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Cheering for you guys to win the Super Bowl. Good luck Vikes fans.

I've been a Viking fan for 30 years.  With the exception of 1998, I've never had more confidence in this team than I have right now.  The defense is the best I've ever seen from this club.  They have

Congrats Vikings fans, what a great game ? I posted this in another thread and you probably saw it already, but in case you didn’t, this is a really cool angle of the last play   http://dail

23 hours ago, KChusker said:

Who is the Vikings X receiver and Diggs replacement going to be?

Jefferson is slot for now I assume.

Whoever it is could be a sneaky deep league sleeper, especially if Cook holds out

Diggs and Thielen were interchangeable as far as where they line up in the offense. Under Norv Turner Diggs played the X position more. Under DeFlippo Diggs played the Z more. Both are very effective from the slot.

The Vikings only used 11 personnel 25% of their plays last season and I would not expect that to change much because they want to use 2 TE Rudolph and Irv Smith, or a TE and a FB Rudolph and CJ Ham on a majoriy of their plays.

I would assume that Jefferson is a better fit at the Z position where he can get a clean release. Adam Thielen plays all downs. He is the WR who will be on the field when the Vikings use 3 TE or 2 TE and a FB.

So technically I would say Thielen is the X WR and Jeffrson is the Z. But both WR will move around a lot and both will play from the slot a fair amount anyways, as the Vikings will move Smith , Rudolph or Ham to the outside to enable that.

I like Tajae Sharpe and Bisi Johnson made some plays last year. Neither is good enough for me to see the Vikings increasing their 3 WR sets though.

I think it is very unlikely that Cook holds out. If he does the offense doesn't really change though. They will still use 2 TE and they will still use CJ Ham a lot in that situation, as they have done when Cook has been out of the line up before. 

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On 7/23/2020 at 8:25 PM, Biabreakable said:

I think it is very unlikely that Cook holds out. If he does the offense doesn't really change though. They will still use 2 TE and they will still use CJ Ham a lot in that situation, as they have done when Cook has been out of the line up before. 

I'd be shocked if Cook actually held out. I can't see any point to it. He's got zero leverage, and with all the talk of the cap going down, I can't see the Vikings(or any team) extending a RB already under contract, especially an injury prone one. Also, the new CBA basically made holding out a major unlikelihood with fines no longer being waivable.

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10 hours ago, travdogg said:

I'd be shocked if Cook actually held out. I can't see any point to it. He's got zero leverage, and with all the talk of the cap going down, I can't see the Vikings(or any team) extending a RB already under contract, especially an injury prone one. Also, the new CBA basically made holding out a major unlikelihood with fines no longer being waivable.

Yeah. We know the Vikings have offered Cook a contract extension. Its just that what they offered and what Cook is seeking do not meet yet.

There was a interview today where they talk to Zimmer about his contract extension, he talks about the offense not really changing. That he doesn't want to take anything away from Kevin Stefanski but what they ran was Kubiaks offense. So nothing is really going to change.

He expects Dalvin Cook to report to training camp on time but we wont know that until he does or doesnt.

Will Dalvin Cook report to Vikings training camp?

I guess Cook talked to RB coach Kennedy Polamalu and that he will be there for camp tomorrow.

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So the Vikings got some good news mixed with some bad news.

Dalvin Cook reported to training camp on time as expected.

Nose Tacjle Michael Pierce who was supposed to take over for Linval Joseph in the defense this year has opted out of the season because he has asthma and is high risk if he gets the virus. 

Also Justin Jefferson has the virus now and cannot participate in anything live until after he recovers and is no loner a risk to other players.

Its not clear to me how this affects the Vikings salary cap for 2020. I read Pierces contract tolls to 2021 so that should free up significant cap space that the Vikings can use for signing other players.

Who takes over at nose tackle?

The Vikings have Jaleel Johnson who has always been a bit of tweener NT/UT and maybe he fits better at NT.  They also have Armon Watts who played well last year although they have been talking about using him as a under tackle, I think he could play NT.

No way Shamar Stephen should be a consideration.He gets blown back so often, I don't really want to see him make the team.

Jaylyn Holmes has been a back up under tackle and he is a converted DE. I don't think he would play NT.

Hercules Mata'afa has been gaining weight to play under tackle,

Rookie James Lynch could play NT I suppose although they have other plans for him.

David Moa is somewhat unknown to me. Maybe he would be in consideration?

None of these guys are as heavy as Pierce or Joseph though, which seems to be something Zimmer wants from his NT. To be large enough to push the pile against double teams.

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Vikings’ Michael Pierce to opt out of 2020 season due to respiratory issues

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Salary-cap analyst Jason Fitzgerald said Pierce’s cap number will be $2 million this season, a third of his $6 million signing bonus last March, or $2.35 million if the NFL ends up counting the $350,000. His cap number was to have been $5 million. Pierce’s cap number in 2021 will be $5 million instead of $10.5 million.

So if this is correct it looks like this frees up $3 million in cap space.

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Obviously Spielman was going to be extended along with the head coach Mike Zimmer.

The coaches management and scouting are all aligned which is important and something that cant happen if the team does not have continuity.

The Vikings are coming off a record setting number of draft picks in the 2020 draft. Rick Spielman and the Vikings do seem to have an edge on other teams on draft day. Beyond the record number of picks the Vikings have also already set themselves up to have extra picks in the 2021 draft. Rick Spielman deserves a lot of the credit for accomplishing that, it wouldnt be possible or as effective without the continuity and alignment between the GM coaches and scouts.

