The 2011 Minnesota Vikings struggled to find an offensive leader at the quarterback position. In the short off-season that the league had due to the lockout, the Vikings signed veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb to be their starter. The team soon found their 2011 first round pick Christian Ponder as their starter at quarterback. Although he brought more production than veteran McNabb did, there was still that lack of experience present. To top it all off, the team gave up many second half and fourth quarter leads.
In the 2012 off-season, the Vikings need to address:
1) Building around Christian Ponder: If the Vikings want to run a successful offense with the possibility of Christian Ponder being their franchise quarterback, they need to give him weapons. The free agent market has a deep group of wide receivers in this off-season, and the Vikings could very well be looking at signing one of these free agents to help Ponder in the pass game. Some of these free agents being: Dwayne Bowe (KC), Marques Colston (NO), DeSean Jackson (PHI), Vincent Jackson (SD), Steve Johnson (BUF), Brandon Lloyd (STL), and Mario Manningham (NYG).
2) Protecting Christian Ponder: When preparing for the upcoming draft, I believe the Vikings will identify their top three needs as Cornerback, Offensive Tackle, and Safety. Since they are drafting number three overall, I believe two solid prospects that the Vikings will be looking at are both the Offensive Tackle Matt Kalil out of USC and the Cornerback Morris Claiborne out of LSU. If they do not decide to trade back in the draft (the Vikings’ GM has come out and said that he is taking offers for the number three pick), then I believe the Vikings will draft Matt Kalil. Drafting the number one Offensive Tackle in the draft, or any draft for that matter, tends to result in a very long and successful career in the NFL. When drafting linemen, it tends to be a “what you see is what you get” type of scenario unlike players at the skill positions. With that being said, drafting Kalil would be adding one more piece to the puzzle in Minnesota which in turn is protecting your franchise quarterback.
Top Free Agents – 1) E.J. Henderson – LB 2) Visante Shainco TE
Written By – David Rantisi- NFL Draft and Scouting Combine Writer
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