2011 NFL Draft

Leslie Frazier: Vikings need QB in draft

It’s no secret that the Vikings need a new quarterback. Brett Favre is retired. Tarvaris Jackson is a free agent. And Joe Webb, a guy who was drafted as a receiver, probably isn’t the long term answer.

However, many have speculated that the Vikings would prefer to address that need in free agency or through a trade. Just two years removed from the NFC Championship Game, the Vikings aren’t exactly in rebuilding mode. A veteran quarterback (McNabb? Kolb?) could easily lead them back to the playoffs.

In a recent interview with Pro Football Weekly, Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier hinted that the Vikings may actually be targeting a quarterback in the draft.

When asked about the important of acquiring a star quarterback Frazier responded:

It’ll probably be just like it will be here in Minnesota, in this draft, to get that star quarterback.

Frazier continued, discussing some of the qualities he and his staff will look for in the Vikings future franchise quarterback:

[I would] like to find a guy of high character who has leadership abilities, a strong leader in that regard. A guy who is very competitive, who has a strong desire to win. Of course, he has to have the talent to be accurate with the football. The leadership and the character, along with the competitive spirit — I mean those are the key characteristics that you look for.

These comments are interesting for two reasons:

1) We’ve assumed for awhile that the Vikings would consider a quarterback in the draft, but we now have that confirmed.

2) His comments regarding leadership and a competitive nature make me wonder if the Vikings are team that could fall for someone like Jake Locker, much like the Broncos fell in love with Tim Tebow last year. Locker lacks 1st-round talent, but has potential, work ethic and leadership abilities. On the flip side, would they rule out Ryan Mallett for those same reasons? He’s more polished than Locker, but the perception is that he may lack the desire to be great, along with some other character concerns.

I currently have the Vikings selecting Mallett in my most recent mock draft. Mike Band has them passing on Mallett and taking Gabe Carimi instead.

At this point, both options are still realistic. Until they sit down with Mallett, even the Vikings won’t have a concrete opinion about his character concerns and how he may fit into their locker room. I suspect we’ll get a better idea as to which quarterback prospects they’re interested in after the combine when teams really begin the process of narrowing down their draft board.


Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, Vikings 3 Comments

10 teams looking for a new starting quarterback

Nearly one-third of the league could have new starting quarterbacks by September. Due to a greater demand than supply, it’s likely that not all of these teams find themselves a new signal caller, but here are the top 10 teams we’ve identified as most likely to have a new quarterback in 2011.

10. Broncos
It sounds as though Josh McDaniels was the lone Tebow support in Denver, and with him gone it seems likely that the Broncos will consider other options. John Fox has indicated that he likes Tim Tebow, but he also isn’t ready to commit to a starting quarterback. They’re unlikely to address this need in the draft, but signing a veteran is a strong possibility.

9. Raiders
Jason Campbell is still under contract but their other four quarterbacks (seriously, they have four other quarterbacks on the roster) are free agents. Keeping Campbell is a definite possibility, but you just never know what Al Davis as in mind. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of them trading up into the 1st-round (they already traded their own 1st-round pick) in an effort to land Cam Newton or Jake Locker.

8. Seahawks
Matt Hasselbeck is a free agent and may return, but he doesn’t have much left in the tank. They would certainly love to have Hasselbeck around to groom a young quarterback, but I don’t expect the Seahawks to commit to him as the starter. If he wants a guarantee that he’ll be a starter for the next year or two, he may need to go elsewhere.

7. Dolphins
Owner Stephen Ross has stated that he wants a creative, hurry-up offense in 2011, and that won’t be happening with Chad Henne under center. The Dolphins have grown tired of his slow development and seem ready to move on. Drafting a quarterback (possibly Newton) is a possibility, but they may prefer to bring in a veteran in an effort to turn things around quickly.

6. Bills
With the 3rd pick in the draft the Bills could have their pick of the quarterbacks, and Blaine Gabbert is a definite possibility. But the reason I don’t rank them higher is because I think they’ll strongly consider bringing Ryan Fitzpatrick back for another season. He was one of the biggest surprises of the 2010 season. The Bills may even draft Gabbert, or someone in the 2nd or 3rd round, and let them sit for a year behind Fitzpatrick.

