Vikings To Trade Up?

Minnesota Vikings

With three weeks and counting until the 2003 draft, the rumor mill has begun buzzing. One new rumor has the Vikings making a trade on draft day, but not in the direction most have anticipated.

Many of us at Viking Update shared the loss that many football insiders felt when draft guru Joel Buchsbaum died last December. Typically much more accurate than the more famous Mel Kiper, Buchsbaum's take on college players -- from Randy Moss on down -- were often uncannily accurate.

With Buchsbaum gone, his employer -- Pro Football Weekly -- has been forced to go it alone when it comes to draft coverage and the paper came up with a doozy. In its latest edition, PFW reports that the Vikings are so enamoured with DT Dewayne Robertson that they are willing to trade up to the No. 4 or 5 spot -- with either Chicago (a division rival) or Dallas (which beat them to Ryan Sims a year ago) -- to asure that they get Robertson.

While VU has been contending for weeks that the Vikings have an enormous interest in Robertson, perhaps even more than they do in DT Jimmy Kennedy, viewed by most as the top DT in the draft, the odds of the Vikings trading up would seem remote at best since it would likely cost the team a third-round pick in addition to make such a deal.

FRIDAY NOTES
* From the other crazy rumor department comes this priceless gem. A Twin Cities columnist has speculated that the Vikings will use the No. 7 pick on ... a quarterback! Apparently the ongoing discussions with Daunte Culpepper mean nothing. His rationale (if there is any) is that signing Byron Leftwich or Kyle Boller would be a hedge if Culpepper wouldn't sign. A hedge? It would be a shot off the bow. Either the old guy has lost it or he's trying to be Nostradamus.
* From the "Ouch, babe" department comes this: The Vikings got their old expansion teams crossed yesterday. When the team released its 2003 schedule to the media yesterday, it listed dates, times and opponents, starting with the preseason opener vs. the Carolina Panthers. Just one problem. They play the Jaguars in the opener, not the Panthers. A correction was sent out, but some outlets printed the schedule with the Panthers on the docket and weren't too pleased.
* Corbin Lacina, who again has been benched as the result of a free agent signing, is in talks with the Buffalo Bills -- the team that drafted him and for whom he played his first five seasons. Lacina wants to stay in Minnesota, but said he understands the league is a business and wants to go where he'll have a better chance of playing.
* Remember "The Superstars?" -- the made-for-TV event that pitted athletes in events ranging from swimming to an obstacle course. Well, they're back for a pair of 30th anniversary shows on CBS this weekend and the Vikings' Chris Hovan will be one of the athletes competing. Check your local TV listings for the air time in your town.
* Beware the Bears. In looking at the breakdown of the schedules for 2003, the Bears play only one team in the final 12 games that made the playoffs in 2002. That's how the Bears won the division in 2001 and has some optimism flowing through the Windy City.

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