Hartman: Pressure is on Vikings draft picks to produce

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 22, 2013 - 8:54 PM

Without a doubt, the Vikings’ excellent 2012 draft had a lot to do with the team finishing 10-6 and advancing to the NFC playoffs.

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bruisedupJun. 22, 1310:15 PM

Keeping Loadholt was supposed to be the big move (yes pun intended). So then Harvin, Winfield, and Kluwe, all end up being replaced. Sid's just doing his job here but overall with Free Agency, releasing overpaid players, and releasing older players being common place in the NFL, the Vikings didn't have that much turnover. At this point there is no way that I would rather have Harvin and Winfield over the multiple players the Vikings plan to replace their skills with. Locke is also a far better directional kicker then Kluwe but Locke is also going to be the holder for Walsh so I'll go along with Locke being somewhat on a hot seat. Locke just needs to avoid choking. I just don't see the pressure being on our talented rookie replacements as much as the pressure will be on Ponder and Henderson to perform. Those two play the key positions on offense and defense so those two players will have to quiet the masses. I say they will but I realize that opinion is highly debated. That's fine.

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JMJohnnyJun. 23, 13 7:28 AM

Connor Mayes was also selected first team center on Dave Campbell's 2013 all-Texas high school team. Dave Campbell publishes the definitive Texas high school and college preview magazine each year at this time. Can't recall the last time the Gophers landed a Texas high schooler rated this highly -- perhaps Aaron Brown back in the late '60's, no?

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viking53Jun. 23, 1310:23 AM

WOW! I can't imagine why a professional sports franchise would expect it's players to produce. Even if they are rookies.

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twinsvisionJun. 23, 1311:07 AM

By game 4 or 5 the Vikes should have seen enough of Ponder. When that time comes, and it will, Cassel is the player who is going to need to produce the most.

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davegovikesJun. 23, 1312:50 PM

at the top of the list is replacing percy? we played our best football of the season when he was out. why do people keep saying we cant replace him. i dont want to replace a selfish team cancer like percy. we will do much better with a player like jennings. please no more article on how much percy and kluwless will be missed.

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odb247Jun. 23, 13 2:42 PM

The only player that can't be replaced is AllDay.If he is over 400 yards by the time they go to London then it is going to be a fun season.I like this Sharif kid he is going to be a great player he should take some of the double team heat that Allen and Williams get every down and open up their game.And the Packers suck.

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deermenowJun. 23, 13 6:37 PM

Word has it Ponder is hit and miss during practices this pass week.

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Bob_NelsonJun. 23, 1310:07 PM

At least half the draft picks will be busts. Nobody knows which ones yet. Look at the history of viking draft picks and how many never panned out. If you believe every draft pick will work out then you are delusional.

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purplewvJun. 24, 13 6:37 PM

Sid, I couldn't dissagree with you more. The only 2 rookies that I see having alot of pressure from day one are P Locke, and CB Rhodes. The reason is simple, they are the only 2 that NEED to start from opening day. These 2 are replacing vets that were solid for a number of seasons. Patterson will be moved in slowly. Having Jennings, a healthy Simpson, Wright being in the Offensive system from the begining, should keep the Vikes from forcing Patterson onto the field before he is ready. Floyd is going to be Williams replacement either next season or the year afterward. He will be given a spot in the DL rotation, but will not be pushed into a starting role right off the bat. Hodges, Mauti, Baca, and Bond, will not be fighting for a starting spot, this season. Unless a couple of rookies look like superstars in pre-season, or if the team is decamated by a rash of injuries, I only see the 1st 2 players being under any pressure. GO VIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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bigmarJun. 25, 13 9:14 AM

As any educated NFL fan knows - FIRST YEAR PLAYERS RARELY MAKE AN IMPACT LET ALONE SEE THE FIELD!

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