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A Senior Bowl safety for Vikings fans to watch

Posted by: $author under Quarterbacks, Vikings, NFC, Super Bowl, Vikings fans, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Sidney Rice, Vikings draft Updated: January 28, 2011 - 1:51 PM

It's hard to get excited about the quarterbacks in Saturday's Senior Bowl. None of the six in the game is projected to be drafted higher than the second round, although you never know with Jake Locker, the Washington QB who could sneak into the first round if scouts determine he's skilled enough to overcome a senior season that clobbered his draft stock.

FIRST DOWN:

I'll be watching Locker. But I'll also be looking at the defensive backs. The Vikings are desperately undermanned in the secondary. They need two new starters at safety, more depth at cornerback and possibly even another starter at corner.

I'd love to see this team come up with a big-time playmaker at safety while Jared Allen and Kevin Williams are still in their prime up front.

One safety who has stood out this week in Alabama is Oklahoma's Quinton Carter. He looks the part at 6-1, 211 and figures to be a free safety in the NFL. With a good Senior Bowl, Carter is projected as a second-round pick.

If the Vikings take a quarterback in the first round, their second-rounder should be spent on a defensive back or an offensive lineman, I think. If Carter can be a playmaker at safety, he'd certainly fill a hole in the second round.

According to those who know a lot more about the draft than I do, there are a couple of really good safeties, but the depth overall is pretty weak this year.

SECOND DOWN:

I think we'll be blessed with another entertaining Super Bowl next week. A year ago, the Saints upset the Colts. The year before that, Santonio Holmes made that great touchdown catch of an even greater throw from Ben Roethlisberger to beat the Cardinals in an exciting finish. The Giants upset the 18-0 Patriots the year before that. Who can forget David Tyree making that  catch by pinning the ball to the top of his helmet as he was falling? The only thing as good as that individual effort was Eli Manning escaping the pass rush to make the throw.

Remember when the gripe every year was how boring the Super Bowl was? Well, that just hasn't been the case for some time now.

Of all the great Super Bowls we've had, which play is your favorite? There are a lot to choose from, but I'd have to go with Steelers' linebacker James Harrison's 100-yard interception return for a touchdown as time expired in the first half of Super Bowl XLIII.

It was great for so many reasons. The Cardinals were about to score a touchdown right before the half, but Harrison made the pick. Then the return might have been the best return in league history. James just kept running and dodging Cardinals. 

By the time he was inside the Cardinals' 10-yard line, the clock had run out. Two Cardinals, including Larry Fitzgerald were close to pushing him out of bounds at the 1, which would have ended the half. But James somehow tumbled into the right corner of the end zone.

Best play I ever saw in a Super Bowl. And there have been many great ones. Best drive was Joe Montana's to beat the Bengals in the closing seconds of Super Bowl XXII.

THIRD DOWN:

Speaking of those Senior Bowl quarterbacks, are there any you like, and would you take a guy in the third round thinking he is going to be your franchise QB? The Browns did that with Colt McCoy last year, and they might end up being right.

There's Colin Kaepernick of Nevada. He's projected for the second round.

Projected third-rounders in the game are Andy Dalton of TCU, Locker and Florida State's Christian Ponder. Iowa's ricky Stanzi is looking like a fourth- or fifth-rounder. And then there's Alabama's Greg McElroy, a sixth- or seventh-rounder.

The one QB I have the strongest feelings on is McElroy. And from what I hear, I wouldn't want to draft him. From all accounts I've seen, he just doesn't have the arm strength to be effective in the NFL. The way the game is played now, a QB needs superior arm strength to compete against modern defenses.

FOURTH DOWN:

So agent Drew Rosenhaus predicts client Plaxico Burress will pull a Vick and leave prison and rejoin the NFL. Burress, the former Giants receiver who ended up in jail on weapons charges after accidently shooting himself in the leg at a New York nightclub, hopes to pick up where he left off, but it probably won't come in New York.

Burress is 33, and it could take him a year to get his legs back under him. Is he worth taking a risk on if the Vikings lose Sidney Rice to free agency?

I probably wouldn't take a chance on him, but the dude sure could play before he ended up in jail. He's due to be released this spring after spending 20 months in jail.

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