It's been an eerily quiet offseason in Minnesota, where a Vikings team filled with holes has done next to nothing to improve a bitter 6-10 campaign. Typically, a busted season offers the promise of an impact first-round pick, and although the Vikes own the No. 7 overall pick in April's draft, their spot leaves a lot to be desired.
It's widely accepted that the draft has five immediate-impact or franchise-defining players at the top — QBs JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn, WR Calvin Johnson, RB Adrian Peterson and OT Joe Thomas. If there's a sixth guy in the mix, it's DE Gaines Adams, who based on the premium of the pass-rush position, could go as high as No. 2. With a clear drop-off after six players, the seven spot isn't exactly where you want to be.
Worse yet, the Vikings are desperate for wideouts and pass rushers. If Johnson and Adams are off the board, as expected, there isn't a second player anywhere near valuable enough to consider that high. Compicating their lot even further, the top players left on the board would in theory be OT Levi Brown, S LaRon Landry, NT Alan Branch, DT Amobi Okoy and LB Patrick Willis. The Vikes already have far too much invested in their offensive line, interior D-line and LB corps to go that route, and Landry (while immensely talented) plays a position where the Vikes are fairly deep. Drafting a safety and guaranteeing him double-digit millions would be a tough sell given how bad this offense is.
Basically, the situation screams trade, but the Vikes have given no indication they're willing to give up what it will take to get into position to take Johnson or Quinn. Trading down is a real possibility, but as stated above, who wants to be seventh in a six-player draft? Perhaps a team enamored with Landry (and there are a few) will come calling. Or Vikings fans can hold out hope that Dan Snyder does something stupid at No. 6. Stranger things have happened.