With the draft next Saturday, there's been a lot going on in the world of the NFL. The schedule was released on Tuesday to the kind of fanfare that was meant to remind you that the NFL is the undisputed king of sports. ESPN spent two hours breaking down the schedule, picking out games to watch, making predictions about teams strength of schedule and generally wasting everyone's time. I understand blogs about NFL teams and NFL focused sites writing about the schedule. But a two hour special on ESPN!? There wasn't a baseball game they could show? Or maybe some more draft speculation? What about the Strong Man Competition? Do they still have the rights to that? Seriously folks, trying to divine any meaning from the NFL schedule right now is pretty much a waste of time. I'm not the only one that feels that way either.
And now that I've trashed those who wrote about the schedule, if you want some thoughts on it, Gonzo broke it down at the Daily Norseman, wwtb? wrote about it at Pacifist Viking, and the writers at Access Vikings spilled some pixels analyzing it as well.
(And if you're wondering, I think the Vikings' schedule looks rough to start with, has some challenges in the middle and gets easy at the end. I fully expect them to be in the drivers seat for a playoff berth or division title coming down the stretch. And I fully expect them to blow it. They're finishing 1-2 or 0-3 if they have a shot at the playoffs. It's what the Vikings do.)
For those who prefer reading about something that is actually relevant sometime soon, there are a host of articles on the draft, and, of course, a ton of mock drafts.
Michael Lombardi, who is described in his bio at SI.com as a veteran of 22 years in NFL personnel offices, has an interesting article on how teams actually look to mock drafts for information. It's kind of crazy to think that without them, Jerry Rice may have spent his Hall of Fame career in a different uniform.
Pro Football Talk has an article about how teams are changing the tables they use to assign draft picks value due to the rising costs of top 5 draft picks. Those value tables are a large reason why there have been so few teams willing to trade up, as they assigned values to top picks that no team was willing to pay. I don't know whether the new tables will lead to more trades, but it certainly seems to make them more likely.
For those of you who would like to see the Vikings take a quarterback in the first three rounds, Football Outsiders has an interesting article on Chad Henne. Personnally, I don't think it would be a good idea to draft a quarterback that high, but as Gonzo wrote, it's probably a given that the Purple will draft a quarterback.
I probably shouldn't tell you this, since I've been relying on these videos for my own profiles, but if you're interested, SI.com has video of their top 200 draft prospects.
There's also been some new (negative) information that's come out recently about players the Vikings might be considering drafting in the first round. Malcolm Kelly ran an awful 4.63 forty at his workout, and then threw the Oklahoma staff under the bus, though he's going to have another work out. And Aqib Talib and Mario Manningham didn't help their draft prospects by admitting to smoking pot in college, which is why I didn't end up profiling either of them.
L.A. has a new stadium proposal. If L.A. builds a new stadium, it's not going to look good for the Vikings chances of staying in Minnesota, unless they get a new stadium build. That being said, Grant's Tomb thinks that the Purple aren't going anywhere. Which works for me.
Finally, the Vikings signed Gus Frerotte to be their back up quarterback. The ideal back up quarterback for a young starter, like Tarvaris Jackson, is a veteran that is content with the role, can mentor the young quarterbacks on the roster and can step in and provide decent play for a game or two. Frerotte's got the first two down, but his play on the field will likely be Bollinger/Holcombe bad. So, not the best signing, but since neither Sage Rosenfels or J.P. Lohsman are available, he was probably the best available option.