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Old 03-27-2012, 04:12 PM    (permalink
DeepThreat
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Originally Posted by prock View Post
In the Vikings case we fill two positions by drafting Kalil cuz then we can move Johnson into LG, where he is actually decent. They should absolutely fix the entire left side of their line as opposed to a corner.
Reminds me of when the Browns drafted Joe Thomas. Gave them a great left tackle, and moved Kevin Shaffer to right tackle, where he didn't suck (that year, at least). It also moved Ryan Tucker inside to right guard, where he was a beast.

One pick fixed three positions.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:32 PM    (permalink
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The Vikings are a tough one to peg.

On one hand, I support the notion that the left tackle has become overrated. Defenses have adapted and evolved. The best pass rusher for the opposing team still doesnít line up on the blind side all the time. Often, the defense will move him around to find the weak link of a line and then attack it. Plus, defenses are making an effort to stock their cupboards with more pass rushers than ever before. One man, no matter how elite, canít make a drastic difference against aggressive or creative pressure. The entire line needs to work as a unit because each individual position has a demanding set of responsibilities. It is as much about chemistry and familiarity as it is talent.

Not to mention, there are more unconventional methods a team can take when it comes to scheming protection concepts. The Saints have a mediocre set of bookend tackles, but the offensive line has survived and thrived because of their interior, which is traditionally an afterthought. New Orleans could devote extra attention to the outside and, even if pressure came off the edge, the guard tandem of Evans and Nicks ensured that Brees could still step up in the pocket and deliver. Different approaches work for different teams. There isnít a proven blueprint for building a team.

And thatís ignoring the elephant in the room. The offensive line, to an extent, is a product of their quarterback. A smart quarterback diagnoses fronts and coverage indicators pre-snap, understands the percentages heís dealing with for that defense from his film work, recognizes how his called route combinations match up against that particular shell, makes the requisite audibles, realizes whether or not there will be an unblocked defender rushing him, and has processed most of the information post-snap when he hits the top of his drop. Within three seconds, that internal clock should be beeping, and the ball should be coming out. Good quarterbacks can make good lines look great and average lines look good. Bad quarterbacks can make average lines look bad and bad lines look awful.

On the other, given the current passing environment, a shutdown corner is one of the rarest and most valuable weapons in a defensive coordinatorís arsenal. On top of that, in order for a team to be a consistent contender in the NFL, said team must be competitive within their own division first and foremost. The Vikings face the Packers, Lions, and Bears twice. Those aerial attacks create certain problems for defenses, which are exacerbated in the Vikingsí case due to their lack of talent in the defensive backfield.

So, in a vacuum, the value of a shutdown corner trumps that of a blind side tackle.

But I donít know if Minnesotaís situation is perfectly applicable. I havenít heard otherwise, so Iím assuming the Vikings are still planning on running a Tampa 2 variant and cornerbacks arenít asked to do as much in that scheme. Itís a controlled environment that limits man-to-man exposure. While I think Morris Claiborne could succeed in it due to the range of skills he brings to the table, itís a marginalization of his talents. Iím not sure he carries the same value at three if the Tampa 2 is a long-term plan there.

In that case, Kalil makes more sense. The extended thought process behind taking Kalil being that it will give Christian Ponder the best possible chance of developing into a successful quarterback. While I donít think Kalil deserves the label of being an elite left tackle prospect, I donít think heís too far from that echelon and I think he can be an excellent pro. Heís blessed with a tremendous set of tools. He just needs to sharpen his focus to avoid things like inconsistent knee bend, overextension, etc.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:49 PM    (permalink
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Draft the elite lineman over the cornerback. DL or OL. Vikes obviously need OL.

Tom Brady is a legend, and Matt Light is stalwart, but New England really invested in Seymour, Wilfork, and Ty Warren and more credit/kudos are deserved. Wilfork wrecked enough to help the Pats win bad Brady games with a weak running effort. And Mankins has been better than most NE DB picks.

