Christopher Gates of the Daily Norseman helps us to determine what the Vikings might do to address their quarterback opening in the 2011 NFL draft. But before we get to that, I have to get Gates’ take on Da’Quan Bowers, who’s being mocked to Minnesota left and right.
1. A lot of mock drafts have Da’Quan Bowers dropping to the Vikings. What are your thoughts on this? That knee is a massive red flag…
As one of our folks that writes for both The Daily Norseman and SB Nation Minnesota, Ted Glover, stated (and I agree with), I don’t want anything to do with a guy that has the words “microfracture surgery” floating around him. Microfracture surgery isn’t something to screw around with, and if Bowers does drop to Minnesota at number 12, to be honest, I hope he keeps dropping. In our SB Nation blogger mock draft, I had the opportunity to take Bowers with the No. 12 selection, and I passed on him for another defensive end, Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt. I would have taken Cameron Jordan ahead of Bowers, too. Bowers is just too much of an uncertainty to invest 12th overall pick money on, in my opinion.
2. Do the Vikes have to draft a quarterback this year? And if so, what round do they do it in?
I think they do have to draft a quarterback this year (as well as bring one in when free agency starts to complete the depth chart), and I think that they’ll do that in Round 2. In all likelihood, knowing the Vikings, they’re going to hope for a guy like Christian Ponder or Ryan Mallett to land in their laps, but I’m not so sure that’s going to happen anymore at this point. It’s possible that they could use the 12th overall pick on a quarterback, but I think the more likely scenario for them using a first-rounder on a QB would involve them trading back a bit, recouping that third-round pick, and taking someone like Jake Locker (who I’m not terribly enamored with) or even Mallet towards the bottom of Round 1. Personally, I like Ricky Stanzi, but it appears that I might be the only person in America that thinks he’s worth a second-round pick.
3. What’s the team’s biggest position of need?
I think that the Vikings’ biggest position of need, outside of the obvious need of quarterback, is in their secondary. Antoine Winfield was one of the top two or three corners in the NFL last year, but everything after him is awfully suspect. We don’t know how Cedric Griffin is going to come back from his second ACL tear in less than a calendar year, our safety play was relatively awful last year, and our corners behind Winfield and Griffin are relatively inexperienced and have been inconsistent. The Vikings have a lot of needs, but an upgrade in the secondary could go a long way.
4. Do you have a specific player in mind for Round 1?
In light of what I said to answer the previous question, I personally would love to see Prince Amukamara end up in a Vikings uniform when it’s all said and done, and there are plenty of mocks out there so far that have him falling right to — and right past — Minnesota. I think that’s a bit dubious, as I’d personally be surprised to see Amukamara get out of the top ten, but stranger things have happened. In the likely event that Amukamara doesn’t fall, I think J.J. Watt is going to be a monster in this league (despite his Wisconsin-ness), and Cameron Jordan would be a very nice get as well. If it came down to those two, I think it’s a coin flip, but I wouldn’t be dissatisfied with either of them.