Mayock: Vikings need a playmaker

April 15th, 2009 – 1:04 PM by Judd Zulgad

There has been plenty of talk about the Vikings taking a right tackle in the first round of the upcoming draft, but NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock doesn’t feel that’s the position at which Minnesota needs the most help.

“I know these guys pretty well,” Mayock said, who is the analyst on the Vikings’ preseason telecasts. “It’s painful sometimes to watch them on offense because they’ve got maybe the best football player in the league in No. 28 [Adrian Peterson]. Yet, their productivity at the quarterback position has to get better and they need to find a way to get bigger chunks of yardage than just handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson. If they are OK with the two quarterbacks [Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels], I think they have to find a playmaker and that’s where I think their challlenge is at 22.

“If a guy like Percy Harvin slides [because of off-the-field issues], which I think he will. If he’s sitting there at 22 do you take a chance with a kid that’s got some real off-the-field issues but could be a human-highlight reel? But I really believe, and I know there are questions about right tackle with Ryan Cook, they lost [Marcus] Johnson to Oakland. But they need to find a way to make some plays.”

Mayock went on to say that he would like to see the Vikings take West Virginia quarterback Pat White in the second round.  There has been some concern about what position White will play in the NFL. “[I would] line him up as a Wildcat with Adrian Peterson,” Mayock said. “I think that would give defensive coordinators nightmares.”

Asked later in the call to elaborate on White, Mayock said: “He’s one of the very special players that there aren’t many of every year and I’ll probably say the same things about [Florida quarterback] Tim Tebow next year, even though they are different sizes and shapes. They are the kind of kid you want with the ball in their hand. I don’t care if he’s running it, catching it throwing it, I want the ball in Pat White’s hand because he does good things with it.

“As far as a pure quarterback, there are teams that like him only as a quarterback and I think will take him in the third round. There are other teams that see added value in the return game and maybe as a slot receiver in the Wildcat, thus the second-round pick. If I was a GM, I would take him in the second round with no hesitation. I’d make him a Wildcat this year and I would try to develop him in the offseason as a full-time quarterback because I believe he has that kind of ability.”

Of course, the unknown factor in all of this is whether Vikings coach Brad Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell would be open to running the Wildcat. Yes, Peterson and White could be extremely dangerous in the same backfield but one would think that Peterson and Chester Taylor could create havoc if paired together and that hasn’t happened all that often in the past two seasons.


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