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Today's pre-draft S.O.R.T.

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • April 28, 2011 - 4:15 PM

-Update: Mauer is supposed to talk shortly in the Twins' clubhouse. It's about time. 

My old friend Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News has five quarterbacks going in the first 12 picks, with the Vikings taking Andy Dalton.

The latest ESPN reports speculated that Blaine Gabbert, perhaps the best quarterback prospect in this draft, could fall to the Vikings at 12.

Other speculation includes the Vikings trading down to take Dalton later in the first round.

It’s easy to mock the mock drafts, because inevitably so many of the projected picks will be wrong.

Let me defend the wild prognostications: Whether we’re talking about Gosselin, Mike Mayock, Mel Kiper or Todd McShay, these people are well-connected, study tape and do their homework. Their mock drafts will wind up looking partially inaccurate not because of any failings on their part, but because they are predicting future events influenced by people who are good at keeping secrets.

Here’s my favorite scenario, the one that would most benefit the Vikings: They trade down from No. 12, take a quarterback later in the first round, and pick up an extra pick that will help rebuild an aging roster.

Of course, I’d also like to see Gabbert slide to them at No. 12. But if that doesn’t happen, I’d rather see them take a quarterback later, acknowledge that he’s going to need time to develop, and concede that this will be a rebuilding season.

-The Twins are pathetic right now. There are so many reasons to criticize them now.

Their unwillingness to take the field, or take questions, are two embarrassments for the franchise.

Delmon Young hamstrung his team by waiting so long to go on the disabled list, and he went on the disabled list after hitting prodigious batting practice home runs, then bailing out of Wednesday’s game. Pathetic.

At times during the last two years, I’ve advocated trading Francisco Liriano and Young. My thinking was that they were at maximum value but couldn’t be trusted to continue to excel. If they had traded Liriano for a good young pitcher and a power reliever, and Young for an ace, how would this team look now?

Also, it’s time for Joe Mauer to stand up and explain his situation. He’s a $23-million-a-year franchise player who is of interest to every sports fan in Minnesota, and he hides in the back room in the Twins’ clubhouse. Let me name a few players who understand that being a star, a franchise player, carries responsibilities like facing the media: Kirby Puckett. Torii Hunter. Johan Santana. Derek Jeter. Alex Rodriguez. Adrian Peterson. Kevin Love. Rich Gannon. Actually, the list is too long for even the internet to hold it.

-I think Roger Goodell will get booed in New York tonight, and I think he deserves it. The NFL has botched every step of its attempted lockout, and Goodell, a former lawyer, miscalculated this plan or failed to prevent others from implementing it. The NFL is getting embarrassed every day.

-As bad as the Twins are, they’ve been in far worse straits and still won the division. In 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2009 they were buried later in the season and rallied to win the division or force a playoff.

Being in a team slump is not the big problem for this team. The big problems are long-term health (this team won’t win without Mauer catching a significant number of games) and the bullpen (who do you trust right now in the ‘pen - Matt Capps and....?)

This bullpen was built with the idea that Joe Nathan, Jose Mijares and Capps would be the three key endgame relievers. Right now, the Twins don’t know what they’re going to get from Nathan and Mijares.

This team will eventually hit. It will eventually get healthier. It will, if history is an indication, patch together the middle infield. But the bullpen is an enduring concern.

-I’ll check in later. Right now I’m in the Vikings’ media room with Strib colleagues Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins, who have been providing blanket coverage of the draft.

My twitter handle is @Souhanstrib.

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