Think about it like this: If the Vikings sign Jeff Garcia to play quarterback, they've addressed that position for the season, but still need a long term solution. They also still need a corner back and bring in some help for the positions right of Steve Hutchinson. Odds are they won't have any good options for corners in free agency, but there are a few decent right tackles available. So now their first round pick is still wide open--could be Kansas St. QB Josh Freeman, could be a lineman or it could be a cornerback (with Ball St. QB Nate Davis as their second round pick). If they trade for Matt Cassel, then they're probably out a first round pick, but you know they'll be targeting cornerbacks in the second round (especially if they bring in some depth on the line). And if they can't get Cassel or Garcia, they probably have to trade up for Mark Sanchez if they want a player that has a chance of competing with Tarvaris for the starting job (please don't let this happen). Everything is contingent upon everything. Which makes any kind of mock draft just so much idle speculation until after free agency at least and why it's so hard to figure out which player the Vikings' should pick in the first round.
More on Cassel:
- DC from Grant's Tomb breaks down Cassel after watching the rebroadcast of the Pats-Jets game.
- Greg Cossel of NFL Films gives his thoughts on the reason for Cassel's success. If he's right, it's not a good sign for a team with a coach that has a slavish adherence to his own system. (h/t Football Outsiders)
- Eugene Monroe breaks down the top offensive linemen available.
- The National Football Post and the Daily Norseman have new mock drafts up. The Post has the Vikings taking Josh Freeman while Gonzo has the Purple taking center Alex Mack from Oregon.
- Football Outsiders has their pre-free agency breakdown of the off season for all four NFC North teams.