Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mixed Feelings About Tyrell

I'm of two minds about the Vikings' decision to trade their fourth round pick (117th overall) to move up in the second round and draft Tyrell Johnson, a 6'0", 206lb safety from Arkansas State. I like the addition of Tyrell (yes, I will be referring to him by his awesome middle name and I might even break out his equally cool first name, Marcellous, sometimes), but I'm not sure I like the fact that the Vikings gave up their fourth round pick in order to get him.

First, let's talk about the newest Viking. Tyrell Johnson is big, he's fast and he may just have been the best safety available in the draft. The Vikings clearly need a safety who'll be ready to step in and replace Darren Sharper when age finally catches up to him (even ageless ones, like the soon to be 33 year old Sharper, get old sometimes) and Tyrell Johnson will probably be ready to do so by the end of this year, if not sooner. Tyrell is perfect for the Cover-2, combining the best aspects of the free and strong safety positions, able to both bring the pain and with good coverage instincts, great closing speed and good hands. He's also will be able to step in and help out on special teams right away, yet another reason why he'll fit in well in Purple.

What I don't like about the Vikings' first day at the draft is the fact that they gave up their fourth round pick in order to move up. I understand that the Vikings likely needed to do so in order to select Tyrell, what with safety hungry Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati waiting to draft Tyrell before the 47th pick. The thing is, the Purple have other needs that they need to address besides safety and even if Tyrell wasn't going to be available to them at the 47th pick, they could have used that choice to draft a wide receiver, tight end, offensive lineman or even a defensive tackle, which are all positions that the Vikings need depth at. Also, by trading away their fourth round pick, the Vikings gave away the chance to add another player at one of those positions, or at quarterback, a position that the Vikings have no plan at aside from Tarvaris Jackson. I like Tyrell Johnson, but I'm just not so sure I like him more than Martellus Bennett and Andre Woodson (or Josh Johnson, or a defensive tackle, etc).

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