Questions Answered: The MIN-LAC Trade Idea, Sauce or Sting, Vikings as Contenders

Nov 14, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) tries to elude Los Angeles Chargers safety Alohi Gilman (32) after catching a short pass in the third quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the April 5th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to [email protected].

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

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Q: Saw the talk about the Chargers trading up with the Vikings in the draft because they want a better tackle than Storm Norton. I don’t blame them. What would the trade look like?

Nov 7, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle Storm Norton (74) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

A: Well, the Vikings would obtain the 17th pick in the draft — five spots below the current position — and Los Angeles would grab the 12th pick. Then, the Vikings would probably get the Chargers 2nd-Rounder (57th overall), while Minnesota ships a 5th-Rounder or so westerly.

We’re all for it.

Q: You guys have talked a lot about Sauce Gardner and Derek Stingley. If both are available at #12 for Minnesota, who are you taking?

Nov 20, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Ahmad Gardner (1) and cornerback Coby Bryant (7) react after cornerback Arquon Bush (not pictured) blocked a field goal by the Southern Methodist Mustangs in the second half at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

A: Without hesitation, we’ll take Gardner.

His college resume was more impressive. He claims to be the best player in the draft. And his NFL Combine was fantastic.

Garnder was healthier than Stingley Jr. in college, which means a lot in the grand scheme of things. He feels like a surer thing — exactly what a team wants with the 12th overall pick.

Although unlikely to be on the board at #12, we endorse Gardner if he’s available. Otherwise, a pivot to Stingley is reasonable, too.

Q: Are the Vikings really contenders or is this “run it back” thing stupid?

Aug 19, 2021; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell looks on during a joint practice against the Las Vegas Raiders. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A: For the Vikings to be considered real contenders, one must admit — or proclaim — Mike Zimmer was sole the problem with the 2021 Vikings. That’s what all of Minnesota’s offseason moves have implied, keeping the roster relatively intact.

We believe the Vikings can assuredly improve on an eight-win season with O’Connell in the saddle, but sad to say, everyone has to wait until autumn to see if the new regime is the anti-Zimmer in every way.

On the whole, the roster, if healthy, has the talent to burrow deep into the postseason. But the offensive line has to pass-protect, which hasn’t happened effectively since Steve Hutchinson and Bryant McKinnie retired.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).