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  Thursday October 30th, 2014    

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On to the draft...
at least they didn’t blow that!
(01/03/2007)
By John Edstrom


     
Well fans, the Vikings listless laydown before the 7-8 Rams was a suitable finish to their perfectly horrible season, dousing the last glimmer of optimism fans of the Purple could take into next year with a defensive performance that showed no ability to rush the passer, defend against the forward pass, (except to hope for dropped balls), and finally, to stop the run. The Vikes could not even salvage the fewest rushing yards record, giving up 142 yards to the Rams' beastly Steve Jackson, probably enough by itself to secure the defeat. Sunday's performance bolsters the theory that the Purple run defense was not so much good, as their pass defense was bad.

It is unusual that the fan or commentator can really detect when the home team was not trying, or "not ready to play." Making either of these judgments is generally an expression of frustration and nothing more. Last Sunday, however, it was pretty clear, as Dwight Smith put it, that the Vikes were mostly playing with one foot out the door. Looking forward to their New Year's Eve celebrations, no doubt. At least none of our guys was shot up.

On to the one topic of interest remaining, next year's draft. At least the Purple did not blow that, securing pick number seven, where their choice of Troy Williamson two years ago was less than brilliant. He is regarded so lightly at this point that he was not even activated against the Rams, likely to save (relative) pocket change in bonuses.

This year Vikings talent scouts will be required to leave their stop watches in the sock drawer and search out receivers who have proven themselves able to actually catch the football, a skill far more valuable than running track faster than the rest.

Anyone who watched the Rose Bowl will have noticed that USC's wideout, Dwayne Jarrett, could probably have beaten the Wolverines with only nine other guys on his team. He is big, fast, sure-handed and, although a junior, probably going to come out early this year. And in the BSC championship game next Monday, fans will get a chance to watch Ohio State's Ted Ginn, another junior likely to come out. He is super fast, like the Vikes' Williamson, but used to playing in a passing offense run by a Heisman Trophy QB. And there are others, Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech and Notre Dame's Jeff Samardzija being frequently mentioned.

It will be interesting to see how the Purple brain trust does in the second year of the Childress era. The jury is still out on last year's draft with Greenway a complete unknown, Griffin a strong achiever, Jackson and Cook question marks, and Edwards and Blue definite contributors, especially for late round picks. 

 

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