If that is boring or whatever I wouldnt wish for it to be another way.

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Never-Before-Seen Footage From The Vikings' 2020 Virtual Draft Room

I thought there were some interesting things here such as Spielmans and Zimmers reaction to the Eagles selecting Reagor over Jefferson. He seemed very happy about that and Jefferson is who they wanted all along.

Zimmer asks Gary Kubiak how he feels about Justin Jefferson and he says Jefferson is well versed in their offense already, that he can play a lot of places, very competitive

Before they traded down with the 49ers they were looking at corners and Jeff Gladney specifically. They gambled one of those would fall to them at pick 31 so they were comfortable with doing that. From what Gladney says he wanted to be selected by the Vikings and he was worried when they traded down that that might not happen. 

Also he notes they were getting Ezra Cleveland with a similar draft pick as they used on Brian O'Neil. Similar prospect and investment.

Its somewhat unceremonious when the pick Dantzler in the 3rd round but I think that is terrific value for the player he may end up being. The combine metrics had something to do with this, but we also know they have estimated that Dantzler is faster than he timed at the combine. 

The Vkings trade pick 105 to the Saints so that completes day 2 for them. They came away with 4 players.

Pattersons conviction about DJ Wonnum .who Spielman says is A+ across the board (referring to their evaluation criteria)he asks if Patterson is good with the pick to which he responds he is jacked about it. Zimmer says Patterson had been bugging him for weeks about Wonnum.

After picking Lynch and Dye Spielman says he is really happy that they got the 3 players they were targeting for the 4th round.

There are a lot more picks after this but things get less specific. Zimmer jokes about the Vikings still having 16 more picks to go after Spielman makes another trade with the Bears. There is a lot of humor and smack talking by Zimmer throughout this.

I think it speaks for itself and why Spielman and Zimmer have been extended.

The Vikings have 12 picks in the 2021 draft before talking about comp picks which are likely considering all of the free agent departures they had.

Edited by Biabreakable
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1 hour ago, JoeSteeler said:

conditional 7th-round pick? Nice trade for the Vikings

I am hoping so. I spent some time watching him a bit today. There are some things to like about him but there are obviously some negatives too. I wonder a bit about those and I would like to ask Raiders fans for their opinion.

They were going to cut him, so there is some reason for that besides them being pretty flush at DT right now. Its not like they saved a lot of money by letting him go. Im somewhat surprised some other team didnt make a better offer.

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5 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

Annnnd....he failed his physical. 

Ah that might be why.

I did hear a Raider fan talking about him showing up to camp overweight.

eta - The silver lining part of me was hoping him being overweight wasn't a bad thing since the Vikings are looking to replace a 350 lb man.

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On 8/4/2020 at 2:17 AM, Biabreakable said:

Obviously Spielman was going to be extended along with the head coach Mike Zimmer.

The coaches management and scouting are all aligned which is important and something that cant happen if the team does not have continuity.

It should not have been obvious, and I also don't think that continuity is a good thing in all instances. JMHO, the Vikings are in desperate need of challenging their group-think notion of how to build a complete football team. 

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9 hours ago, BigJim® said:

It should not have been obvious, and I also don't think that continuity is a good thing in all instances. JMHO, the Vikings are in desperate need of challenging their group-think notion of how to build a complete football team. 

Well I think the addition of Kibiak has galvanized their vision on offense. I dont think they have had that during Zimmers time here. He had obvious philosophical differences with DeFluppo for example.

We have discussed how the Vikings value offensive linemen, and in your view they do not value them enough, which I do agree with in the past. That year where TJ Clemmings had to start a lot of games was terrible and the Vikings did not take upgrading the position seriously enough that offseason.

I do think this has changed though. The Vikings have invested pretty high picks into Brian O'Neil, Pat Elflien, Garrett Bradbury and this year Ezra Cleveland.

Right or wrong there is a method to this. All of these linemen are very fast relative to their peers. Good fits for the ZBS and Kubiaks offense. I think they have been valuing the players this way for a long time actually, its just more focused now with Cook and Kubiak in tow and they have been making higher investments as far as draft picks into these positions recently.

Pat Elflien hasn't really panned out but that is going to happen. They wont all hit. If Cleveland does become an average starting offensive lineman or better and Bradbury does as well, they should be in pretty good shape for a change at offensive line. I think they have quality depth in Hill and the younger guys like Samia and Udoh waiting in the wings as well.

Zimmer said he brought in Dom Capers to be that devils advocate for Zimmer in regards to the defense. Based on ZImmers statements about that hire, it seems he agrees with you.

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Kubiak Details Competitions Along The Offensive Line, Getting Jefferson Caught Up, Lack of Preseason Games, More

He says to start out the 4 returning starters remain there for now. Riley Reiff will not be moving to guard as some have speculated. Ge says he has high expectations for Drew Samia and he likes the depth of Alex Collins and Dozier. They have been teaching Cleveland how to play guard early on because they are comfortable with him at tackle, so they are trying to teach him the guard position right now.

More specifically at RG he mentions Dozier Alex Collins and Cleveland competing at that spot, which is interesting because Collins has been a tackle before.

I wonder if Samia is competing for the LG position?. I am hoping they can get better play there than they have gotten from Elflien so far. I wonder why he wasn't mentioned as competing for the RG position.

He is talking about having more intense practices to make up for not having preseason games.

He says he scripted plays last year as part of his routine even though he wasnt calling plays. He says he needs practice with that to make it routine again just like the players.

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49 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Well I think the addition of Kibiak has galvanized their vision on offense. I dont think they have had that during Zimmers time here. He had obvious philosophical differences with DeFluppo for example.

