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Vikings Twitter mailbag part 2: Todd Gurley, DE help and more

4/3/2015

MINNEAPOLIS -- Thanks to all of you who submitted questions for this week's Minnesota Vikings mailbag. You can submit them at any point during the week on Twitter, using the hashtag #VikingsMail. After tackling the first half of this week's mailbag on Saturday, we'll conclude things today.

@GoesslingESPN: Good morning, everyone, and a happy Easter Sunday to those who are celebrating it today. We talked Saturday about the development of Scott Crichton, as well as the Vikings' pursuit of several defensive ends this offseason. I do think they want help for their defensive-line group, and I thought it was interesting that Mike Zimmer said at the owners meetings last month that the Vikings could do more to help Brian Robison than they've done so far. Robison will be 32 this season and logged more than 900 snaps last season. That was largely because of Corey Wootton's ineffectiveness as a third defensive end, and I think it was Robison's play in the run game that dipped as much as his pass-rushing productivity. He's still likely to be the starter this year, but of course he'd be helped by a system that can keep him fresher. Zimmer has said on several occasions that the Vikings were asking Robison to do some new things last season, and I don't think they've written him off. At this point, though, he probably will have to bring up his level of play to keep himself around for 2016; he has no guaranteed money left in his contract after this season, and with a $5.05 million cap hit in 2016, he'd be a prime candidate for a restructured deal.



@GoesslingESPN: Should the Vikings wind up trading Adrian Peterson, it will be interesting to see if they take a run at Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon in precisely the scenario you mentioned. No. 11 is too high for either player, but if the Vikings were to trade Peterson for a second-round pick, I could see them looking at moving up to get one of those two backs. Gurley's health is a concern, of course, but he might be the more complete running back of the two. He only fumbled three times in college -- worth noting in light of Gordon's problems hanging on to the ball -- and broke 114 runs of 10 or more yards since 2012, according to ESPN Stats & Information. In the event there's a Peterson trade, this is worth keeping in mind.



@GoesslingESPN: I think that's a lot of it, though Michigan State's Trae Waynes certainly helped himself with a standout performance at the combine. Both Waynes and Marcus Peters are tall, long-limbed corners who would excel in press coverage, though both will have to learn how to walk the line between physical play and penalties in the NFL (as Xavier Rhodes did). But yes, Peters' run-ins with coaches at Washington are certainly affecting his draft stock in the minds of some teams. As high-profile and stressful a position as cornerback is in the NFL -- and as hard as Mike Zimmer and Jerry Gray coach their corners -- you need to know you're getting someone who can take criticism to heart, deal with it constructively and improve. The 11th overall pick is too high an investment to spend on someone with character concerns, and I'm sure the Vikings have spent plenty of time trying to figure out whether Peters would fit with their group (remember, younger players are likely to get additional coaching of sorts from Terence Newman this year, too). But Zimmer hasn't been afraid to take on players with something to prove in the past -- he certainly wasn't scared off by Adam Jones' off-field issues -- and if the Vikings feel comfortable with their evaluation of Peters' character, I wouldn't rule him out.



@GoesslingESPN: This one comes from Derek Wetmore, who does a fine job as the senior editor of 1500ESPN.com and writes in reference to former Vikings receiver Greg Jennings ' April Fools Day prank of teasing he had signed with a new team, only to reveal he hadn't. Personally, I'm of the belief that you're never too old to celebrate April Fools' Day, and I can always appreciate a good prank. This one, though, seemed pretty obvious as soon as Jennings announced he was revealing his new team at midnight Central time on April 1. And for a player who got cut two years into a $45 million contract, I'm not sure I'd be drawing so much attention to the fact you're still on the open market. Jennings has always been savvy about marketing himself through social media, though, and he enjoys a healthy back-and-forth with his Twitter followers. Kudos to him, I guess, for having some fun with the fact he hasn't found a new team yet.

That'll do it for us here, but we'll be back early this week with a longer look at a question from one of you about what another good draft would do for Rick Spielman's legacy. Enjoy your weekend, have a happy Easter and we'll talk to you soon.