5. Titans
Vince Young is as good as gone, and Kerry Collins is a free agent. However, I wouldn’t rule out Collins’ return. The Titans are in position to draft a quarterback (Gabbert, Newton or Mallett) and I suspect Jeff Fisher will prefer to keep Collins around to help groom their future franchise quarterback.

4. Redskins
After getting benched in favor of Rex Grossman, it’s hard to imagine Donovan McNabb returning to Washington. It’s equally difficult to image the Redskins sticking with Grossman for 2011. With the 10th pick in the draft Mike Shanahan is in position to select his quarterback of the future. Ryan Mallett and Newton are both strong possibilities.

3. Vikings
We know Favre won’t be back (and I actually believe him this time) and Tarvaris Jackson is a free agent. Joe Webb performed far better than anyone could have expected of a guy who was drafted as a wide receiver, but I can’t imagine Leslie Frazier sticking with him for 2011. The Vikings will either draft a quarterback (Newton or Mallett) or bring in a veteran (possibly Kevin Kolb).

2. Cardinals
Ken Whisenhunt wasn’t happy with the Cardinals quarterback situation entering last season and I’m guessing he’s even less pleased after seeing how it played out.  Drafting Blaine Gabbert is a possibility, but I suspect Whisenhunt would prefer to bring a veteran aboard, as he did last offseason. Either way, their opening day starter is definitely not on the current roster.

1. 49ers
Alex Smith and Troy Smith are both free agent and I would be very surprised if either returned.  I currently have them selecting Gabbert in my mock draft, but trading for Kevin Kolb is also possibility. Another option is signing a veteran, such as Matt Hasselbeck or Seneca Wallace, to keep the seat warm for whoever Jim Harbaugh choses to groom for the position.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, 49ers, Bills, Broncos, Cardinals, Dolphins, Raiders, Redskins, Seahawks, Titans, Vikings Comments Off

32 reasons why no one in the NFL should want Moss

Cardinals – Need a lot more than one aging receiver to fix their quarterback situation.

Falcons – Why mess up a good thing between Matt Ryan and Roddy White?

Ravens – No room with Boldin, Mason and Housh. Moss would pout, ruin chemistry.

Bills – Ryan Fitzpatrick has been pleasantly surprising. Don’t mess with a good thing.

Panthers – Think Moss will be a good soldier on a team competing for the No. 1 pick?

Bears – Lovie and Martz have their hands full already with Jay Cutler in the locker room.

Bengals – T.O.  and Moss in the same locker room? No thanks.

Browns – If Mangini can’t get along with Braylon Edwards, how would Moss fit in?

Cowboys – The last thing they need is another distraction.

Broncos – Do you really think McDaniels will get along with Moss better than Marshall?

Lions – Can you picture Moss accepting role as a No. 2 receiver on a 2-5 team?

Packers – Chemistry on offense seems to be great. Don’t mess it up.

Texans – See above.

Colts – Manning prefers his no-name receivers. And it works just fine for him.

Jaguars – Last place Jags aren’t going anywhere. Don’t waste the money.

Chiefs – Already hold a big lead in a weak division. Why mess with what’s working?

Dolphins – Marshall and Moss is too much ego for any coaching staff to handle.

Vikings – Been there. Done that.

Patriots – Been there. Done that.

Saints – Brees seems to be doing o.k. for himself without an elite receiver.

Giants – Can you picture Moss backing up Nicks and Smith?

Jets – I think they’ve learned their lesson with Braylon Edwards.

Raiders – Been there. Done that.

Eagles – Been there. Done that.

Steelers – After trading Holmes, adding Moss would be a step backwards.

Chargers – Vincent Jackson is back.

49ers – Can you picture Moss being happy in last place in the worst division?

Seahawks – The last thing Mike Williams needs right now is a bad influence.

Rams – Last thing this young, overachieving team needs is a bad influence like Moss.

Bucs – See above.

Titans – Kenny Britt has enough issues to overcome without Moss influencing him.

Redskins – McNabb and T.O. didn’t work. Why would it work with Moss?

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 49ers, Bears, Bengals, Bills, Broncos, Browns, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs, Colts, Cowboys, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, Jaguars, Jets, Lions, Packers, Panthers, Patriots, Raiders, Rams, Ravens, Redskins, Saints, Seahawks, Steelers, Texans, Titans, Vikings 1 Comment

10 Biggest NFL Underachievers

10. Knowshon Moreno
Is it too early to call him a bust? In two games before getting hurt Moreno averaged just 2.8 yards per carry. His performance was so disappointing that the Broncos traded for Laurence Maroney (not too early to call him a bust). Moreno is expected to return to action this week.

