I know what you’re thinking – Why would the Vikings need to draft a DE with Jared Allen, Ray Edwards and Brian Robison manning the ends of the defensive front?
Well the truth is that the Vikings may soon need to address the DE position considering Edwards is a restricted free agent (RFA) and may be catching the eye of other teams in the league. Bob Cunningham of bleacherreport.com reports that the Philadelphia Eagles may make a push to acquire the RFA.
Edwards has been tendered by the Vikings at the 1st round level, meaning that the Vikings have offered him a 1-year contract and if he decides to sign with another team the Vikings will have the right of first refusal. If Edwards signs with another team and the Vikings don’t match, they’ll receive a 1st round pick as compensation.
Although the 4-year veteran has not garnered as much attention as All-Pro DE Jared Allen, Edwards has made a name for himself by stepping up his play this past season and specifically in the postseason.
Edwards recorded a career-high 8.5 sacks last season with 51 tackles. He exploded onto the scene with a huge performance during the 34-3 rout of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Round Game. Edwards recorded 3.0 sacks of Cowboys QB Tony Romo while tying a team record for the most sacks in a single postseason game and in a postseason. He also set a team record for the most sack yards in a playoff game and in a postseason. Along with his sacks, Edwards collected 8 tackles, including 2 for a loss, 5 QB hurries and a forced fumble.
So if the Vikings were to lose Edwards, who would replace him?
One option the Vikings have is an internal one. Brian Robison has shown effective production this past season, especially over the span of the Vikings last 4 games with 3.0 of his 4.5 sacks in 2009 recorded during that time. Robison has spent all 3 of his seasons in a Vikings uniform and has room to develop into a regular contributor at DE.
The other option that seems feasible is to draft a DE. The Vikings would receive a 1st round pick in place of Edwards and could possibly use that pick to draft another DE. The 2010 draft class is loaded with DEs, many of whom may go in the 1st round – Derrick Morgan (Georgia Tech), Jason Pierre-Paul (South Florida), Everson Griffen (USC), Carlos Dunlap (Florida) and Jerry Hughes (TCU) just to name a few. Any of these players may be a great fit on the Vikings defensive front.
Tags: Brian Robison, Jared Allen
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 12 Comments »