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Every year the Vikings say they will take the best player available in the draft and every year they end up drafting for need; they’ve just gotten better at evaluating talent since the Red McCombs era.

If there was ever a year in which the Vikings should pay more than lip service to that axiom, this is it.

First, obviously, if you stick to the principle of taking the best player available, your only consideration is talent and fit, will this player be a good fit for your team–in the locker room and in the scheme? Great football teams are made up of great football players. Simple.

If you end up having a surplus of talent at a given position, then perhaps thatĀ embarrassmentĀ of riches will serve as currency for post-draft trades.

More importantly, though, is the fact that aside from the running back and kicking positions, the Vikings have needs at every position.

If they stick to simply choosing the best player available, they’re going to fill a need.

That’s how they should approach the draft. But that’s not how I think they will approach the draft.

It sure sounds like they want a quarterback in a bad way. Unless all this talk is simply a smokescreen intended to elicit trade offers, the Vikings brain trust is not comfortable going into next season as Joe Webb the presumptive signal caller.

I’m comfortable with that scenario. He’s raw, yes, but we saw a good deal of improvement from him during his brief on-field performances and he certainly has the presence and confidence to play the position. I feel a lot more confident that Webb will turn into a quality quarterback than I did with Tarvaris Jackson that early in his career.

The thing is, taking a quarterback not named Newton or Gabbert would appear to put you in the same exact spot as if you were starting Webb next year.

I’ll be happy going into the season with Webb at QB and a couple of stud rookie offensive linemen to protect him and block for Adrian Peterson.

This draft is also deep in quality defensive linemen and outside linebackers, so don’t be surprised if the Vikings stock up on those positions.

Conversely, the draft is week on cornerbacks, so unless the Vikings have a chance at Patrick Peterson or Prince Amukamara, it’s probably not wise to pick defensive backs early.

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