It was all there for the taking for Minnesota -- the NFC championship, a trip to the Super Bowl and a chance to replace the Saints' sensational story with Brett Favre's. And then ... The Interception.
That was followed shortly thereafter by The Coin Toss and The Field Goal, the latter handing New Orleans a dramatic overtime victory and the NFC crown. So Minnesota begins anew in 2010 as one of the conference favorites, if Brett Favre returns again -- though the general consensus is that he will.
But the Vikings were banged-up in their 2009 run, losing linebacker E.J. Henderson to a grisly broken leg in Decemeber, and cornerback Cedric Griffin to a torn ACL in that fateful championship contest. Both positions are spots where the Vikings could use some help, especially at cornerback, where the team desperately needs to upgrade in general.
But it's not the only option as pick No. 30 rolls around.
Previous Pick: Jets -- Jared Odrick, DT/DE, Penn State; Up Next: Colts
(Note: The poll is now closed. Click here for the latest on the 2010 NFL Mock Draft, Fans' Picks Edition)
Dan Williams, DT, Vikings: I mean, this is a rather ridiculous fit. Williams, a hugely talented DT with top-15 potential, sliding to Minnesota at 30 -- a team that employs The Williams Wall up front, in the form of Kevin and Pat Williams at DT. I mean, this pick almost has to happen, doesn't it? Pat Williams is getting up there in years and Dan Williams would ensure that the Vikings stay stout in the defensive interior.
Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB, TCU: Minnesota could really use a player at ILB, but Hughes might be too good to pass up. If nothing else, the VIkings could try to adjust him to playing on the weakside and try to ensure that there's depth there if Ben Leber walks in 2011. Hughes' TCU teammate, Daryl Washington could be an option for the same reason.
J.D. Walton, C, Baylor: You haven't heard this name before in our mocks because a first-round grade isn't realistic. Walton's a second-day type of guy most likely. But that said, with Maurkice Pouncey off the board, Walton's probably the next-best option at center. He was an All-American in his senior year at Baylor and had a very good year for a very mediocre team.