Off the Board: O-Line run drops gift in Vikings' lap

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 11:03
It has been all free agency, all the time at Access Vikings the past couple of weeks. But I figured no one would mind if I took a break to look ahead to the draft, which is a little over a month away. The first installment of this “Off the Board” series was published three weeks ago, right after the combine. In case you missed that one or need a refresher, the purpose of this series is to examine how the Vikings might proceed with their 11th overall pick based on what unfolds in front of them. Last time, we looked at what the Vikings might do if the top three wide receivers were gone before they were on the clock on April 30. Since that post, the Vikings addressed the position by trading for Mike Wallace. But will the addition of Wallace preclude them from taking a wide receiver early? In this installment of the series, let’s look at what the Vikings, who still have a big hole at left guard, might do if there is a run on offensive linemen before they are on the clock. Will they pounce on a wide receiver who falls to them or tackle another need, such as cornerback or defensive end? 1. Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State. We haven’t heard much lately about Winston, other than reports he won’t attend the draft in person. The silence is probably a good thing for Winston, the overwhelming favorite to go first overall to the quarterback-needy Buccaneers. 2. Titans: Leonard Williams, DE, USC. The Titans focused on defense in free agency, keeping edge rusher Derrick Morgan, adding another in Brian Orakpo and signing safety Da’Norris Searcy. Throw in Williams to play in their 3-4 scheme and the Titans have the makings of an improved unit. 3. Jaguars: Dante Fowler, DE/OLB, Florida. The Jaguars spent for age-appropriate veterans such as tight end Julius Thomas and cornerback Davon House to complement their young core. They are still looking for an elite pass rusher, though, and Fowler has the potential to be that in the pros. 4. Raiders: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia. They tried to add weapons, such as wide receiver Randall Cobb, for quarterback Derek Carr but no one would take their money. So they seem likely to use this pick on one of the top pass-catchers in the draft. White might have the most upside. 5. Redskins: Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska. They are in need of another edge rusher after losing Orakpo in free agency. Which do they prefer? I don’t know. But let’s slot Gregory here. 6. Jets: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon. The Jets traded for wide-out Brandon Marshall and signed about half of the cornerbacks available in free agency. They still need that quarterback, though. 7. Bears: Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri. The Bears need play-makers for their new 3-4 defense. It’s probably too early to take nose tackle Danny Shelton, so Ray makes a lot of sense at this spot. 8. Falcons: Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa. The first offensive lineman comes off the board. They took Jake Matthews sixth last year. Now they double down with Scherff to play right tackle or guard. 9. Giants: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford. The Giants have invested some high picks into their line, but it remains a problem. So we could see them take a tackle, too. We’ll give them Peat in this scenario. 10. Rams: La’El Collins, OT, LSU. Like the Falcons, the Rams took a lineman, Greg Robinson, early last year. But plenty of work is left to be done here, too. Collins can play tackle or guard for them. 11. Vikings: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama. The run on linemen might force the Vikings to make a difficult decision, although this would be a good problem to have. Sure, they could have interest in someone like Scherff to solidify the left guard spot. But in this scenario, the Vikings get to choose from Cooper, Michigan State corner Trae Waynes, Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley and others. I don’t think coach Mike Zimmer would mind adding a talent like Waynes or Beasley to his defense. But Cooper is a polished prospect who could end up being the best receiver in this class. Yes, they just added Wallace, but help is still needed and nothing is guaranteed for Wallace beyond 2015. OK, your turn. Leave a comment to tell me who you would want the Vikings to pick in this scenario.
Categories: Local

Twins play two today in Fort Myers

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 09:09
The Twins play host to Baltimore while the other half of the team head to jetBlue park to play Boston
Categories: Local

Ole Miss rallies past BYU in NCAAs

Star Tribune Sports - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 01:00
Ole Miss beat BYU 94-90 to advance to the round of 64 in the NCAA tournament. BasketballInsiders.com’s Cody Toppert and CineSport's Eytan Shander recap the game and discuss Hampton's First 4 win.
Categories: Local

Cutting the cord: A sports fan's new breed of TV

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 22:57
If you’re an avid TV sports viewer looking to “cut the cord” on pricey cable or satellite subscriptions, it’s possible — with a few trade-offs.
Categories: Local

Wiggins anxious to turn heads in Toronto homecoming

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 22:10
The Wolves rookie said ‘if you only knew’ how much his homecoming meant to him.
Categories: Local

Reusse: MLB has come a long way since 2005 Congressional hearing

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 22:03
The sport has evolved in the 10 years since its steroid-based Congressional hearing.
Categories: Local

Nonprofit paid to help with minority hiring at stadium is short of goal

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 21:58
So far, of the more than 800 minorities who have worked on the Vikings stadium, only 48 trained workers have been hired through Summit Academy.
Categories: Local

Dumba's OT goal gives Wild a big win in Nashville

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 21:56
Matt Dumba scored his first career overtime goal off a Zach Parise drop pass only 22 seconds into overtime to give the Wild its eighth straight road win.
Categories: Local

Rayno: Love underdogs in the NCAA tournament? This could be your year

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 20:41
Take a look at these seven double-digit seeds that could bust a bracket or two.
Categories: Local

Bill in Legislature tries to save dogs from accidental trappings

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 20:27
Dogs continue to be trap victims and a controversial bill in the Legislature aims to change that
Categories: Local

#SpeedBracket: You picked, we picked. Now let the fun begin

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 17:51
A look at trends from our #SpeedBracket request
Categories: Local

Twins spring training wrap-up: Almost blow it in Sarasota

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 16:17
The Twins hit four home runs to take an early lead but the bullpen began leaking runs.
Categories: Local

Former teammate calls new Viking WR Mike Wallace a 'coward'

Star Tribune Sports - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 15:09
Things did not end well in Miami for wide receiver Mike Wallace, which is presumably a good part of the reason the Vikings were able to trade for him last week in exchange for a fifth-round pick. Per the Star Tribune story after the deal was made: Wallace reportedly was on the trading block after wearing out his welcome with Dolphins coach Joe Philbin. According to the Miami Herald, the situation came to a head in the 2014 season finale when Wallace asked to be removed from the game. However, both Wallace and Philbin denied that report, saying that Wallace’s second-half absence was a “coach’s decision.” Wallace created an awkward scene in the locker room after that 37-24 loss to the New York Jets, asking teammate Brandon Gibson to speak to media while he stood silent. Well, things apparently are still not OK even though Wallace is gone. Miami teammates Maurkice and Mike Pouncey had some choice words for Wallace in an interview with Miami’s CBS affiliate. Here’s a link to a quick taste from an Instagram video. Below are the quotes tweeted out by the station: Maurkice Pouncey tells .@CBS4Sports former Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace. “He’s a Coward. I would never want somebody like that on my team” — CBS4Sports (@CBS4Sports) March 17, 2015 Mike Pouncey tells .@CBS4Sports about Dolphins Receiver Mike Wallace”I thought it was the right move for everybody,Glad we moved on for that — CBS4Sports (@CBS4Sports) March 17, 2015
Categories: Local


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