To start, let's take a look at how the third round has gone to this point.
Oakland - Tank Tyler, DT, North Carolina State
Detroit - Drew Stanton, QB, Michigan State
Cleveland - Ikaika Alama-Francis, DE, Hawai'i
Tampa Bay - Quinn Pittcock, DT, Ohio State
- Arizona - Justin Durant, LB, Hampton
Denver - Victor Abiamiri, DE, Notre Dame
- Miami - Ryan Harris, OT, Notre Dame
So, with that, here are the guys I took into consideration for the 72nd overall pick.
(Scouting reports again taken from NFL Draft Countdown)
40-yard dash time: 4.32
Has good size with a strong, solid build...Runs good routes and just knows how to get open...Physical and knows how to use his body...Was extremely productive and a big play threat...Hands are big and reliable...Good body control and adjusts well to poorly thrown balls...Natural athlete with nice quickness who timed faster than expected...Agile and elusive in the open field...Has a nose for the endzone.
Does not play up to his timed speed and he will have a considerably tougher time separating from pro corners...His concentration and focus have been an issue at times...Has trouble beating the jam at the line...Is only an average blocker...Fell of as a senior and did not have the great final campaign that most were expecting.
Almost went pro after his junior season...One of the most prolific wideouts in the college game the past few years...An overachiever whose lack of ideal physical tools will become more apparent at the next level...Is not the elite pro prospect his statistics might lead you to believe but he can still be a solid #2 or #3 option.
I know that we've already snagged one wide receiver in the mock draft to this point. . .but, really, can the Vikings actually have too many new faces at WR this year? I don't think so. Hell, I was actually thinking about taking him in Round 2.
40-yard dash time: 4.81
Has very good size and the frame to get bigger yet...Superb blocker...Knows how to get open and use his body...Great focus and concentration...Extremely reliable hands...Physical and will deliver a blow rather than accept one...A good redzone target...Tough and has proven that he will play through pain...Has been relatively durable for the most part...Smart and a team leader with exceptional intangibles.
Average athleticism...Lacks the timed speed and quickness you prefer...Not a big play threat and won't stretch the field vertically...Doesn't provide much after the catch...Needs to play with more consistent leverage as a blocker...Had his college career cut short by injury and it is unclear how healthy he'll be prior to the draft.
Father, Ken, played football at Nebraska and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills...He began his college career as a defensive end...Missed the Gophers bowl game in '06 after he underwent reconstructive shoulder surgery...A great all-around tight end who does everything well but nothing great...He is not the dynamic receiving threat that the pros are looking for these days but could be an excellent backup.
Frankly, I think that Spaeth was probably the best TE in the nation last year. Yeah, Greg Olsen has that pretty 40-yard dash time. . .he also probably couldn't keep me from getting to the QB in terms of blocking. Plus, Spaeth is, as the owner of All Things Scottish might say, friggin' huge.
40-yard dash time: 4.88
Has excellent size and the frame to get even bigger...A good athlete who is quick and explosive...Versatile with experience at both end and tackle...Has good range and pursues well...Sure tackler...Strong and gets a good push...Able to penetrate and makes plays in the backfield...Hard worker with top intangibles...Has upside.
A DE / DT 'tweener who might not have a true position at the next level...He does not have great speed...Plays too high and leverage is an issue at times...Can get knocked back when he lets his technique slip...Not a dynamic pass rusher...Missed most of the 2005 season with knee injuries and durability is still a major concern.
His father, Ray Sr., played wide receiver for the Gators back in the 1980's...Was overshadowed by Marcus Thomas and Jarvis Moss to a degree but he had a great senior season and saw his draft stock soar...Could realistically play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 defensive scheme...Needs to stay healthy but has some intriguing physical tools and could interest 34 teams as an end or 43 teams as an undersized tackle.
McDonald is rather intriguing. With Pat Williams possibly approaching retirement, McDonald could be a candidate to replace him if he can add some more mass. We might even be able to play him at end.
40-yard dash time: 4.67
A fantastic all-around athlete...Very good timed speed and quickness...Tough and physical...A disruptive pass rusher...Has a motor that never stops and is excellent in pursuit...A hard worker with top-notch intangibles...Has some versatility...Good special teams player and kick blocker...Lots of experience...Was quite productive.
Does not have the ideal bulk that you look for...Does not necessarily translate his workout numbers to the field...Needs to get stronger...Struggles versus the run and at the point...Has trouble shedding blockers...Lacks fluid hips and top change of direction skills...Not real explosive and lacks a burst...Minor durability concerns.
Also a standout track star for the Longhorns in the shot put and discus...Began his career as a middle linebacker...His father, Jimmy, played linebacker on Ranger Junior College's National Championship team in the 1970s...Cousin, Casey Jones, played offensive guard at Texas Tech (1994-96)...Has a 40+-inch vertical leap...A bit of a workout warrior who could surprise...Could project to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme at the next level...A solid backup at worst and perhaps a lot more.
Robison looks like the kind of guy that could be a very good situational pass rusher for the Vikings. It doesn't look like he's ready to be a full-time DE yet, but if he came in for Udeze in passing situations, he could be a very nice addition.
All four of these players, in my opinion, would provide immediate help to the Vikings at their respective positions.
But, in the end, I have to look at where the Vikings struggled the most last season on offense. . .other than Brad Johnson's complete and utter suckage at the quarterback position, I mean. That place would be in the red zone, where we saw way too much of Ryan Longwell and far too few end zone celebrations by the purple.
So, that being said. . .
With the 72nd pick in the 2007 SBNation Mock Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select
Matt Spaeth, TE, University of Minnesota
Discuss away, folks!