Thursday, June 13, 2013

National Friday League: Former Vikings Around the League

Mid-June seems like a good time to look closer at some of the 2012 Vikings who will be playing elsewhere in 2013. Why is it a good time?  As Bluto says to Pinto in Animal House, "Why not?"

Percy Harvin
In 2012, The Seahawks finished their last six games (four regular season, two playoffs) averaging 37 points per game. Over their last last seven games, they averaged 428 yards of offense. On a team expecting Harvin to transform the offense, I think he'd disappoint next year. On an already great offense and a legitimate Super Bowl contender, he can be a dynamic, versatile X-Factor type player that might not have 1,000 total yards but still leaves everybody in awe.

Antoine Winfield
Darren already pointed out that Antoine Winfield looks very good in Football Outsiders' cornerback analysis for 2012. But Winfield also shows up prominently in Football Outsiders' analysis of tackling: Winfield was 9th in the league in clean-up tackles (covering for others' mistakes).* Basically, in 2012 Antoine Winfield was very good, and he had an immense overall impact on making the Viking defense good. That doesn't necessarily mean the Vikes were wrong to let him go: 2013 Winfield may not be the same as 2012 Winfield, as he turns 36 this month. A dropoff could be quick, though I expect Winfield, a player who has operated on smarts and guts for a long time, will still find ways to impact positively, especially contributing to a team that ranked 1st in points allowed last year and was very strong against the pass. Winfield won't be spending as much time covering up his teammates' mistakes.

*Other notable Vikings from that analysis: Harrison Smith ranked 14th and Chad Greenway ranked 16th, and Greenway was 2nd among linebackers for pass tackles. Winfield wasn't the only Viking good enough to cover up for others. Also A.J. Jefferson looks bad here too, the second-worst pass-tackle stop rate among CBs.

Jasper Brinkley
The Vikings will be replacing the MLB position in 2013... somehow, but however they do it, it probably doesn't matter. Football Outsiders' tackle analysis shows Brinkley as terrible against the pass, with the second-worst pass-tackle stop rate among linebackers. The Vikes were good against the run again in 2012, but I've already suggested that's not really about Jasper Brinkley (Darren isn't worried about the position either). Brinkley was one of the worst starting linebackers in the league against the pass; now he joins the Arizona Cardinals. Fine, fine.

Chris Kluwe
Kluwe joins the Raiders, who for years--while being terrible--have had Shane Lechler, one of the league's best punters who was often the league's best punter (hey knuckleheads who want Ray Guy in the HOF: Lechler is by just about any way of looking at it a better punter than Guy was: he was first-team All-Pro twice as many times--six to three--and led the league in yards/punt more times--five to three. His career yards/punt ranks 2nd all-time; Guy ranks 83rd all-time. Different eras, but whatever: stop telling me what a travesty it is Guy isn't in the HOF). Now they have Kluwe, who has been pretty average in recent years. That doesn't really matter: if the Raiders are going to turn around from their perpetual suckitude, it's not going to be by focusing on having the best punter in the league. Sticking in a reliable veteran while they focus on making the rest of the team a little less shitty will be fine.

Michael Jenkins
Looking at the Patriots depth chart, WR is not a terribly impressive position: it's conceivable that Jenkins is a productive possession receiver, and it's conceivable that he gets cut before the season starts. But here's the crazy thing: if Danny Amendola, who has an injury history, gets hurt, Jenkins could be fantasy relevant. Without Amendola, couldn't he become the possession receiver as the TEs go running around downfield?

Geoff Schwartz
If you're a backup interior offensive lineman who could end up out of the league because you're a non-descript interior lineman, going from a team with Adrian Peterson to a team with Jamaal Charles is probably just fine. Explosive, talented running backs like this have a way of making an offensive line look good and making a team feel satisfied with its offensive line. Schwartz played 15% of the Vikes' offensive snaps last season;

Ryan D'Imperio
Do you have an opinion about D'Imperio joining the Chiefs? Good for you! It's nice to have thoughts about football! Crap: I think I just got an opinion. Decent fullbacks move around a lot before finding a place, and even after they find a place, teams don't tend to need a backup fullback. It's not a position teams seem to value. We might see D'Imperio become one of those good blocking fullbacks we hear about.


  1. I like Jenkins. I'll be semi-rooting for him, which is more than I can say for Poopy Harvin.

    1. Poopy Harvin! Good one, Peter.

      I will be following his progress with Seattle, however. I'm interested to see what impact he's going to make for that team because the offense was rolling along pretty good last year without him.

    2. It could he a negative impact if they adjust their offense to accommodate him. I will be interested to see his numbers through 8 games compared to mid-season last year.

      I hope your drive is going well as I write this! you might be done before you read it, I suppose.

    3. The drive is going well so far. Staying in Minot, North Dakota tonight and then off to Duluth tomorrow for 2 or 3 days.

    4. Excellent! Enjoy Minnesota! Buy a Vikings trinket at a gas station or some tourist-y place. Enjoy your family!