CBs who were once very good or great, changed teams (some got back to greatness, some didn't):
Charles Woodson
Asante Samuel. Asomugha, DRC
Dunta
D Hall
J Joseph
Winfield
B Carr

Elite LTs don't move very often at all.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:03 PM    (permalink
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Vikings would be wise to draft Caliborne and then just grab Bobby Massie in the 2nd to be their future left tackle, he's gonna be a stud.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:01 AM    (permalink
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[(QUOTE=Cudders;2924010]

So, in a vacuum, the value of a shutdown corner trumps that of a blind side tackle.

.[/quote]

NFL contracts and draft history do not support this claim. This includes recent transactions.

Corners are not nearly as valuable as you are letting on. Hence the allowing of several top corners (Robinson, Samuel, Naombi) leave.
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:39 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bucfan12 View Post
Let's put it this way: After Marques Colston was found in the 7th round, many thought they could find WRs anywhere.

You can't always go into that mind set. Sometimes you get an ABSOLUTE steal, but if you play that "Oh this guy was a 6th round pick, and look how good he is compared to so and so". That doesn't always happen.
Great point. Look at how many 6th and 7th round picks don't play more then a season or two. You need a good scouting dept. of course. But lets face it if anyone thought Tom Brady or Marquis Colston were all pro players they won't have been drafted so late. You can't count on getting lucky.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:01 PM    (permalink
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I think the key difference between a left tackle and a cornerback, is that when your left tackle is not "good enough" it's really hard to win games in the modern NFL (which generally requires a passing game good enough to convert 3rd and 9s). On the other hand, if your secondary play is not "good enough" it's entirely possible to win games, assuming your offense is top notch (just look at the 2011-2012 Packers and Patriots.)

The left tackle position is certainly overrated, but not in the sense that you don't really need one, but in the sense that "you need to hit a minimum standard of competence in order to keep your QB healthy and make your passing offense functional," but once you've got that guy you don't really need to worry about upgrading the position even if he's not an all-pro.

The thing is, I don't think the Vikings have a guy at either tackle spot that meets the "minimum standards of competency for an NFL offensive tackle" so I think the Kalil pick is obvious.
I'm totally onboard with this post. The way the Packers and Patriots covered up their poor secondaries was with incredibly efficient and productive offenses. If I'm the Vikings, I go Kalil as well even though I think Claiborn is the better player. I'd reverse this if they started playing more man on defense.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:18 PM    (permalink
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Elite tackles do not hit the open market, ever.

Corners do yearly. It's really simple math.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:58 PM    (permalink
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NFL contracts and draft history do not support this claim. This includes recent transactions.

Corners are not nearly as valuable as you are letting on. Hence the allowing of several top corners (Robinson, Samuel, Naombi) leave.
Those arenít the sole indicators of value. As far as contracts go, Nnamdi Asomughaís and Joe Thomasí new deals are both worth $12 million per season, so their market value is equalizing compared to historic trends. Thomas got the longer deal and higher percentage guaranteed because of age and the fact that left tackles have a greater shelf life. And, in the draft, corners havenít been as valued because the league has never been this centered around the passing game. Run support used to be weighted much heavier. Now, scouts still want to see some willingness, but it isnít going to be the reason that a talented cover corner falls. The evaluation process evolves as the league does.

In response to the specific names mentioned, Iím sure that Oakland wanted to re-sign Nnamdi. The Raiders werenít just content with letting a big part of their defensive success walk, but he was a free agent and their cap situation was bleak. He jumped at the chance Philadelphia gave him and even accepted lesser terms to do so, according to him. Asante Samuel isnít a shutdown corner, so I donít think he applies to this discussion. Samuel is a zone corner with great ball skills, but heís overmatched against top-tier receivers in man-to-man. That has value, sure. Itís different and inferior to that of a shutdown specialist though. And Dunta Robinson was the best defensive back in a bad Texans backfield. In their effort to get better on the backend, Atlanta threw a huge contract at him and Houston wasnít impressed enough with him to match. In retrospect, the Texans were right. Robinson is one of the more overrated corners in the NFL, but the Falcons took the shot because the Saints have a prolific passing game and their cornerback situation needed difference-makers to compete. Robinson hasnít lived up to those expectations, but I think itís indicative of the value teams are starting to place on corners.

