Many of the Vikings woes last year can be placed on Favres shoulders.

Season Review: While for many of the teams picking in the top half of the draft, 2010 opened with a lot of hope, the Vikings didn’t make it to week one before cruel, crushing reality set in.  Brett Favre was supposed to repeat his magical 2009 performance, and the team as a whole was expected to get over the crippling interception Favre gift-wrapped to Tracy Porter in the NFC Title game.

As it turns out, getting that far would have been a miracle.  Those expectations began to wither as Favre spent yet another offseason creating drama, away from camps and his teammates.  Other Vikings followed suit, and training camp became a joke as entitlement dominated part of the locker room and alienated the rest, all while Brad Childress stood around and did… nothing.

Then Favre- predictably- came back, and the regular season started and… nothing.  Their only two wins in the first eight week of the season came against equally woeful Detroit and Dallas.  The offense was anemic and the defense porous.  While they were still alive in the playoff race fairly late in the season, and commentators and analysts tried to spin the possibility of a winning streak to close the season, anyone watch knew- it was over.  2011 begins with a new coach, (hopefully) the conclusion of the StarCaps legal battle, the possible retirement of cornerstones of the team, and finally- the end of Brett Favre.

Needs: The biggest is obviously Quarterback.  Their options on the roster are Travaris Jackson, Joe Webb, Patrick Ramsey and Rhett Bromar.  None of those names screams ‘starting NFL quarterback’.  However, they could also be severely depleted along the defensive line- the ‘Williams Wall’ is likely breaking up through a combination of free agency, suspension and retirement, and while Jared Allen and Ray Edwards are certainly a great pair of defensive ends, their production will drop without the Williams clogging up the middle.

However, if you enter the draft in desperate need of a quarterback, you take a quarterback.  Their options at #12 are likely Cam Newton (of Auburn, but you knew that), or Blaine Gabbert of Missouri.  It depends what new head coach Leslie Frazier wants to do, but with receivers Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin, not to mention a receiving tight end in Visanthe Shiancoe, and an established running game with Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, they have no need of a scrambling quarterback.  They need someone who can stand in the pocket and evade pressure well enough to get the ball downfield.  Gabbert can do that.  He is somewhat raw, so there will be a transition period for him- but at least there will be a real reason for optimism after 2011.