9. DeAngelo Hall
According to Pro Football Focus, Hall has been targeted 24 times and has allowed 23 completions. Wow. Just by pure luck you’d think two or three of those passes would be dropped or slightly off target and fall incomplete. And he isn’t just being targeted on short easy routes – he’s allowed over 10 yards per completion.

8. Cadillac Williams
When are the Bucs finally going to give up on Williams? He’s averaging just 2.5 yards per attempt, easily the lowest among starting running backs. He’s been so bad that undrafted free agent LeGarrette Blount, who was cut by the Titans, is now splitting carries with Williams.

7. Ndamukong Suh
Suh was supposed to be an instant impact player. Many said he was one of the best defensive prospects to enter the draft in years. Sure, he’s been credited with three sacks, but is that really a good way to measure interior lineman? He has been exposed as a liability against the run and opponents are taking advantage of the hole he creates in the middle of their defensive line. The Lions are giving up 4.8 yards per attempt – 4th highest average in the league.

6. Brian Robiskie/Mohamed Massaquoi
Maybe Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson weren’t the problem in Cleveland last year. The Browns simply don’t have a receiver who can make a play. The two 2009 2nd-round picks have failed to show any improvements in their second season. According to Pro Football Focus they rank 97th and 96th in percent of targeted passes caught – out of 97 qualifying receivers.

5. Michael Crabtree
After a strong end to his rookie season, Crabtree was a major reason why the 49ers were picked by many to win the NFC West. Yes, Alex Smith hasn’t helped his cause but Crabtree hasn’t helped Smith’s either. He’s caught just 11 of 21 passes thrown his direction. A true No. 1 receiver makes plays even on poorly thrown balls.

4. Michael Turner
Here’s a scary thought: the Falcons are 3-1 with almost no help from Burner Turner. He’s averaging just 3.8 yards per attempt this year. His career low entering this season was 4.5. He just hasn’t looked like the big bruising back that terrorized the AFC South the past two seasons. But he’s 28 and has never shied away from contact, perhaps he’s simply nearing the end of the road.

3. Jared Allen
Where has the Vikings sack master been hiding this season? He has been credited with just one sack and has generally been a non-factor all season. His struggles have had a ripple effect throughout the Vikings defense. If he isn’t getting to the quarterback, the rest of the unit suffers.

NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 09: Quarterback Brett Favre  of the Minnesota Vikings grabs his torso as he lies on the turf after taking a hard hit from Roman Harper  of the New Orleans Saints at Louisiana Superdome on September 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

It's been an ugly start to the season for Favre and the Vikings

2. Chris Johnson
So much for all that talk about breaking Dickerson’s rushing record. Johnson is averaging just 3.8 yards per attempt this season – nearly two full yards less than last season. Maybe teams have figured out how to stop him. Or maybe he’s just worn out from his league-leading 358 carries last year.

1. Brett Favre
Maybe Favre should have hung up the cleats for good this time. He’s already thrown six interceptions, just one fewer than all of last season. He’s averaging just 6.2 yards per attempt, which would be a career low. And he’s completing just 61 percent of his passes – down seven percentage points from last season. Any way you slice it, Favre has been this year’s biggest underachiever.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 49ers, Broncos, Browns, Buccaneers, Falcons, Lions, Redskins, Titans, Vikings Comments Off

What’s wrong with Brett Favre

It’s been a rough start to the season for Brett Favre and Vikings fans are beginning to panic. It’s only two games, but when a 40-year-old quarterback struggles out of the gate, it stands to reason that things can only continue to go downhill.

While the Favre’s issues are concerning, the good news is it isn’t difficult to see where the problems lie. His injuries may not be helping matters, but if the Vikings can fix a few areas around Favre he should be able to regain the magic of 2009. That may be a big “if”, but at least the problem is easily diagnosed. Here are the two biggest reasons for Favre’s drop-off in production:

1. He misses Sidney Rice
This is the most obvious reason for Favre’s struggles. In 2009 Favre targeted Rice on roughly 1/4 of his pass attempts (Rice was targeted 120 times last season by Favre and Tarvaris Jackson combined). Through two games this year, Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe have replaced Rice as Favre’s favorite targets. However, you can’t replace one player with two. Harvin has the speed and Shiancoe has the size, but Rice had both. A gunslinger like Favre simply needs a receiver like Rice that can stretch the field and go up and grab a ball in traffic.

