So now, after a period of mourning, I'm finally ready to move on and don a new jersey (a white one this time). But I need help. I can't decide who's name and number I want to be sporting when I head into Fed Ex Field for my first Vikings game since the Randy trade. I've narrowed it down to eight candidates, so make sure you vote early and often.
- Steve Hutchinson, #76: Hutchinson plays left guard, just like I did in high school. Of course, he's actually the proper size for the position, but that's not the point. The point is he's a beast, and one of the best guards in the NFL. He's also going to be around for awhile, since he just signed a this offseason. One problem is that I don't have a beer gut, and thus would likely be the skinniest person to be sporting his jersey.
- Tarvaris Jackson, #7: Tarvaris has looked like the quarterback of the future so far this preaseason. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that he's only played two preseason games as a backup, was widely considered a massive reach in the second round out of 1-AA Alabama St. and he's only played two preseason games. Then again, being the first on the bandwagon might be worth the risk, and the payoff could be the same as if I'd bought a Daunte jersey during his rookie year.
- Antoine Winfield, #26: Last year Antoine was one of the best defenders on the Vikes, and he's continued his solid play so far this preseason. He's a fundamentally sound cover corner, a great tackler and a leader both on and off the field. He should be around for awhile too, since he's relatively young and signed for 5 more years.
- Troy Williamson, #82: Randy's replacement hasn't yet lived up to his predecessor, but after Koren Robinson's alcohol problems, he's the best receiver the Vikings have. Sadly, that doesn't mean anything anymore.
- Kenechi Udeze, #95: "The Boy" has had some injuries problems in his short career, but when he's on the field, he's been a stud. He's fast as all hell too, and I like my defensive ends fast.
- Chris Kluwe, #5: If Mitch Berger taught me anything, it's that punters are P-I-M-P-S. Not surprisingly either, since they have the best job in the world, raking in six digits at a position where there's almost no pressure, and where there's also no contact. And Kluwe has a massive leg too. His offseason injury hasn't seemed to hamper him, so he's likely to return to form as one of the better punters in the NFL.
- Fred Smoot, #21: Smoot was signed last offseason to be the secondary's savior. He wasn't, but if he can put his offseason problems, he could return to lockdown corner status. Oh, who am I kidding. He's on the list because he pulled double duty on the boat, which was just damn impressive in my opinion.
- Bryant McKinnie, #74: Not only is he one of the best left tackles in the game, and a franchise cornerstone, he's also a giver.