Insight News

Dec 21st

Frazier’s first draft picks coming soon

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frazierOf course there’s an NFL lockout, but I enjoy the commentary of former NFL coach Herman Edwards who consistently opens his discussion on the topic by flashing a sheet of paper that says “$9 Billion.”  Edward’s explanation comes with the depth of a man entrenched in the game, but my general summary of that “$9 Billion” statement is: with that much money on the line, it’s gonna to get worked out.

The NFL owners are obviously your million and billion dollar type individuals, and usually those folks are willing to wrestle the buffalo off of a Buffalo Nickel just to save the .05cents. I suppose. I remember asking my mother why a Porsche was in the Wal-Mart parking lot back in the 80’s when the stores first broadly began springing up across the nation. To which she responded, “That’s how they got it, by saving their money and shopping smart.” Kids, take note.

Shopping smart is one way to get rich, and Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier has a heck of a list to fulfill for his football team grocery cart. Though Frazier seems to have a good relationship with Vikings ownership, two years of poor draft picks is enough to bring a good coach to the unemployed line, because the subsequent win totals will probably go the same way of those poor picks.  The average coaching tenure in the NFL is about 4 years. You only need to look for the history of players considered to be ‘busts’ to find the coaches who fall below that 4-year tenure average.

Brad Childress lasted longer than the average coach, because his first year drafting resulted in superstar linebacker Chad Greenway, and Cedric Griffin, who can be almost excellent, when healthy. In 2007 Childress followed up on those excellent 2006 picks by bringing in none other than Adrian Peterson, and Sidney Rice. There aren’t quite enough adjectives to describe how good those two gentlemen are, when it comes to football. That A+ line-up of imports, in addition to the Brett Favre Project, kept Childress around long enough that even those not a fan of his have to give a respectful bow to his drafting acumen.

Fortunately for Frazier, Childress leaving didn’t mean that all of the brain trust that went into those great draft picks would leave with him.  Rick Spielman, Vikings Director of Pro Personnel is still the head person in charge, when it comes to drafting collegiate players, and that definitely makes the world a better place for Frazier’s future. 

All of that maze aside, the best news is that the prospects for this year’s draft have the overall smell of success. The Vikings obviously need a quarterback to bring in, considering the absence of Brett Favre (for now), and National Champion quarterback Cam Newton of Auburn seems to have the biggest arm to throw with, and the biggest smile to go on billboards and national interviews. There are a few other quarterbacks with fewer bells and whistles, but may be much more safe choices in the long run.

The likelihood that Newton will be available at the #12 pick for the Vikings, doesn’t seem to be that great, because teams like Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Carolina aren’t in position to heavily consider the 2011–2012 season as a potential Super Bowl season—thus they might take the added game losses in exchange for Newton’s ‘smile revenue’. The Vikings on the other hand are not that far removed from the NFC Championship game of a couple years ago, and need the right answer to the quarterback problem now. The offense is young for the Vikings, but the defense is aging quickly, in terms of Super Bowl years.

It’s a tough position to be in for the Vikings, and thus that makes this years’ draft very interesting. I think the whole world would like to see 2nd year quarterback Joe Webb fulfill his potential, because he’s a highlight reel waiting to happen. There are several good quarterbacks that can be picked up in later rounds, along with the Vikings other needs at defensive safety and defensive end. But each year seems to have a specialty at one particular position. This year it seems that receiver is that position. With Sidney Rice chomping at the bit to return to his Pro-Bowl caliber of 2009, I say that there is no better way to make some young quarterbacks look good than to have a stud core of receivers. Though A.J. Green of Georgia may be the better pick at receiver, Julio Jones of Alabama is as polished and professional as they come. Plus he’s got dreadlocks to match Sidney Rice. Thus, Malobe Natural Hair Salon (915 W. Lake St.) may be the key to the Vikings draft success. After all, dreadlocks are like heaven under a wool hat on a cold winter day.


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