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24: Phil Loadholt #71 of the Minnesota Vikings checks on teammate Brett Favre #4 after he was injured on a play against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Loadholt has peeled Favre off the turf one to many times already this season.

2. The offensive line is struggling
According to ProFootballFocus.com, Favre attempted a pass “under pressure” just  21.6 percent of the time. Through two games this season, that number has increased to 41.3. This biggest issue is the right side of the line – Phil Loadholt and Anthony Herrera – who have allowed a combined 17 pressures, eight hits and one sack. Unless the line improves dramatically, it will be a long season for Favre regardless of Sidney Rice’s health.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Vikings Comments Off

5 teams that could trade for Kevin Kolb

The Eagles announced that Michael Vick is their new starting quarterback, essentially ending the Kevin Kolb era after a quarter of football.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb throws a forward pass against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter of NFL football action in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 12, 2010. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Has Kolb thrown his last pass in Philly?

But Kolb is just 26 years old and has looked good in limited playing time – enough so that the Eagles traded away Donovan McNabb in the offseason. If Vick is now their starting quarterback for the long term, it would make sense for the Eagles to trade Kolb – and they should probably sooner rather than later to avoid any distractions.

So who might be in the market for a starting quarterback? Here are a few options…

5. Jaguars
The Jaguars likely won’t show an interest in Kolb before the trade deadline, but he could be an option if he is available next offseason. The coaching staff isn’t particularly fond of David Garrard and would likely entertain the idea of trading for a younger signal caller with more upside. That said, I wouldn’t rule them out as an immediate option. If the asking price is right it may be a good way to motivate Garrard while also giving them an insurance policy on the bench.

4. Vikings
The Vikings have every reason to be concerned about their 0-2 start considering the shaky play of Brett Favre. He isn’t the same quarterback from 2009 and he may have finally suffered one to many injuries. The Vikings aren’t going to bench Favre, but trading for Kolb may not be a bad idea if they want an insurance policy. Even if Kolb sat behind Favre for 2010, the job would be his next season.

3. Cardinals
The Cardinals are a logical choice because we know they’re capable of being a contender with the right quarterback. And Derek Anderson likely isn’t that guy. The reason they may not be interested is the fact that Kolb is still an unknown. We know from the 2007 season that Anderson can be a serviceable quarterback in the right system, and once Beanie Wells returns the Cardinals offense may be just fine. But Kolb has only played two full games in his career and the Cardinals may not want to take that risk.

2. Bills
The Bills have already given up on Trent Edwards and are handing the starting duties back to Ryan Fitzpatrick. In another couple weeks when the Bills are 0-6 or 0-7 Brian Brohm will likely get called upon to start. And then when he fails they’ll hand it back over to Edwards, and so on. It’s not a pretty picture in Buffalo, and Kolb could provide some much needed stability.

1. Browns
Cleveland makes the most sense because of their dreadful quarterback situation as well as GM Tom Heckert’s connection to Kolb (he came over from Philly this offseason). In fact, the Browns have already reportedly contacted the Eagles who said that Kolb was not available… at this time, anyway.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bills, Browns, Cardinals, Eagles, Jaguars, Vikings Comments Off

10 observations from Week 2 in the NFL

1. Mike Martz is Jay Cutler’s savior. Through two weeks he has looked like the best quarterback in the league. If you’re not buying into the hype, consider this stat from ProFootballFocus.com: when Cutler was blitzed on Sunday, he completed 17 of 24 pass attempts for 198 yards and three touchdowns. That’s efficiency that you will rarely see against one of the more talented defenses in the league.

2. What’s up with all these quarterbacks being benched? If you’re sitting a guy midway through the second game of the season maybe you shouldn’t have started him in the first place. If your team has already made a quarterback switch before fall is officially here, you have every reason to panic.

