Vikings win some, lose some with recent draft
Vikings draft mountainous muscle man from Miami: At 6 feet 8 inches tall and 337 pounds, left tackle Bryant McKinnie is actually bigger than the Vikings coach. But kidding aside, McKinnie will be a cornerstone on this team for years to come. Yes, years to come. Just imagine how effective Daunte Culpepper will be if he isn't plastered on the ground on every play. That dream could be a reality since McKinnie didn't give up a sack in college.
The Vikings also did good by drafting linebacker Raonall Smith from Washington State, strong safety Willie Offord from South Carolina, and free safety Brian Williams of North Carolina State. All three will see significant time this year, if they don't win the starting jobs that is. Plus Smith, Offord and Williams are all fast, good against the run and heavy hitters, all elements the Vikings defense has lacked since the days of the Purple People Eaters.
Cowboys-Chiefs tag-team Vikes: The Vikings were given an unfair shake when the Cowboys and Chiefs swapped the sixth and eighth first-round picks so the Chiefs could get North Carolina's defensive tackle Ryan Sims, the draftee the Vikings coveted. The reason this deal was unfair to the Vikes is because the Cowboys' clock had run out of time for selection, but the trade with the Chiefs went down anyway. The Minnesota front office should really send a complaint to the commissioner about this draft day fiasco. And why not? They could pick up an extra pick or two in the coming drafts.
But I'm glad the Vikings ended up with McKinnie instead of Sims, because everyone brought their A-game against McKinnie in college. But what will Sims do now that he isn't lining up with former Tar Heel teammate and No. 2 overall pick defensive end Julius Peppers? Sims will now be the focus of most offenses' blocking schemes.
Diagnosed with Cris Carter: It may not seem like it right now, but the team will be better without Cris Carter. It may seem bad because of what he has contributed to the team and the community over the years, but his fiery attitude on the field and toward the press was the cancer eating away at the team. I call this a cancer because once Carter began spouting off and whining, it spread. But with him gone, the tumor has been removed and the team is ready to rebuild. Expect a lot more winning than whining this year.
Andy Carlson is a junior from Rushford-Peterson High School. To respond to an opinion column, call 252-1111, category TEEN (8336); write Teen Beat, Post-Bulletin, P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903-6118 or send e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.