We have discussed how the Vikings value offensive linemen, and in your view they do not value them enough, which I do agree with in the past. That year where TJ Clemmings had to start a lot of games was terrible and the Vikings did not take upgrading the position seriously enough that offseason.

I do think this has changed though. The Vikings have invested pretty high picks into Brian O'Neil, Pat Elflien, Garrett Bradbury and this year Ezra Cleveland.

Right or wrong there is a method to this. All of these linemen are very fast relative to their peers. Good fits for the ZBS and Kubiaks offense. I think they have been valuing the players this way for a long time actually, its just more focused now with Cook and Kubiak in tow and they have been making higher investments as far as draft picks into these positions recently.

Pat Elflien hasn't really panned out but that is going to happen. They wont all hit. If Cleveland does become an average starting offensive lineman or better and Bradbury does as well, they should be in pretty good shape for a change at offensive line. I think they have quality depth in Hill and the younger guys like Samia and Udoh waiting in the wings as well.

Zimmer said he brought in Dom Capers to be that devils advocate for Zimmer in regards to the defense. Based on ZImmers statements about that hire, it seems he agrees with you.

I don’t doubt that an all star cast of coaches believe they can coach a team being constructed outside->in. I just don’t think continuity with a do-the-opposite GM is all that important. It’s undermining. Coaching will have no impact whatsoever competing against Bears-Packer-49er DLs. The draftees you mentioned anchor a bottom 5 NFL OL, so I guess I’m not that thrilled about scouting continuity either.

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20 minutes ago, BigJim® said:

I don’t doubt that an all star cast of coaches believe they can coach a team being constructed outside->in.

What do you mean by this? Ezra Cleveland was the Vikings 3rd pick in the 2020 draft. Do you think they should have prioritized that over WR and CB?

If so who do you think they should have picked over Jefferson and Gladney?

For me I thought Cleveland was worth a 1st round pick. They got him anyways. The other tackle I thought was good enough was Josh Jones but he ended up being a 3rd round pick in the draft and the Vikings preferred Cleveland over him.

In 2019 they drafted Bradbury at pick 18 before any other player.

20 minutes ago, BigJim® said:

I just don’t think continuity with a do-the-opposite GM is all that important. It’s undermining.

What do you mean by a do the opposite GM? Are you saying the GM and coaches are not on the same page? I don't think that is the case at all.

20 minutes ago, BigJim® said:

Coaching will have no impact whatsoever competing against Bears-Packer-49er DLs. The draftees you mentioned anchor a bottom 5 NFL OL, so I guess I’m not that thrilled about scouting continuity either.

The Vikings really struggled to move the ball against those teams last year. Those were also some of the best defensive lines in the league last year. They need to do better.

What makes you think the Vikings are a bottom 5 offensive line?

According to FBO the Vikings were in the top half of offensive lines last year.

Pff has the Vikings as the 23rd offensive line going into 2020. They were 19th overall according to them last season.

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2 hours ago, Biabreakable said:

What do you mean by this? Ezra Cleveland was the Vikings 3rd pick in the 2020 draft. Do you think they should have prioritized that over WR and CB?

If so who do you think they should have picked over Jefferson and Gladney?

For me I thought Cleveland was worth a 1st round pick. They got him anyways. The other tackle I thought was good enough was Josh Jones but he ended up being a 3rd round pick in the draft and the Vikings preferred Cleveland over him.

In 2019 they drafted Bradbury at pick 18 before any other player.

What do you mean by a do the opposite GM? Are you saying the GM and coaches are not on the same page? I don't think that is the case at all.

The Vikings really struggled to move the ball against those teams last year. Those were also some of the best defensive lines in the league last year. They need to do better.

What makes you think the Vikings are a bottom 5 offensive line?

According to FBO the Vikings were in the top half of offensive lines last year.

Pff has the Vikings as the 23rd offensive line going into 2020. They were 19th overall according to them last season.

I mean honestly, it doesn't seem like we're in that much disagreement, other than you seem very glass-half-full solving OL in the 3rd. I thought O'Neil was a reach, but I do like how he's played and admit he might be part of the solution. Bradbury is undersized vs power DTs and it's fair to say he's TBD at best and must be protected with strong G's at worst. Elflien is irrelevant, and band-aid journeymen G are gone from the roster. Cleveland is a rookie who slid in the draft for unknown reasons. Do you feel we've held the pocket pretty well and I'm just seeing it wrong? I wouldn't call sliding backwards #19->#23 by PFF an endorsement. Would it make you feel better if I was as optimistic as PFF and called them bottom 10? Would that make them competitive against top teams?

My do-the-opposite comment on Spielman is his approach favoring specialty positions over trench players, where they can't realistically live up to the investment. I could talk about 1st round/uber expensive CBs for a zone scheme that has them not even playing the ball, but let's just focus on the offense: They have a 1st round rookie WR who won't have time to get open, a former early 2nd rookie RB in serious contract talks to become top 10 $ (at least) without holes to run through, and an immobile $30M QB who can't conceivably live up to a huge contract with poor pass protection. All of it is bass ackwards. They've had a turnstile at OL coach, and a never ending parade of former head coach assistants trying to help solve the rubiks cube of how to become that rare successful NFL team that can't win trenches. 