3. At this rate, I don’t see how Eric Mangini and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will survive the season in Cleveland. In each of their first two games the Browns offense has come out of the gate with reasonable success, only to be completely shut down in the 2nd half. It’s as if the Browns just go to the locker room and hang out at halftime while the other team adjusts.

4. Another issue with the Browns offense… how can you not get the ball in the hands of your playmakers? They had Jerome Harrison, Josh Cribbs and Seneca Wallace on the field at the same time for most of the game, and yet they failed to even fake any trick plays. They could have created some nightmare matches for the Chiefs defense with just a little creativity.

5. Derek Anderson did not look good on Sunday, but his offensive line didn’t do him any favors. The Cardinals offensive line allowed two sacks, six hits and 18 pressures! And they only dropped back to pass 33 times! And please, for the sake of Kurt Warner, don’t think that this offensive line got worse since last year. Warner was simply brilliant at avoiding pressure and getting rid of the football.

6. I’m excited to see Jimmy Clausen’s debut on Sunday, but I’m afraid it won’t be pretty. He faces two tough secondaries in each of his first two games – vs Cincinnati, at New Orleans. The Panthers might as well wave the white flag. They’re locked in a battle with the Browns and Bills for the No. 1 pick.

7. The Vikings have every reason to panic. They should add one in the win column this weekend against the Lions, but after that it’s at the Jets, home against the Cowboys, then at Green Bay and at New England. They could lose all four of those games. And they will if Brett Favre doesn’t stop playing like Sage Rosenfels. The Vikings could have gotten this performance for a lot less money if he had stayed retired.

8. The Steelers may be emerging as a favorite in the AFC. They’re 2-0 (two good wins, mind you) while essentially playing without a quarterback. As soon as Roethlisberger returns, this team will be very, very hard to beat.

9. Green Bay’s defense looked absolutely dominant on Sunday (with plenty of help from Trent Edwards). But here’s a fun stat for you courtesy of ProFootballFocus.com – the Bills didn’t target Charles Woodson once the entire game. Not a single pass thrown his direction. Now that’s respect.

10. And I’ll conclude with this… I hope someone in the NFL public relations department is paying close attention to the amount of media coverage being given today to Braylon Edwards and Kenny McKinley. The fact that most media outlets are spending more time talking about Edwards’ DWI and how the Jets will react, than to McKinley’s death is sad.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bears, Browns, Cardinals, Packers, Panthers, Steelers, Vikings Comments Off

Who will trade for Vincent Jackson?

Vincent Jackson has been on the trading block seemingly all summer, but it appears as though we’re finally nearing a deal. The NFL has stated that Jackson’s suspension can be decreased to four games if he is traded by Wednesday. So where will he land? There’s been plenty of speculation out there all summer, so I’ll throw in my two cents. Here are the three most likely destinations…

Jan 17, 2010; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) intercepts a pass intended for San Diego Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson (83) in the 2010 AFC Divisional playoff game at Qualcomm Stadium. The Jets defeated the Chargers 17-14.

Could Jackson be headed to Washington? … or Seattle? … or Minnesota?

3. Redskins – We all know Daniel Snyder loves big names, so why not make a play for Jackson? The Redskins didn’t enter the season with realistic Super Bowl aspirations, but a Week One win over the Cowboys could give them the confidence to consider trading for Jackson. Joey Galloway and Santana Moss certainly didn’t do anything on opening weekend to convince the ”Skins that they’re set at receiver.

2. Seahawks – The NFC West is wide open and the Seahawks proved on opening weekend that they’re going to be a contender in the division. Mike Williams had a solid performance, which could deter them from making a movie. However, Jackson could reshape their offense and possibly make them the consensus favorite in the NFC West. (I already think they’re the favorite, but I’m probably in the minority).

1. Vikings – With Sidney Rice’s season very much in doubt, the Vikings clearly have the most incentive. This is (presumably) Brett Favre’s final season so the Vikings have every reason to go all-in and make a run at a Super Bowl title. Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin and Greg Camarillo are all fine receivers… so long as their you’re 2nd, 3rd and 4th options. But Brett Favre needs a true No. 1 receiver if he is going to lead the Vikings back to the playoffs.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Chargers, Redskins, Seahawks, Vikings Comments Off

10 Most Underrated NFL Players

10. Shaun O’Hara
Since being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2000, O’Hara has developed into one of the games best interior offensive linemen. Now entering his 11th season in the league, O’Hara continues to get better with age. He finally made the Pro Bowl each of the past two seasons and likely has more to come.

