The NFL Scouting Combine is now in full swing and the event allows us the opportunity to begin speculating how NFL teams will use the draft to improve their roster.
No position on any team is exempt from being addressed via draft picks, including the left side of the Vikings offensive line. On one hand, the Purple featured 2 Pro Bowlers in that spot during 2009 season. On the other hand, though, one could raise concern in light of LG Steve Hutchinson’s nagging injuries last season and the choices LT Bryant McKinnie made in the week leading up to the Pro Bowl.
If your focus tends to drift toward the negative, perhaps you view OL as a need for the Vikings heading into the 2010 NFL Draft.
But I don’t see the need at all.
Admittedly, McKinnie has dealt with off-field transgressions, but on the field the mammoth LT has been an effective player for the Vikings during his entire career. McKinnie has paved the way for All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson to rush for over 1,000 yards in each of the last 3 seasons and he did the same for Chester Taylor back in 2006.
As far as the LG position goes, the Vikings haven’t had a worry since Hutchinson arrived in 2006 and they likely won’t have to worry about that spot for another 4-5 seasons.
Hutchinson has been arguably the best player at his position in the NFL since he entered the league in 2001. He’s a 7-time Pro Bowler who has blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his 9 NFL seasons – Shaun Alexander from 2001-05, Taylor in 2006 and Peterson from 2007-09.
After talking with fellow vikings.com writer Mike Wobschall, it’s agreed that McKinnie and Hutchinson are still playing very well and aren’t soon approaching a drop-off.
As a result, don’t count on the Vikings using an early-round pick to address either position along the left side of their offensive line.
Tags: Steve Hutchinson
Posted in All, CJ Siewert, Mike Wobschall | 2 Comments »