side and Bryant McKinnie on the other ... pretty intimidating.

csteuber: Hey guys, thanks for all the great questions. I promise I'll be back in the next two weeks to answer more of your questions. I'll talk to you soon!

lancep1: Thanks for the insight, Chris

VIKINGSRCK: Thanks, Chris, u r awesome!

kajjansiblackmamba: Thanks for your time, Chris

vikingspub: Thanks everyone. We'll try to get Adam Caplan here next week, and maybe Steuber as well as I'll be off the following week.

vikingspub: Have a great night!


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