9. Matt Roth
The Dolphins waived Roth midway through the 2009 season and the Browns capitalized on Bill Parcells’ mistake. Roth was dominant down the stretch in Rob Ryan’s defense, excelling against both the pass and the run. He’s one of the most well-rounded 3-4 outside linebackers in the league and still has his best years ahead of him.

8. Kelly Gregg
While Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis and others get all the credit for the Ravens’ defensive success, Gregg is the glue that holds it all together. He doesn’t generate the stats to get attention or make highlight-worthy plays, but he is one of the most consistent nose tackles in the game.

7. Antoine Winfield
Winfield has been regarded as a solid cornerback for over a decade now, but I don’t think he’s ever gotten the attention he deserves. He’s solid in coverage, but really excels against the run. Perhaps only Charles Woodson is more well-round in terms of ability to defend both the pass and the run at an elite level.

6. Vincent Jackson
As Jackson fights for a new contract in San Diego most fans are wondering how a player like Jackson could demand so much money. While I can’t defend his actions and his willingness to sit out the season, I will argue that he belongs among the highest-paid receivers in the game. As far as complete receivers go, only Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald are better. Jackson has it all – the speed to stretch the field, great hands, and is arguably the best blocking receiver in the game.

5. Keith Brooking
Brooking flew under the radar for years in Atlanta and finally stepped into the spotlight in Dallas last season. The 5-time Pro Bowler has never been viewed as one of the game’s truly elite linebackers, yet at age 35 he remains among the best at his position. He lacks the stats – sacks and interceptions – to get noticed, but he’s one of those players that is simply all over the field. When the Cowboys defense makes a key stop, chances are Brooking was in the middle of it.

4. Jared Gaither
The Ravens tried to bait another team into signing Gaither as a restricted free agent this season. Rumors have circled the league that they’re unhappy with his work ethic. But whatever it is about him that the Ravens aren’t high on, it certainly didn’t slow him down in 2009. He was one of the game’s most dominant left tackles, protecting Joe Flacco’s blind side. He allowed just four sacks and two hits all season – ranking among the game’s most efficient left tackles.

3. Pierre Thomas
Thomas is often overshadowed by Reggie Bush, but he is the true star of the Saints backfield. He is one of the most well-rounded running backs in the game, and is perhaps most valuable as a receiver. According to ProFootballFocus.com the Saints targeted Thomas 42 times last season, he caught 39 of them and didn’t drop a single catchable pass.

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 06:  Robert Meachem #17 of the New Orleans Saints scores a touchdown against the Washington Redskins on December 6, 2009 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Meachem may be on the verge of stardom

2. Shaun Rogers
Shaun Rogers got a bad reputation in Detroit as being lazy and overweight. Since coming over to Cleveland, Rogers has reestablished himself as one of the game’s premier nose tackles. In terms of clogging holes and stuffing the run, he’s on the same level as Albert Haynesworth and Kevin Williams.

1. Robert Meachem
Meachem finally overcame a long string of injuries and played a key role in the Saints Super Bowl run in 2009. He started seven games for the Saints and proved to be a valuable deep threat, averaging over 16 yards per catch. What really makes him stand out, however, is the little things he does. He is an above-average blocker and has arguably the most consistent hands in the game. In 2009 he was one of just three receivers with over 40 catches and zero drops.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Browns, Chargers, Cowboys, Giants, Ravens, Saints, Vikings 9 Comments

Training Camp Preview: Vikings

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24: Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates throwing for a touchdown in the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Vikings need to opperate under the assumption that Favre isn't returning

Biggest Question Mark: Brett Favre
Will he show up?

Position Battle to Watch: Quarterback
Until Favre does show up the Vikings have to move forward with a quarterback competition between Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson. Rosenfels offers more experiences and perhaps is better suited as a game manager if they intend to rely on the running game. Jackson has far more upside and more playmaking ability.

Impact Rookie: Chris Cook
Antonie Winfield and Cedric Griffin both battled injuries last season and Cook must be ready to step into a starting role should either of them suffer setbacks. Cook has the size to be a physically dominant cornerback, but there are many scouts who feel he lacks the athleticism to play corner and is better suited at free safety.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Vikings Comments Off