From an Xís and Oís perspective, I believe that a shutdown corner is more valuable to a defensive coordinator than a blindside tackle is to an offensive coordinator. The offensive coordinator puts the tackle on the blindside and leaves him there with the hope that he protects the quarterback in his most vulnerable position and eliminates the defenseís best pass rusher. But the defense makes the next move and weíre seeing defensive coordinators put their pass rushers in different positions more and more, which marginalizes the blindside tackleís value a little. On the other hand, defensive coordinators can be flexible with their use of a shutdown corner. He can frustrate and shadow their best receiver for the entire game, he can erase their second option and make doubling the primaries easier, he can disrupt timing and allow more creative blitz packages, etc.

If given the choice, would you rather have Darrelle Revis or Joe Thomas/Jake Long/other All-Pro left tackle?

For me, I take Revis without hesitation. But I value a shutdown corner behind only a franchise quarterback and any variation of a premier pass rusher.

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Elite tackles do not hit the open market, ever.

Corners do yearly. It's really simple math.
Except itís not that simple. Shutdown corners do not hit the open market that often. Thatís the difference in the equation. A shutdown corner is not just another corner. Teams can throw bodies at the problem easier at corner, sure, but that doesnít equate to addressing the issue either.

If the Vikings believe Morris Claiborne projects to be a shutdown corner, he holds more value in the modern NFL than Matt Kalil does.

Now, thereís two questions that the Vikings must answer before making the decision: One, is Morris Claiborne a future shutdown corner? If the staff isnít convinced, then pass. If the staff loves him, then it becomes a question of does his skill set hold the same value within our scheme? In Minnesotaís case, it doesnít. One of the core beliefs of the Tampa 2 is that it can hide corners better than other schemes. It doesnít ask the corners to be multi-faceted. Their roles are controlled and defined. While Morris Claiborne has the skill set to thrive in the Tampa 2, it doesnít make sense to select someone at three that will be limited if the long-term plan is to build that kind of defense. There are other corners that can fill those roles later in the draft.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:12 PM    (permalink
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I think the Vikings are going to trade down with Miami. Stephen Ross is bound and determined to win at something, even if what he wins isn't worth the price of a lottery ticket. You'll probably get their #2 and #3 out of it. The Rams will take Kalil, because we DO covet a top tier LT, and the Vikings will take Reiff. Then with those extra picks you can take Alshon Jeffery and Brian Quick, who will both make the team better and help prove Spielman's theory.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:28 PM    (permalink
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I think the Vikings are going to trade down with Miami. Stephen Ross is bound and determined to win at something, even if what he wins isn't worth the price of a lottery ticket. You'll probably get their #2 and #3 out of it. The Rams will take Kalil, because we DO covet a top tier LT, and the Vikings will take Reiff. Then with those extra picks you can take Alshon Jeffery and Brian Quick, who will both make the team better and help prove Spielman's theory.
Kalil is going to fall to 6?
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:21 PM    (permalink
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Kalil is going to fall to 6?
If Minnesota trades down in a trade for Tannehill then he likely will. Cleveland and Tampa both have great LT's.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:17 AM    (permalink
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Cosell made an interesting point on twitter last night. Basically arguing that deficiencies along the offensive line are much easier to hide and scheme around than deficiencies in the secondary. He also points out that the Vikings play in Rodgers, Stafford, and Cutler for six games every year and they currently have a very weak secondary. Their current starters at cornerback are a 35-year old Antoine Winfield and Chris Cook.

The more I thought about it, the more I'm convinced that the Vikings should go with Claiborne at #3. You're not going to find a shutdown corner in the 2nd or 3rd round, unless Janoris Jenkins falls and you want to risk his "character issues." On the other hand, some good left tackles will probably be available in the 2nd. Mike Adams, Bobbie Massie, and Jeff Allen are all likely to be available at #35.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:24 AM    (permalink
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Cudders is right. A Darelle Revis is more valuable than a Jake Long. If you think Morris Claiborne is going to be better than Matt Kalil, take Claiborne.

