The Minnesota Vikings haven't been overly impressive the past two seasons and fans have began to lose patience. Many are asking, are the the Vikings ever going to be successful again? The answer is yes and it may be coming sooner than you think.
The Vikings went into full rebuilding mode after a dismal 3-13 season last year. The organization knew something needed to be done to inject energy into this football team. They first hit the free agent market and signed athletic wide receiver Jerome Simpson. Simpson has already shown the athleticism he will bring during the season.
Next came the draft, where the Vikings drafted for talent instead of need. They added the newest piece of the Vikings offensive line, Matt Kalil with the 4th pick. Kalil will be the centerpiece of this offensive line for season's to come. Later in the first round, the Vikings traded into the round to select safety Harrison Smith. Smith has all tangibles to be a legitimate safety on our roster for seasons to come.
The Vikings knew they needed to improve a terrible secondary, so they selected cornerback Josh Robinson in the third round. His 4.3 speed has been an addition in the secondary. I hope to see him in the nickel cornerback role this season. He will be an impact player for the Vikings for many seasons ahead.
The Vikings decided they needed to improve depth at the wide receiver position by adding Jarius Wright and Greg Childs in the fourth round. Unfortunately, Childs tore both his patellar tendons in his knees at training camp. Wright hasn't shown his abilities on the field as of yet. He has the athleticism to return kicks, but just doesn't seem like he is quite NFL ready. This will only come along with experience, which he has little of.
In addition, Rhett Ellison was drafted in the fourth round out of USC. Many believed this was an absolute reach for a fullback that could have went undrafted. Even though this is probably the case, Ellison has been impressive and has shown he was the right pick. I like his hands with his ability to block up the field. Those skills are going to be vital for the success of the Vikings.
Blair Walsh was questioned when he was selected in the 6th round of the draft. Many thought he would be inconsistent, but he has shown he has a leg. He will be a bright spot on this roster and will help pin teams down inside the twenty on kickoffs, which is something the Vikings missed last season.
Audie Cole was drafted in the 7th round out of NC State. He was a fierce tackler and was great at getting to the quarterback in college. He showed his talent on Friday night vs. the Bills, with two interception touchdowns. He will help bring talent and depth to the linebacker position.
With several of these draft picks we profiled, combated with players like Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Percy Harvin and Antoine Winfield, the Vikings are going to be a surprise in this league.
As fans we have to keep optimism low, but after watching a poised quarterback in Christian Ponder, a emerging Jerome Simpson, and an improved defense, it is very hard to contain the amount of excitement the Vikings will bring this season.
Beginning this week we will profile certain players who have shown they are ready to make an impact on this roster.
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