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Vikings Twitter mailbag, Part 2: Draft scenarios, offensive tweaks

MINNEAPOLIS -- Thanks to all of you who submitted questions for this week's Minnesota Vikings mailbag. You can submit them at any point during the week on Twitter, using the hashtag #VikingsMail.

@GoesslingESPN: It's certainly an interesting idea -- and I think Gregory could ultimately wind up as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. In the future, a defense with Everson Griffen, Anthony Barr and Gregory would have two things coordinators crave in 2015: speed and flexibility. Is Gregory strong enough to engage blockers and anchor at the point of attack, as the Vikings ask defensive ends to do in Mike Zimmer's system? That's a bit of a concern, as are his off-field issues. But from what I know of Zimmer, he's not going to pass on a player because of his past if the coach believes he can mold him. The Vikings love the culture they're building around Barr and Teddy Bridgewater, and if they think Gregory is the best player available, I can see them betting on their ability to work him into their system, both on and off the field. They've spent enough time around him before the draft to get a good idea of what he's about. I'm skeptical he'll be around at No. 11, but if he's there, he's a strong possibility.



@GoesslingESPN: It depends on how the top 10 picks of the draft shake out, but if Marcus Mariota is still on the board when the Vikings pick, I could see them entertaining offers from teams that need a quarterback. Now, recent reports would suggest Mariota isn't likely to make it out of the top 10, but that's probably the best way for the Vikings to get a nice offer to move down. Teams would probably know they'd need to get around the Cleveland Browns at No. 12 to have a shot at Mariota, and the nice thing about the Vikings' position is that they could go several different directions and probably still be happy with their return from the first round. That's one scenario I'd keep in mind. General manager Rick Spielman often talks about how he likes to have 10 picks and the Vikings are currently at seven; the best way to add a couple more is probably to do something with their first-rounder.



@GoesslingESPN: I liked the idea of Collins initially, but after learning more about him, I'd have the same concern you raised here. Collins is a force in the run game and has gotten better in pass coverage, but as much as the Vikings like to move Smith around in the defense, blitzing the quarterback and sometimes playing near the line, they could use a safety whose forte is deep coverage. If Collins gets better protecting the middle of the field, he could be a nice pick for the Vikings for many of the same reasons as Gregory; putting him next to Smith would open up a range of options for the defense. But the Vikings would probably need to be convinced that Collins will be able to hold his own in pass coverage before they take him at No. 11.



@GoesslingESPN: According to Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman, Vikings quarterbacks coach Scott Turner recently paid a visit to Montana coach Bob Stitt to learn more about the innovative passing game Stitt has used to take college football by storm. Turner told Feldman he was particularly interested in Stitt's array of screen passes, and seeing what the Vikings did in Year 1 with Teddy Bridgewater, that's not hard to believe. They planned plenty of high-percentage throws for Bridgewater, and the screen pass he hit for the game-winning 87-yard touchdown against the New York Jets -- a throw to Jarius Wright out of a trips-right formation -- became a pet play for the Vikings toward the end of the year. With Mike Wallace in the fold and in light of the Vikings' continued hopes for Cordarrelle Patterson, it makes sense to leverage a group of receivers that should excel after the catch. The Vikings also showed an interest in running the ball out of shotgun sets, and whether it's Adrian Peterson or Jerick McKinnon in the backfield, they should benefit from an ability to run the ball after spreading defenses out. I wouldn't expect to see the core of the Vikings' offense change much, but offensive coordinator Norv Turner has talked about looking for ways to freshen up his well-traveled scheme. The Vikings implemented some read-option looks with Bridgewater last year, and Scott Turner's trip to Montana is part of the ongoing hunt for new ideas.

That'll do it for this week's mailbag; thanks for all the great questions, everyone. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and we'll talk to you on Monday.