I actually like Claiborne more than Kalil so if i was the Vikings i'd take him.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:35 AM    (permalink
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Cosell made an interesting point on twitter last night. Basically arguing that deficiencies along the offensive line are much easier to hide and scheme around than deficiencies in the secondary. He also points out that the Vikings play in Rodgers, Stafford, and Cutler for six games every year and they currently have a very weak secondary. Their current starters at cornerback are a 35-year old Antoine Winfield and Chris Cook.

The more I thought about it, the more I'm convinced that the Vikings should go with Claiborne at #3. You're not going to find a shutdown corner in the 2nd or 3rd round, unless Janoris Jenkins falls and you want to risk his "character issues." On the other hand, some good left tackles will probably be available in the 2nd. Mike Adams, Bobbie Massie, and Jeff Allen are all likely to be available at #35.
It's an extremely valid point. Offenses have a better chance to scheme around player's deficiencies. If you have a weakness at LT then you can chip block with a RB, keep a TE end to help on double blocks, move the pocket after the snap with a mobile QB and limit the amount of deep drops taken. However, if you have a weakness at CB all you can really do is bring saftey help, but then that limits your ability to cover the middle of the field.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:50 AM    (permalink
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Elite tackles do not hit the open market, ever.

Corners do yearly. It's really simple math.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:27 AM    (permalink
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If the Vikings think Kalil is worthy of the 3rd pick overall, they should take him. Protect the young QB they drafted in the 1st round last year. It's been said for decades and decades, everything starts with the offensive line. If you don't have a good one, your QB will get the tar beat out of him (Tim Couch for example), and you wont be able to move the ball consistently, meaning your defense will wear down from being on the field too much. If Kalil is capable of playing at a pro bowl level, it'd be a foolish move passing on him.

Not to mention, if what someone mentioned is true, and they need 3 or 4 starters in the secondary, then they have to recognize it'll be at least a couple of years before they'll be good enough to compete for a championship anyways.

If Rick Spielman is running their draft, and he's the same one who ran the draft for the Dolphins about a decade ago, then Vikings fans have cause for concern. I lived in Miami for over three years, including when they passed on Drew Brees for a DB, Jamar Fletcher I believe was his name. The DB didn't pan out for them, and although it took Brees years to become a good NFL QB, Dolphin fans were correct at the time in believing he should have been the pick. Spielman made other moves that I can't recall anymore, that I thought were dumb back then. Surprised another team has given him control of their draft.

Tampa Bay was aggressive in free agency, and at one point I heard they really liked Trent Richardson. If that's who they want, I wouldn't be surprised if they try to move up to #3 to draft him ahead of my Browns. They only have 6 picks last I heard, so they don't have alot of ammo to make the move up, which makes it unlikely they'll be able to.

If the Vikings take Kalil, it'll be interesting to see if the Browns take Claiborne. I could see them using the logic that there wont be a great CB available at #22, but a couple of good RB's should be. RB David Wilson is an interesting prospect. And Cleveland radio host Tony Rizzo mentioned a couple of months ago, that Tom Heckert really wanted Claiborne, and he'd be the pick if the draft was held then.

Ok, time for all the speculation to end and Thursday to get here!
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:48 AM    (permalink
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I think at this point CB, WR, and LT are pretty equal in value at this point. There are ways to scheme around every position, we've made this clear in the LT thread, in the end you pick the best prospects so you can get the most talent. After that you play to your strengths.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:59 AM    (permalink
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I think at this point CB, WR, and LT are pretty equal in value at this point. There are ways to scheme around every position, we've made this clear in the LT thread, in the end you pick the best prospects so you can get the most talent. After that you play to your strengths.
Agreed, especially high in the draft.

