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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Dingmann Column: Where do the Vikings go from here?

  • The Minnesota Vikings fired head coach Leslie Frazier on Monday, a day known as Black Monday to the NFL world. But where do they go from here?
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  • The Minnesota Vikings fired head coach Leslie Frazier on Monday, a day known as Black Monday to the NFL world. But where do they go from here?
    As bad as they were and as hard as they were to watch sometimes, they did just good enough to play themselves out of a top draft pick. They hold the number eight overall pick in the draft. They seem to be in the same position as three years ago when they drafted Christian Ponder, who has not played nearly well enough to warrant his number 12 overall selection.
    Whoever is the new coach will tell a lot about what they will do with that draft pick. If they hire an offensive mind, like their division rival Chicago Bears did last year. The Chicago Bears hired Marc Trestman, an offensive mastermind, then took offensive guard Kyle Long. The Vikes could do something like that. If they hired a defensive coach like Jacksonville did last year, he could follow the Jaguars Gus Bradley’s system, which drafted five of eight defensive players in last April’s draft.
    The offensive coordinators the Vikings are rumored to be looking into to are Denver Broncos’ Adam Gase and Seattle Seahawks’ Darrell Bevell, a former Vikings offensive coordinator. On the defensive side of the ball, Minnesota is reportedly setting their sights on are Arizona Cardinals’ Todd Bowles and Broncos’ Jack Del Rio.
    An offensive pick would most likely be reaching on one of the remaining quarterbacks. They could take a chance on one of the most exciting players on and off the field, Johnny Manziel out of Texas A&M. Manziel is a dual threat quarterback who is known as one of the best scramblers in the game. He is projected to go around the eighth pick as his small stature and lack of maturity off the field raises red flags.
    Three other quarterbacks are projected to go off the board in the first round, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Fresno State’s Derek Carr and Central Florida’s Blake Bortles. There is no clear top dog that is miles ahead of the rest, but Bridgewater is considered the favorite to be the first QB taken but it’s really a toss up.
    On the defensive side of the ball, there are so many holes on this defense that they should really just draft best player available. They have big holes on the defensive line with Jared Allen and Kevin Williams not signed for next year. Allen is likely to walk and try to win a title in his last years before retirement, Williams could retire. They need help at linebacker where only Chad Greenway looks like an adequate player at the position. The secondary needs a boost with safety Harrison Smith and cornerback Xavier Rhodes in desperate need of some buddies who can actually cover back there.
    Page 2 of 2 - Some guys they could look at in the first round would be defensive end Jadaveon Clowney from South Carolina, who will most likely be gone. The Vikes could have their pick of outside linebackers Anthony Barr of UCLA or Khalil Mack of Buffalo. They could also pair Rhodes up with cornerback Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State. They really just need defenders.
    Any coach that the Vikings hire will need to do well in this year’s draft. In the NFL today, coaches don’t have a lot of time to meet expectations. They will need to integrate an offensive game plan that features a heavy dose of electric playmakers Adrian Peterson and Cordarrelle Patterson. They also will need a staff that knows how to get the most of high draft picks Sharrif Floyd, Josh Robinson, and Chris Cook on defense.
    There is no reason to believe that the Vikings will be a formidable team and it could be another ugly season next year. The Vikings have a good base in Peterson, Patterson, and Smith to build around. They definitely have some missing pieces. General Manager Rick Spielman cannot screw up on another quarterback. That is the biggest piece of the puzzle. If a coach can fix that they will be on the right track. The Vikings just need a coach who can make all the right pieces fit together.
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