After a miserable 2011 season, Minnesota fans are nervous for what might be coming in 2012 for the Vikings. The Purple and Gold clearly have talent on the team, but without excellent moves this offseason, both in the draft and in free agency, we could be preparing ourselves for another year in the NFC North basement. As far as some are concerned, another rebuilding year and a last place campaign are already in the works. With AP rehabbing a torn ACL, some believe it may be the smartest move. But the difference between the basement and the playoffs is often times a thin margin in the NFL. It’s the perfect time for new GM Rick Speilman to prove his worth as the top personnel decision maker and put the Vikings on the winning side of the scoreboard.
It begins with the draft. Another average or below average draft won’t be enough for a team in desperate need of filling some major holes. While time will tell if Christian Ponder, Kyle Rudolph and Chris Cook will pan out and salvage the 2011 draft, the Vikings need to absolutely ace the 2012 draft. We’ll look at options for the draft in the coming months, but it’s no secret O-Line, WR and secondary are major needs for the Vikings. Our two cents, at least at a high level, is that the Vikings main focus should be on the O-Line and the secondary in the draft, and then look for a big play WR in free agency. With the likes of Vincent Jackson, Mario Manningham, Marquis Colston, Dwayne Bowe and DeSean Jackson becoming available, the Vikings will have an opportunity to make a splash. (And no, we have absolutely no interest in Randy Moss.) Despite Harvin’s emergence as a leader, surrounding him with a WR that can stretch the field is a must.
In addition to Speilman’s opportunity to prove his worth as the GM, Frazier and his staff have an opportunity to prove their worth as talent evaluators and coaches of young talent. The organization needs to see more from Frazier in his second full year as head coach. Otherwise, we might as well accept the hard truth well before the season begins. If Spielman and Frazier aren’t nearly perfect, the oddsmakers will be right. With Cleveland and Jacksonville being the only teams with worse odds to win the Super Bowl next year, maybe those expecting another rebuilding year will be the ones with the least amount of heart ache come next winter.