Posts Tagged “Minnesota Vikings”




Think Matt Kalil is a no-brainer pick for the Vikings at #3? Think again. The allure of a cornerstone Left Tackle being a necessity for long-term success in the NFL is a thing of the past. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the starting left tackles on last 5 Super Bowl Champion teams…

David Diehl (twice)- Giants (a fifth round pick at guard)
Chad Clifton – Packers (second round),
Jermon Bushrod – Saints (fourth round)
Max Starks – Steelers (third round pick)

That’s ZERO 1st round draft picks, and only one of them was taken as early as the 2nd round. Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at the last few “Can’t Miss” left tackles taken in the top 5…

Joe Thomas (3rd Overall)
Jake Long (1st Overall)
Jason Smith (2nd Overall)

The Dolphins have made the playoffs 1 time since drafting Long, and the Browns barely register a pulse on the football field, let alone even threaten to make the playoffs each year. Now, that’s not to say that Thomas and Long aren’t great players…they are. But it comes down to the argument of whether or not the premium draft pick and salary (both players are in the top 15 salaries in the NFL) it takes to get these players, correlates to wins.

Taking the argument a bit further we can look at starting left tackle for each team that made the playoffs in the 2011 season. According to ProFootballFocus, amongst all offensive tackles, the starting playoff left tackles were rated 6th (Duane Brown), 12th (Andrew Whitworth), 15th (Jermon Bushrod), 16th (Matt Light), 32nd (Joe Staley), 33rd (Jeff Backus), 51st (Chad Clifton), 52nd (Bryant McKinnie), 56th (Sam Baker), 60th (Jonathan Scott), and 64th (David Diehl). Not that advanced stats are entirely telling, but there seems to be little correlation between a team’s left tackle and that team’s success.

So, turning this back to the Vikings pick, few would argue with the selection of Kalil, but it can very easily be argued that the Vikings should take a very long look at cornerback Morris Claiborne. While today’s offenses have learned to scheme around offensive line deficiencies, the same cannot be said defensive secondaries. Opposing quarterbacks will undoubtedly find a way to pick on a team with secondary weaknesses and with the Vikings having to face Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Jay Cutler 6 games a year you better believe the idea has crossed their minds.

Will the Vikings ignore this argument and select Kalil as the traditional line of thinking suggests they should? Possibly, but don’t be surprised if they go in another direction and don’t be surprised if that ends up being the right decision.


 

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The Dodgers, the “Lakeshow”, city of glitz and glamour, beautiful weather. Does Los Angeles sound like heaven on Earth, or what? Now imagine a brand new stadium and NFL team popping up in LA…madness! With the current situation in Minnesota, and uncertainty surrounding a few other NFL cities, it’s only a matter of time before one of these teams begin their search for a fresh start.

A Minnesota Senate committee narrowly approved a public subsidy on Friday to help the Vikings build a new football stadium, revving up the team’s struggling efforts, just hours after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell visited the state Capitol to ignite what had been a stagnant stadium debate. The Senate’s Local Government and Elections Committee passed the bill on an 8-6 vote after a hearing that went on for about four hours. While the stadium bill still faces a long haul, the committee’s vote gave the $975 million stadium proposal some new life.

So are the Vikings staying put, or heading west?

Let’s take at look at which teams are most likely to make the move to the City of Angels:

The Vikings will still play in the Metrodome next season, even though their lease has expired. This window of time allows LA to move in and snatch up the Vikings. While I don’t particularly like the idea of LA getting an NFL team, I think it’s one of the only options that could work out for the Vikings. LA is an open market, and the time to make a new move is now. The team can’t re-locate this year, but 2013 will be here before we know it. What’s crucial in this situation is trying to represent the wishes of Minnesotans and the Vikings fan base.
Likelihood of team moving to LA: 33%

I have a strong feeling the St. Louis Rams will stay put. Although AEG expressed interest in purchasing a majority stake in a franchise, St. Louis would have to be ruled out. The Rams were purchased by billionaire developer Stan Kroenke just a couple of years ago, so for him to sell a majority of the franchise he just purchased seems highly unlikely. Owning a venue is big money, and that should be next on Kroenke’s agenda.
Likelihood of team moving to LA: 24%

The Jacksonville Jaguars are a small-market team, but right off the bat, they seem like a better fit for LA than the Rams. The Jaguars are also at a disadvantage, competing with college football in a state that is truly devoted to the NCAA. The Jaguars don’t seem to have strong traditions or rivalries that a lot of other NFL teams have; sorry to say, but whose really gonna miss the Jaguars? The Los Angeles Jaguars would also allow a realignment in the NFL, maybe switching places with the Rams. This would create and instant L.A.-San Francisco rivalry in the NFC West, and a Tennessee-Indianapolis-St. Louis triangle in the AFC South.
Likelihood of team moving to LA: 40%

The San Diego Chargers are another team on the LA stadium radar; they are the team most commonly linked to the LA move. The Chargers are ultimately hoping to build a new stadium with a retractable roof in downtown San Diego, which would be an expanded part of the convention center. One major issue: the proposal doesn’t have the support of the San Diego Convention Center, which has written its own proposal. The Chargers really need a solid funding plan for a new stadium, or else it could be the end of an era for yet another San Diego franchise moving North up the I-5 freeway to join the LA market.
Likelihood of team moving to LA: 30%

No matter what happens, stay tuned…the LA-Stadium saga is just beginning!


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