I'm not going to play armchair NFL scout on the "who other than a Jefferson/Gladney?" The more important question is how do you envision this team competing against a Niners DL who absolutely humiliated the Vikes in the trenches last year, added DT Kinlaw, and is rumored to add DE Dion Jordan? By adding a 3rd round G? And actually, the answer to that question might be irrelevant. Are you even improving vs Packers/Bears DLs (0-4 last year) vying for the playoffs to begin with, adding Jefferson/Gladney? I'd have to say no.

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23 hours ago, BigJim® said:

I mean honestly, it doesn't seem like we're in that much disagreement, other than you seem very glass-half-full solving OL in the 3rd. I thought O'Neil was a reach, but I do like how he's played and admit he might be part of the solution. Bradbury is undersized vs power DTs and it's fair to say he's TBD at best and must be protected with strong G's at worst. Elflien is irrelevant, and band-aid journeymen G are gone from the roster. Cleveland is a rookie who slid in the draft for unknown reasons. Do you feel we've held the pocket pretty well and I'm just seeing it wrong? I wouldn't call sliding backwards #19->#23 by PFF an endorsement. Would it make you feel better if I was as optimistic as PFF and called them bottom 10? Would that make them competitive against top teams?

My do-the-opposite comment on Spielman is his approach favoring specialty positions over trench players, where they can't realistically live up to the investment. I could talk about 1st round/uber expensive CBs for a zone scheme that has them not even playing the ball, but let's just focus on the offense: They have a 1st round rookie WR who won't have time to get open, a former early 2nd rookie RB in serious contract talks to become top 10 $ (at least) without holes to run through, and an immobile $30M QB who can't conceivably live up to a huge contract with poor pass protection. All of it is bass ackwards. They've had a turnstile at OL coach, and a never ending parade of former head coach assistants trying to help solve the rubiks cube of how to become that rare successful NFL team that can't win trenches. 

I'm not going to play armchair NFL scout on the "who other than a Jefferson/Gladney?" The more important question is how do you envision this team competing against a Niners DL who absolutely humiliated the Vikes in the trenches last year, added DT Kinlaw, and is rumored to add DE Dion Jordan? By adding a 3rd round G? And actually, the answer to that question might be irrelevant. Are you even improving vs Packers/Bears DLs (0-4 last year) vying for the playoffs to begin with, adding Jefferson/Gladney? I'd have to say no.

Yeah I don't think we disagree about the importance of trench players at all Jim. It seems like eons ago but when I was mock drafting for the Vikings back in March/April that is what I was trying to do, taking offensive linemen and defensive linemen and waiting to address WR and CB until the 3rd round. The 2020 draft class was not very good at the guard or center position but there were a lot of good tackles.

How the 2020 draft played out, four of the top tackles were selected by pick 13. Derrick Brown and Kinlaw who you mention were selected in the top 14 picks as well. It would have been expensive for the Vikings to try to move up that high in the draft for one of those players imo. Austin Jackson was another tackle selected by the Dolphins who I did not like as much as Jones or Cleveland. I would have been fine with the Vikings selecting one of them instead of Jefferson or Gladney, but they didn't, yet they still were able to get Cleveland with their 2nd round pick, (he was selected 58 overall he was not a 3rd round pick) so in my view no harm in that. I suppose they could have selected them both instead of taking Gladney, do you think that would have been better?

The Vikings did have huge needs at corner considering all the players they lost at that position and I do like Gladney so I am not unhappy about their decision to go that way. By the time they selected Cameron Dantzler in the 3rd round Josh Jones was gone (pick 72) also DT Blackmon (pick 40) and Madubuike (pick 71) were gone before that pick and as we saw the Vikings had a plan to address their defensive line depth in the 4th round where they got DJ Wonnum (was not on my radar) and James Lynch.

Only time will tell on those players but based on the Vikings track record with Zimmer and Patterson they have proven to be able to develop later round picks on defensive line and get great results. See Hunter, Griffen, Robison, Watherly, Odenigbo. Hopefully that trend continues. It is a competitive advantage for the Vikings to be able to do this and Spielman deserves credit for that as well. Listening to his coaches and finding players in the later rounds who contribute at a level matching what other teams are investing much higher picks into.

Aa far as your point about Speilman favoring skill players over trench players, I just don't think thats true, especially recently, a 1st round pick used on Center and two 2nd round picks used on offensive tackles, a 3rd round pick on C/G Elflien all high picks. They havent used a high pick on the defensive line since Shariff Floyd but as I mentioned in the last paragraph, they have been able to develop later picks into good/great starters instead, so why should they commit more resources there when they have this advantage?

The Vikings who are restrained in their options by the salary cap right now did make signing Michael Pierce a priority to replace Linval Joseph (whos play had slipped) so I would say that was making NT a very high priority to them. He opted out due to Covid and I wonder if this nixes some of the 3-4 wrinkles that may or may not have been in the works or not? 

I was with you when they drafted Mike Hughes over an offensive lineman. The front office has taken a lot of heat from the fan base for that. It has become somewhat of a inside joke for them now due to the backlash of that decision. I do wish they would have taken Wil Hernandez at that time instead of Hughes. I think they got too caught up with trying to replace Patterson on kicks as part of that decision as well. Spielman has shown a tendency to over value kick returners considering the rule changes in the NFL and how infrequently teams get the opportunity to return kicks now. Despite them taking Hughes over Henderson, they did draft Brian O'Neil with their 2nd pick that year and he has panned out as well as anyone could have hoped for.

So from my perspective your criticism is a couple years old and the Vikings have made some changes in how they are prioritizing things since then

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The Minnesota Vikings Have Many Decisions to Make on the Offensive Line

I have been reading peoples opinions about Kubiaks comments and a lot of those are detailed in the article.

