Some Post-Draft Optimism from Purple Pain Forums
Not too long ago, I reached out to Funkytown and Danchat from Purple Pain Forums to get their opinions on our post-draft Minnesota Vikings. As per usual, they provided some great insight. Below, you’ll find both the questions and answers. Enjoy.
1) What was Minnesota’s best and then worst pick? Explain.
Danchat: Landing Darrisaw at pick #23 has to be the best pick. He was my 11th best prospect, and we had a massive hole at LT, so it only made sense. The worst was spending a 4th on HB Kene Nwangwu. I’ve criticized the Vikings for spending 5ths on special teams-only WRs (Rodney Adams and KJ Osborn), and now they’re spending even more draft capital on a 3rd string RB who is a good kick returner… in a league that is trying to erase the kick return. He had better learn how to return punts and become a strong gunner if he hopes to justify his 4th round selection.
Funky: It has to be Darrisaw, without a doubt. Going off most of the mocks, we were going to be lucky to get him at #14, so to get him at #23? If someone would have told us going in that we’d not only be able to land Darrisaw, but also move back to #23 to get him, we would have called that person a liar! This pick is exciting for so many reasons; let’s hope he’s a high-quality starter for many years to come.
As far as the worst pick, I don’t really have one. I was going to say possibly Surratt, but I recently read that some suggest he’s our best value selection and “a prospect who easily could have gone a full round earlier.” Unlike Danchat, I can’t really hate on the Nwangwu pick — or really any of the picks from the 4th round and beyond. I think our philosophies are very different regarding mid-round picks, and that’s okay.
2) How many of Minnesota’s picks will be starters on Day 1?
Danchat: Not counting special teams, it should be two, LT Christian Darrisaw and LG/RG Wyatt Davis. All the others are at least a year from becoming a starter. DE has a spot open across from Hunter, but I don’t expect Jones II or Robinson to be filling that Week 1. They will be rotating in and out most the year.
Funky: Two – Darrisaw and Davis. Two new quality starters on the OL? Sign me up!
Maybe Ihmir Smith-Marsette has an outside chance at WR3?
3) Did the draft change your perspective on the upcoming season? Are you more or less hopeful now?
Danchat: I am somewhat more hopeful for two reasons. First, Spielman and Co. finally attacked the offensive line head-on and addressed the two gaping holes. The best part about that is there was no reaching involved. I would have anticipated Darrisaw and Davis to be taken already, so finding them there were bargains. I do foresee some struggles with this offensive line, since it’s an incredibly young line (it’s got to be the youngest OL in football, with no veterans slated to start), and I think we will see a few rocky games out of the gate from them. But hopefully by midseason they will figure things out and we will be able to see how things are working out. Will Bradbury improve with Davis next to him? Will Cleveland improve his pass blocking skills? If so, they’ve got a strong unit for very little amounts of $$$.
The second pick involves Kellen Mond, of course. Vikings Fans (and especially Skor North) have already been going nuts on this topic, so there’s not much for me to discuss here. It’s great that they finally spent a mid-round pick on a good QB prospect, and we don’t have to worry about putting some poor option like Mannion out there anymore. We now don’t have to be locked into Kirk’s insane $45M cap hit in 2022, and could trade him and insert Mond as the starting QB. This will take some guts from Spielman & Zimmer, but if this goes right, it could open a Super Bowl window. Of course, if it goes wrong, we become a bottom feeder. Either way, it’s about time the Vikings got serious about having a #2 QB on the roster to develop.
Funkytown: More. Isn’t the offseason always the best time to be a Vikings fan? All this hope, as we look at things on paper. Then the games start and…
In all seriousness, there is a lot to be excited about: improved offense, improved defense, and improved special teams. Again, all on paper anyway. I think Spielman and Zimmer did a good job of filling some immediate holes and peeking ahead, and that’s refreshing. Hopefully I’m just as hopeful in November, right?