The Vikings' passing offense finished 2007 ranked 28th in the league, a major reason the team signed…
Shockey encouraged Shiancoe to leave Giants last year
According to an anonymous source who spoke with the Newark Star-Ledger, New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey told Visanthe Shiancoe "he'd be better off playing for a team that features a receiving tight end in its offense."
The story also says that Shockey had originally told Shiancoe to stay in New York, because he was leaving, and Shiancoe would then be the Giants starting tight end.
Shiancoe signed a five-year, $18 million contract with the Vikings before last season, where he caught a modest 27 passes for 323 yards and one touchdown.
What Shockey said or didn't say isn't really that important and likely had little bearing on Shiancoe's signing with Minnesota.
Nevertheless, the West Coast Offense does typically involve the tight end in the passing game, but Shiancoe will need to show more consistency getting open and catching the ball if he's going to reach his full potential with the Vikings. He has all the physical ability in the world, but he seemed to struggle at times picking up the complexity of the offense, one he had never played in before coming to Minnesota. Expectations for him will be higher in 2008.
Any offense that features Adrian Peterson, however, could also be considered a run-first offense, so Shiancoe may in fact never see the ball as often as originally thought possible.
A deal the Vikings need to make
Without question, most people are convinced the Vikings' potential trade for Chiefs' All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen is a deal they need to make.
This realfootball365.com opinion piece lays out some pretty good rationale for pulling the trigger if they can work out the contract details with Allen and the trade parameters with Kansas City.
The team's biggest need is a defensive end who can pressure the quarterback and last year's NFL sack leader (15.5) is currently available at a price you can afford, especially after the shrewd move by VP of player personnel Rick Spielman a year ago to pick up that extra third-round draft pick from the Denver Broncos.
If the Chiefs are willing to accept Minnesota's No. 1 pick and one of their two No. 3 picks, Allen essentially becomes their top pick and they still have picks throughout the rest of the draft to continue fortifying their roster for the future.
Ex-Oregon DT on Vikings radar
Victor Filipe played with several NFL stars while he was at the University of Oregon, including former Highland High School (Salt Lake City, Utah) teammate and former first-round pick (No. 12 overall by Baltimore in 2006) Haloti Ngata. But you won't find him in most pre-draft books heading into this year's big day.
Filipe transfered from Oregon to Western Oregon after a season-ending elbow injury, and subsequently fell off the NFL radar for most draftniks. But after an impressive workout on his pro day, NFL scouts might be dialing him in once again.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Filipe has been contacted by the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers. Neither team has committed to drafting him in this coming weekend's draft, but he could become a priority free agent after the 6-foot-2, 300-pound defensive tackle showed quick feet and the burst to turn in a 4.8 40-yard dash at Utah's pro day last month.
A pro prospect coming out of Western Oregon isn't beyond comprehension. After all, the same school produced tight end Kevin Boss, of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, a year ago. Western Oregon, is a Division II school just outside of Salem, Oregon, and about an hour's drive from the Pacific Ocean.
Filipe originally saw action at Pac 10 Oregon, but transferred to Western Oregon after and elbow injury in 2006.
Don't be at all surprised if Filipe is a player the Vikings pursue immediately following the draft in an attempt to bring him into training camp with them this summer, where they are looking for developmental prospects to groom behind veterans Pat Williams and Kevin Williams.
Filipe is the kind of sleeper-type prospect that defensive line coach Karl Dunbar might be able to develop.
Another day, another mock draft
There's a new mock draft (or two) virtually every day now. This latest, from the folks at thefootballexpert.com would have the Vikings taking Clemson's Phillip Merling at No. 17 if they're still picking there.
The 6-foot-4, 276-pound defensive end prospect is coming off hernia surgery but is expected to run for scouts on April 24, this coming Thursday, just two days before the draft.
Previous numbers on Merling have him clocking the forty in 4.63-4.84 seconds. If he proves himself healthy enough to run anywhere in that range, he will likely solidify himself once again as a mid-first round pick.
The book on Merling is that he could be the best all-around defensive end in this year's draft, and he'd be an excellent anchor end (LDE) prospect for the Vikings. He also brings a John Randle-type non-stop motor to his game and would fit right in on the defensive line in Minnesota. But some scouts question his overall sack production and long-range pass rush potential.
The injury question still clouds the picture on his anticipated draft slot, so that's why his workout later in the week could be critical in terms of where his rookie contract negotiations can be expected to begin.
Greenway on hand for spring workouts at alma mater
Vikings starting weak-side linebacker Chad Greenway was among the list of former Iowa Hawkeyes on the sidelines to observe this past weekend's spring drills at his alma mater.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz also welcomed Bob Sanders (Colts), Nate Kaeding (Chargers) and LeVar Woods (Titans) to watch his team run drills.