I think the author may be right that Dru Samia is further down the depth chart, however its still possible he is 2nd string LG right now and the guy who is pushing Elflien. That is my hope anyways, if it isn't Samia who is the 2nd string LG then?

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On 8/5/2020 at 11:06 PM, BigJim® said:

I could talk about 1st round/uber expensive CBs for a zone scheme that has them not even playing the ball,

Interesting quote from Rhodes on the Colts scheme he finds better suited to him. Definitely validates what my eyes saw last year:

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“It’s so much easier,” Rhodes said, via Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. “I’ll tell you that. . . . This one is more zone, eyes to the quarterback. That’s going to be the main difference for me, is being able to play looking at the quarterback, rather than looking at the man.”

 

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Doesnt surprise me to hear Rhodes say that.

Zimmer has a more complex scheme as far as pattern matching, responsibilities based on if the corner is on the closed or open side of the field and the coverage call 

There were plenty of times where Rhodes seemed to be confused about his assignment, arguing with Harrison Smith after plays. I'm pretty sure Smith was right in each case. These arguments would happen after Rhodes giving up a big play.

I am guessing the Vikings will use more zone coverage this year because of the young inexperienced players and also because of some influence from Dom Capers. Zimmer prefers to run more man coverage. 

It has been a longer development curve for new corners in the defense so far. Wayne's for example didnt play a lot until his 3rd season.

Zimmer may have to simplify some things for the new guys this year.

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On 8/6/2020 at 10:37 PM, Biabreakable said:

How the 2020 draft played out, four of the top tackles were selected by pick 13. Derrick Brown and Kinlaw who you mention were selected in the top 14 picks as well. It would have been expensive for the Vikings to try to move up that high in the draft for one of those players imo. Austin Jackson was another tackle selected by the Dolphins who I did not like as much as Jones or Cleveland. I would have been fine with the Vikings selecting one of them instead of Jefferson or Gladney, but they didn't, yet they still were able to get Cleveland with their 2nd round pick, (he was selected 58 overall he was not a 3rd round pick) so in my view no harm in that. I suppose they could have selected them both instead of taking Gladney, do you think that would have been better?

The Vikings did have huge needs at corner considering all the players they lost at that position and I do like Gladney so I am not unhappy about their decision to go that way. By the time they selected Cameron Dantzler in the 3rd round Josh Jones was gone (pick 72) also DT Blackmon (pick 40) and Madubuike (pick 71) were gone before that pick and as we saw the Vikings had a plan to address their defensive line depth in the 4th round where they got DJ Wonnum (was not on my radar) and James Lynch.

I can see all of this. I think reasonable minds can quibble about specific players, but what I'd expect to see from the organization after literally 2 decades of OL incompetence is focus and urgency. Not continued prioritization of other positions. Think of what the Packers did the very year after Moss was drafted: They drafted 3 CBs to begin the draft realizing they needed an answer to compete with a divisional foe. Not a doubt in my mind Ron Wolf had other positions of need on the team, but solving those would not fix an achilles heel.  

Jefferson may turn into an excellent pro, but drafting WRs in the 1st in this particular draft made very little sense to me. I just don't think WRs are ever worth a 1st (I realize the prior Moss mention undermines this statement, but he was a unicorn). I saw guys going in the 4th-5th that I'd have loved to see on this team. I'm not a scout so I expect to be ridiculed for mentioning these names, but Bryan Edwards, Gandy-Golden, Tyler Johnson & even longshot Gabriel Davis caught my eye as viable/dynamic prospects to take a chance on. As we've seen from Diggs/Thielen, WR absolutely is a position that can be figured out later in most drafts. That was particularly true in this class, considering the abundance of mid-round picks the Vikes had. FWIW, I remember having similar back/forth with you prior to the Treadwell pick where I pleaded to take OL & maneuvering to get Michael Thomas in the 2nd. But, it's not always about the merits of the WR you get. It's usually about the guy you could have selected, and whether there really is a downgrade being a bit more patient taking WRs.   

Quote

So from my perspective your criticism is a couple years old and the Vikings have made some changes in how they are prioritizing things since then

I think we'll just agree to disagree. I don't think targeting undersized centers with early picks over the last few years is scratching the itch I described. I just don't understand the perspective when everyone with eyes agreed after the 49er game that this catastrophic unit needed to finally be solved. Somehow I guess that turned into they already prioritized the fix previously.   

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23 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

I am guessing the Vikings will use more zone coverage this year because of the young inexperienced players and also because of some influence from Dom Capers. Zimmer prefers to run more man coverage. 

Zone or no zone, Vikings CBs will be picked on relentlessly if they don't have any idea where the ball is according to the scheme. There is literally zero risk passing a ball you know won't be intercepted.

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23 minutes ago, BigJim® said:

I can see all of this. I think reasonable minds can quibble about specific players, but what I'd expect to see from the organization after literally 2 decades of OL incompetence is focus and urgency. Not continued prioritization of other positions. Think of what the Packers did the very year after Moss was drafted: They drafted 3 CBs to begin the draft realizing they needed an answer to compete with a divisional foe. Not a doubt in my mind Ron Wolf had other positions of need on the team, but solving those would not fix an achilles heel.  