A lot of fans don't look past immediate need when discussing the draft, whereas most teams, especially the better ones, draft based on future need, value and talent.

It's hard to argue with taking a BPA approach, especially in the top ten. If Kalil is the best player on the Vikings board and they take him then it is just coincidental that LT is a high need position.

Obviously this approach isn't 100% applicable, for example, it is highly unlikely they would take Trent Richardson since they have AD. However for any position except RB and QB for the Vikings BPA is probably the way to go.

By drafting purely based on need and not taking the best available player you end up with a team of inferior players. Always take the best player on your board. If that is Kalil then all power to them. If it's Claiborne then so be it.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:14 PM    (permalink
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take that wonderlic!!!!
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:20 PM    (permalink
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I'm leaning towards the Vikes taking Claiborne right now.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:33 PM    (permalink
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I really wouldn't be against Claiborne, but it just isn't the right pick in my mind. We can solidify TWO offensive line spots with Kalil. Claiborne would be awesome and a future Pro Bowler, but corner isn't that high of a priority in a cover 2, and we have bigger problems at safety than at corner IMO. Take Kalil 3rd, kick Johnson into LG, take a safety, corner, or WR in round 2 and 3 and don't look back. I think that is the best way to do it. I would love a shutdown CB, but I would love a good left side of the line more.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:47 PM    (permalink
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I really wouldn't be against Claiborne, but it just isn't the right pick in my mind. We can solidify TWO offensive line spots with Kalil. Claiborne would be awesome and a future Pro Bowler, but corner isn't that high of a priority in a cover 2, and we have bigger problems at safety than at corner IMO. Take Kalil 3rd, kick Johnson into LG, take a safety, corner, or WR in round 2 and 3 and don't look back. I think that is the best way to do it. I would love a shutdown CB, but I would love a good left side of the line more.
I think the argument that continues to come around is that in your division with Rodgers/Cutler/Stafford (6 games) and their offense and weapons.. you have to do something to neutralize that. The Vikes are really in an interesting and tough spot to be honest with you - and no one is saying that Claiborne is going to immediately come in and stop the likes of Jennings, an added Brandon Marshall or Megatron but if that potential is there for him as a player... I think it's very hard to pass that up especially in today's pass happy NFL.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:28 PM    (permalink
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I imagine this is a smokescreen but a couple side comments

a) I think Kalil's combination of talent and polish was over-hyped all along. Now, I saw Greg Cosell dropping him out of the top 10, and I don't see that happening. The positives are that he's an excellent athlete for his size, with good natural athleticism, and probably the ability to add a fair amount of weight onto him. That said, he really doesn't anchor at an elite level, and his technique could use some work in pass pro, IMO. These typically aren't big enough negatives, though, IMO, to drop a guy as far as Cosell is suggesting, but I do think that the combination of talent and polish was over-hyped.

b) The type of offensive lineman that Davidson wants doesn't necessarily have to be guys that go that high in the draft. I tend to think a guy like Reiff would suit them very well, and there are guys in the 2nd/3rd round that they could find.

Now, much as I like Claiborne, I tend to think that he isn't so elite that you have to take him on the value of "elite talent at a key position", and I still believe that Kalil and the Vikings makes too much sense. But if B becomes a key factor for them, and they feel they can get another OL that fits Davidson later on, then I can see the rationalization for going another route.

If that happens, I tend to think a team will start pondering moving up. I don't think Buffalo or say, Arizona, realistically think that Kalil is going to fall pre-draft, but if he starts sliding during the draft, I could see both of those teams calling to work up. The problem is, most of the team in the top 6 or so want an elite talent, and let's face it, this draft is short on elite talent (and I really don't consider all of the top 6 as elite talent), so whether or not the right mix can happen for a trade to happen is a question.

But the positives of Kalil are too good for me to see him slip too far, and I tend to think that he still makes too much sense for the Vikings, particularly in a cornerback rich draft (it really wouldn't surprise me if one or two second round (or later) CB's had better careers than several of the first round guys.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:31 PM    (permalink
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