Vikings coach Brad Childress and vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman addressed the media this afternoon after the Vikings completed drafting players. A quick review.
First round: No. 17 pick traded to Kansas City in Jared Allen deal
Second round: Tyrell Johnson, safety, Arkansas State, 12th choice in round and 43rd overall
Third round: No pick
Fourth round: No pick
Fifth round: John David Booty, quarterback, Southern Cal, second choice in round and 137th overall
Fifth round: Letroy Guion, defensive tackle, Florida State, 19th choice in round and 152nd overall
Sixth round: John Sullivan, center, Notre Dame, 21st choice in round and 187th overall
Sixth round: Jaymar Johnson, wide receiver, Jackson State, 27th choice in round and 193rd overall
Here’s what Childress had to say about the day-two picks and Booty in particular.
“Obviously [Booty has] played in quite a few big games over the course of his career. The thing that we liked looking at him was you could see many of the throws that we have within this offense you could see him operate and do. That was intriguing to us. And then also all his movement skills. He comes from a coaching family. Has had brothers that have played. All those things factor in. And then obviously his production, we felt like his value, where we got him there was too good to pass up.
“We got a big defensive tackle, under tackle or nose guard [in Guion]. He’s a big banger from a little small country town in Florida. Got a chance to spend some time with him, [defensive line coach Karl Dunbar] did and Brendan Daly [defensive line assistant] did down at the combine.
“And then the Sullivan kid, we talked to [Notre Dame coach] Charlie Weis today. I like some of the things that he brings to the table. He’s a tough guy, a very smart guy. He’s from Greenwich, Conn., originally. I like what he brings. And then Jaymar Johnson is a native of Gary, Ind., so he grew up by the lake. He’s not going to be afraid of the cold. He’s not from the south. He’s married. Gives you some punt return ability. He played in the Texas vs. Nation and got a chance to see him do some things there.
“Obviously, Jackson State has had a couple of good players who have come out of there. We just like what he brings in terms of return ability, speed burst and catch. That kind of finishes our draft.”
Q. Where is John David Booty at in terms of stepping into the NFL??
A. Certainly more prepared from the stage that he’s performed on. You always kind of hold judgment until you see him operate within our system around our guys. … He’s played around some speed, he’s played in some big games. But you want those skills and ability and his football acumen kind of translate to what we’re doing here.
Q. How is Booty’s movement?
A. He’s very good both to his left and to his right with movement throws. With breaking the pocket and throwing those bootlegs and nakeds. That’s probably one of the better things he did in his college career.
Q. His college coach, Pete Carroll, talked about Booty’s accuracy?
A. That’s always the thing. In this league 6 inches makes a difference, whether you are leading a guy or whether he has to reach back. Typically there is a defensive back standing back there. So accuracy is at a premium. A guy can throw it through the wall, he may have a big [arm], but can he put it where it needs to be put at the time that it needs to be put there. That’s what he does bring. He’s a very accurate passer.
Q. Do you expect him to compete with Brooks Bollinger for that No. 3 job?
A. I’d just say as he comes in here we’ll just see how he factors in. Obviously, Brooks has the experience in this system. We wouldn’t have taken a guy if we didn’t feel like he had skills and ability. We’ll watch and see how that plays itself out.”
Q. Would carrying four quarterbacks in 2008 be out of the question?
A. It wouldn’t be out of the question. Some people go with two, there have been a few that have gone with four. But you’d have to have a reason to do that. Obviously, you are going to be stealing from another position.
Q. How do you feel about your quarterback position?
A. I felt the same way about it as before. We’re adding a guy at the bottom to kind of groom and I feel the same way I did before. I feel like Tarvaris obviously is our starter, I feel good about adding Gus [Frerotte] in here with the ability to be able to come in and win football games. He’s still got ‘it.’ He has a great amount of experience. And then you have Brooks there as the No. 3 with some experience. Adding Booty kind of pushes it along.”
Q. Given some of the back-and-forth with center Matt Birk, does drafting Sullivan address that position at all? (Birk, who is entering the final year of his contract and hasn’t been approach about an extension, is not attending the Vikings’ voluntary workouts.)
A. It’s the only offensive lineman that we have right in there at that level, at that point and time. So really it doesn’t have anything to do with Matt Birk at all.
Q. Would you have liked to have gotten an offensive tackle? (The Vikings were expected to target that position.)
A. It was certainly plentiful in terms of offensive tackles. That was a good spot within the draft. But I would have liked to have gotten a lot of other things, too. You can only get so many with the picks that you have.
Q. How do you feel about the offensive tackle position, especially when you consider left tackle Bryant McKinnie’s offseason legal troubles?
A. I’m OK with it. We have Chase Johnson, [who] I believe will be a year better. You have Artis Hicks, who has that swing capability there, and Marcus Johnson. So none of that has changed. Nobody has left us in that regard there and I’d have to say that those five guys played all right last year.”
While the Vikings might be done drafting, their day is far from finished. Spielman said next up is the bidding process for players who were not drafted and now are free to negotiate with any team.