Jefferson may turn into an excellent pro, but drafting WRs in the 1st in this particular draft made very little sense to me. I just don't think WRs are ever worth a 1st (I realize the prior Moss mention undermines this statement, but he was a unicorn). I saw guys going in the 4th-5th that I'd have loved to see on this team. I'm not a scout so I expect to be ridiculed for mentioning these names, but Bryan Edwards, Gandy-Golden, Tyler Johnson & even longshot Gabriel Davis caught my eye as viable/dynamic prospects to take a chance on. As we've seen from Diggs/Thielen, WR absolutely is a position that can be figured out later in most drafts. That was particularly true in this class, considering the abundance of mid-round picks the Vikes had. FWIW, I remember having similar back/forth with you prior to the Treadwell pick where I pleaded to take OL & maneuvering to get Michael Thomas in the 2nd. But, it's not always about the merits of the WR you get. It's usually about the guy you could have selected, and whether there really is a downgrade being a bit more patient taking WRs.   

Yeah I get what you are saying Jim. I even agree with it in a vacuum as far as prioritization of position goes. As I mentioned before when mocking for the Vikings I took that approach and did not target WR until the 3rd round. The way that things were falling this usually meant drafting a defensive lineman earlier than the Vikings did, and if the players they selected there in the 4th round pan out (given their successful track record of developing these guys, good chance they do) it would have been a waste of draft capital on my part to be selecting defensive linemen in the 1st and/or 2nd round instead. 

The offensive linemen just did not fall to pick 22. If Wirfs or Wills had fallen to pick 22 I would have preferred they went that direction. I was on the fence about Becton being a fit for their scheme although I think he was worth considering too, Thomas was the 1st one selected as expected. So none of those options were available. I would have been good with them selecting Jones or Cleveland with that pick, but based on mocks and the other 4 tackles being pretty consistently rated higher than them, it would have felt like a bit of a reach to take either of them that high. As it turns out they got Cleveland in the 2nd round anyways instead of reaching for him in the first. 

So while we agree about the priorities I dont think it would have been better to go that route considering how the draft played out. Because the offensive linemen I wanted them to take were already gone, at pick 22 I would have been considering defensive linemen for that pick instead and still trying to get Cleveland or Jones later on. The Vikings had a different plan for their defensive linemen so they didn't do that. I think what the Vikings did was more cost effective than what I would have done. Blaylock or Yetur Gross Matos would have been my picks there and those players were selected by pick 40 high 2nd round picks, but maybe too high. If the Vikings were planning to do this, then they might have traded down.

Very obvious from the video I linked how much they wanted Jefferson and what Kubiak said about Jefferson doing everything they are looking for in a WR is as strong of an endorsement for the pick as you are going to get. There is something to be said for being at the top of positional runs in a draft instead of chasing them. 7 WR were selected between pick 22 and pick 58 where the Vikings got Cleveland. I think you would agree that Cleveland was a higher priority, so I would not want to change that pick. If they waited until the 3rd round where they selected Dantzler 10 WR were gone by then including Bryan Edwards at pick 81. This was kind of the end of the WR run as well as you see a big gap between WR picks from that point. I may have just gone with Tyler Johnson at that point over Gandy-Golden or Gabriel Davis.

The draft was very deep at WR but I think the best ones were selected by pick 81. So it was deep but still top heavy at the position, so from a 1000 foot view I can see why they would prefer Jefferson as their starter instead of these other options later on in the draft, where they did have plans to take defensive linemen.

As far as Diggs and Theilen go, the Vikings got lucky with how those players developed. I don't think that is something you can bank on happening at all. They selected Treadwell because they didnt ave any good WR at that time. Remember when the offense was all Peterson and the WR seemed to be glorified blockers more than anything else? It was pretty grim at the WR position for awhile there. The picks of Patterson and Treadwell did not work out. It was pure luck that Adam Theilen was as good as he has been. Diggs was a gift as well. I don't think that should be influencing your prioritization of the WR positon. Maybe if the Vikings had been successful drafting later round WR and developing them into starters like they do at defensive line, that could be part of their strategy but I dont think any team has been able to do that. It would be a tremendous competitive advantage to a team that could do that and I think part of being able to do that requires a special QB as well. 

Bottom line I dont think luck should be part of any teams draft plan.

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45 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Bottom line I don't think luck should be part of any teams draft plan.

Well, I enjoy this back/forth, but that as a summary response is not the point I'm making. Did I say rely on luck? Do you think they selected Diggs as a luck play? Truly, if our scouts rely on luck to find gems in a WR class such as the one just drafted, they should all be fired. I'm also not going to argue against Kubiak's opinion of Jefferson. That can be entirely accurate in the same universe where drafting Jefferson leaves an achilles heel on this team.

Just remember this exchange began with me saying continuity of the apparent groupthink approach to how to construct a football team should be challenged, and it should not be obvious that Speilman be extended. Spielman prioritized WR, Kubiak agrees. Probably Zimmer insisted on another 1st round CB and Spielman acted... again in the 3rd. Where is the voice championing to solve OL with the same vigor? You're assuming it exists, I'm assuming it doesn't.

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20 minutes ago, BigJim® said:

Well, I enjoy this back/forth, but that as a summary response is not the point I'm making. Did I say rely on luck? Do you think they selected Diggs as a luck play? Truly, if our scouts rely on luck to find gems in a WR class such as the one just drafted, they should all be fired. I'm also not going to argue against Kubiak's opinion of Jefferson. That can be entirely accurate in the same universe where drafting Jefferson leaves an achilles heel on this team.

Just remember this exchange began with me saying continuity of the apparent groupthink approach to how to construct a football team should be challenged, and it should not be obvious that Speilman be extended. Spielman prioritized WR, Kubiak agrees. Probably Zimmer insisted on another 1st round CB and Spielman acted... again in the 3rd. Where is the voice championing to solve OL with the same vigor? You're assuming it exists, I'm assuming it doesn't.

Yeah maybe your right. The way you describe it does seem like what happened just from their comments in the video. Gary and Spielman valued Jefferson more than the offensive linemen who were available there. I wonder if they would have passed on Wirfs for example if he and Jefferson were still there? Based on the track record, they might have, and that would have bothered me more than what did happen. Zimmer likely was out voted here as far as going with corner first.

Their 1st round picks at WR had to fail for Diggs and Thielen to really get a shot to start.

He does make 10 picks or more every year as a way to increase their luck. So it is part of their strategy. Honestly I would have liked to see them take one more WR earlier than they did due to the quality of the depth, and some of the guys you mention were there in the 4th and later rounds.

I do think there is a difference between Kubiak and Dennisons track record with developing offensive line players than any other coaches the Vikings have had, though.

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I was listening to this and Andy Carlson points out something I never noticed when listening to Kubiak, that he says Cleveland is practicing at guard, right? Rather than right guard. 👊

I guess there are photos and whatnot showing where the players are lining up and Cleveland has been at left guard and Samia has been the 2nd string right guard behind Dozier.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Zimmer on His Plan For Incorporating Contact Moving Forward, Upcoming Practice at U.S. Bank Stadium, Team Having 'A Ways To Go' Still, More

Zimmer makes clear that Ezra Cleveland has always been at left guard. He never played on the right side.

So that stumps all of the writers speculations about footwork and mirroring from the side Cleveland is used to.

Kubiak saying good things about Dakota Dozier in his press conference.

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  • 2 weeks later...
4 hours ago, BINGBING said:

Does this mess their cap up to where they won't be resigning Cook?  Someone here has to know better than me.

I have no idea how the Vikings can afford Ngakoues contract. According to the above article he is signing a deal for less than the franchise tender. Not sure if that will be a one year or long term deal.

I thought when contract talks with Cook broke down that the Vikings might sign Griffen. Looks like they set their setting their sights higher.

Dannelle Hunter hasn't been practicing and we dont know why. Hoping he is ok.

The Vikings may still have to cut a player to fit Ngakoues new contract under the cap.

With the Vikings spending all of their cap space it doesn't look like a deal with Cook will happen this year and if so Cook will be a UFA next year.

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1 hour ago, Biabreakable said:

I have no idea how the Vikings can afford Ngakoues contract. According to the above article he is signing a deal for less than the franchise tender. Not sure if that will be a one year or long term deal.

I thought when contract talks with Cook broke down that the Vikings might sign Griffen. Looks like they set their setting their sights higher.

Dannelle Hunter hasn't been practicing and we dont know why. Hoping he is ok.

The Vikings may still have to cut a player to fit Ngakoues new contract under the cap.

With the Vikings spending all of their cap space it doesn't look like a deal with Cook will happen this year and if so Cook will be a UFA next year.

To be fair, Ngakoue is a much more valuable player than Cook is. If acquiring him costs them Cook after this season, I'm fine with it. 

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18 minutes ago, travdogg said:

To be fair, Ngakoue is a much more valuable player than Cook is. If acquiring him costs them Cook after this season, I'm fine with it. 

Its my understanding that Ngakoue contract will only be for the 2020 season. So he will be a free agent in 2021 as well.

The Vikings do have a history of not investing into players unless they are young and Ngakoue fits that strategy if they do sign him to a long term deal. They likely hope or intend to do that. They value their draft picks, but its not a guarantee they get a new deal with him done.

They might have to cut someone to fit under the cap this year.

I am happy about the move. I didnt expect this to happen because the Vikings are so cap strapped but they found a way. It does seem like the Vikings are going all in to try to win this year. The 2021 team may have a lot of turnover as well.

Cook is a special player and I hope they find a way to keep him. I think they have a budget in mind for player positions though and his asking price may be more than they are willing to give to any RB. Adrian Peterson used to be the Vikings highest paid player. They could afford to do that because they had Teddy and Ponder on rookie contracts. Once Teddy got injured the Vikings decided to invest more cap space into the QB position which may have priced out Cook or any RB getting a top $$ contract.

From what I heard they offered Griffen a $4 million per year type of deal. He took a bit more money than that to sign with the Cowboys but not a lot more. Bringing him back would have been a lot cheaper than paying Ngakoue. Griffen is 33 years old though while Ngakoue is only 25. Speilman has stated before that if they are going to give free agents big contracts that they need to be younger and hopefully play for the Vikings for awhile.

I haven't looked at 2021 salary cap but the Vikings will free up a lot of dead money from the Diggs deal and other moves they have made that have them in a bind right now. I would expect the Vikings to try to keep Ngakoue long term. 

I am still wondering if a trade or cut by the Vikings needs to happen to fit him under the cap this year.

eta - This move does make me worry that Hunter may be injured more than we know. He hasn't practiced for like 10 or 11 practices now.

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3 hours ago, Biabreakable said:

Its my understanding that Ngakoue contract will only be for the 2020 season. So he will be a free agent in 2021 as well.

The Vikings do have a history of not investing into players unless they are young and Ngakoue fits that strategy if they do sign him to a long term deal. They likely hope or intend to do that. They value their draft picks, but its not a guarantee they get a new deal with him done.

They might have to cut someone to fit under the cap this year.

I am happy about the move. I didnt expect this to happen because the Vikings are so cap strapped but they found a way. It does seem like the Vikings are going all in to try to win this year. The 2021 team may have a lot of turnover as well.

Cook is a special player and I hope they find a way to keep him. I think they have a budget in mind for player positions though and his asking price may be more than they are willing to give to any RB. Adrian Peterson used to be the Vikings highest paid player. They could afford to do that because they had Teddy and Ponder on rookie contracts. Once Teddy got injured the Vikings decided to invest more cap space into the QB position which may have priced out Cook or any RB getting a top $$ contract.

From what I heard they offered Griffen a $4 million per year type of deal. He took a bit more money than that to sign with the Cowboys but not a lot more. Bringing him back would have been a lot cheaper than paying Ngakoue. Griffen is 33 years old though while Ngakoue is only 25. Speilman has stated before that if they are going to give free agents big contracts that they need to be younger and hopefully play for the Vikings for awhile.

I haven't looked at 2021 salary cap but the Vikings will free up a lot of dead money from the Diggs deal and other moves they have made that have them in a bind right now. I would expect the Vikings to try to keep Ngakoue long term. 

I am still wondering if a trade or cut by the Vikings needs to happen to fit him under the cap this year.

eta - This move does make me worry that Hunter may be injured more than we know. He hasn't practiced for like 10 or 11 practices now.

Yes, I was making a similar assumption based on the team's history, that unless Ngakoue suffers a major injury or somehow forgets how to play football, he'll be a bigger priority to extend than Cook. Ngakoue at times flashed a similar level of ability as Hunter, and could a devastating tag partner for years to come.

I'm not sure Cook is a special player. I think he's a very good player, but we have a lot of history that suggests the Kubiak system doesn't need the most talented RB to work. Cook had the lowest YPC of any RB on the team last year, and really petered out in the second half of the season. Combined with this health issues, I have some concern that he is similar to his predecessor at FSU in Devonta Freeman, and that he'll also burn bright and fall fast.  I'm not sure I'd have wanted to pay him before this move, but a similarly(or more) talented player at a much more important position seems like a far bigger priority. 

True, Peterson was once the team's highest paid player, but Cook isn't even remotely in the same league as prime Peterson was. Unlike many who unjustly get the moniker, Peterson really was a generational player, and is the best runner of the last 25 years in my opinion. He was probably the exception(and even then it was a little questionable) to the rule about not paying RB's.   

Regardless of all that though, the most important thing is, this a very good trade for the Vikings. I think they solidified a potential weakness, and acquired a great player, for below market value, from a potentially tanking team. 

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1 hour ago, travdogg said:

Yes, I was making a similar assumption based on the team's history, that unless Ngakoue suffers a major injury or somehow forgets how to play football, he'll be a bigger priority to extend than Cook. Ngakoue at times flashed a similar level of ability as Hunter, and could a devastating tag partner for years to come.
 

I think that is a lot of money to invest based on the franchise tag. So I wonder how that is going to work out. No guarantee he signs with the Vikings in 2021. He will be a free agent. So perhaps this is why the price is only a 2nd round pick and conditional pick in 2022.

1 hour ago, travdogg said:

I'm not sure Cook is a special player. I think he's a very good player, but we have a lot of history that suggests the Kubiak system doesn't need the most talented RB to work. Cook had the lowest YPC of any RB on the team last year, and really petered out in the second half of the season. Combined with this health issues, I have some concern that he is similar to his predecessor at FSU in Devonta Freeman, and that he'll also burn bright and fall fast.  I'm not sure I'd have wanted to pay him before this move, but a similarly(or more) talented player at a much more important position seems like a far bigger priority. 

Funny thing about Cook is he said he has patterned his game after Freeman who I guess he knew from before college.

You are right about Kubiaks offense and I do think Mattison is one of his guys.

1 hour ago, travdogg said:

True, Peterson was once the team's highest paid player, but Cook isn't even remotely in the same league as prime Peterson was. Unlike many who unjustly get the moniker, Peterson really was a generational player, and is the best runner of the last 25 years in my opinion. He was probably the exception(and even then it was a little questionable) to the rule about not paying RB's.   

Yeah for all his flaws Peterson was pretty special.

Stylistically I prefer Cook because he is more of an asset as a receiver than Peterson. Peterson crazy good though. 

1 hour ago, travdogg said:

Regardless of all that though, the most important thing is, this a very good trade for the Vikings. I think they solidified a potential weakness, and acquired a great player, for below market value, from a potentially tanking team. 

Yeah I like the trade aside from it making me worry about Hunter more than before the deal.

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Minnesota Vikings 2020 Roster Cut Tracker

Biggest surprises here are that they cut Brett Jones (again) and Aviantae Collins who did get some looks at left guard. As things stand now the Vikings have only kept 3 guards. Dakota Dozier Pat Elflien and Dru Samia.while they are keeping 6 tackles. Cleveland played some guard in TC but they list him as a tackle. 

James Lynch seems to have made the team (not listed in the article) although he hasn't had a good camp and reportedly was working with the 3rd string. The Vikings are carrying 11 defensive linemen into the season. They only had 10 last year and 9 or 8 is what they have kept there each season until now.

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10 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

The Vikings only kept 3 TE but 7 WR on the roster.

They have usually kept 4 TE so I wonder if they are planning fewer 2 TE sets than last season because of this decision.

And the Browns (currently) have 5.

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1 minute ago, MAC_32 said:

And the Browns (currently) have 5.

I had some questions about if Stefanski would run similar offense with the Browns as the Vikings ran in 2019 as Kubiak did have a lot of influence on the offense and Stefanski has always seemed like an open minded coach and I think he still is. Every move they have made though and things that he has said does point to the Browns running more 2 TE this season. Keeping 5 TE further points toward that.

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