Apologies for the lack of updatery over the past few days. Things have been busy with Honor Guard over on this end recently, as well as there not being a whole hell of a lot of Vikings news at this point in time. We're still monitoring the Leslie Frazier situation, and if any big developments happen, we'll have them up here as soon as we can.
I'm also attempting to progress in the co-blogger search. I think I have in mind who I'd like to extend the opportunities to, but I'm still mulling it over. It will happen sometime this week, though. . .Mrs. Gonzo and I are going on vacation starting on 25 January, and someone needs to keep things moving along while my internet access is sporadic for a week or so. So, those of you that submitted writing samples can keep your eyes open for that.
So now that the regular season is done and we're down to the NFL's final four, I decided to take a look at what the folks from the DC Pro Sports Report had up already in the way of mock drafts, and I wasn't disappointed by what I saw. They've already got a sizeable number of mock drafts up, and so I started looking through them to see what other folks are projecting for the Beloved Purple on April 25th. Keep in mind that these are extremely early, and underclassmen still have about 48 hours to declare for the draft. . .hence these will change a lot between now and draft day. But, it's always fun to take a look.
The Football Expert has us taking Max Unger, an offensive lineman from Oregon:
The Vikings may look for a QB, but if they do it, it would be most likely in free agency or via trade. Matt Cassel or Derek Anderson anyone? The Vikings should look to improve its OL with Bryant McKinnie's future with the team always in doubt and many questions at RT in addition to C Matt Birk being a free agent. With the top tackles off the board, the Vikings will take the versatile Unger who should come in and play center if Birk is not resigned or play RT, assuming McKinnie is next year's LT. Unger is maybe one of the most interesting prospects in this draft.
I don't completely hate this idea or anything. . .not so much as a C, but as a RT. I think John Sullivan could do a fine job at center for this team, and will likely be put in that spot of Birk isn't resigned. The quicker we can get Ryan Cook out of the lineup, the better.
DraftTek, one of my personal favorite sites, already has a lengthy mock draft available via their simulation. . .all the way through the 7th round.
1 (23) - Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
2 (55) - James Casey, TE, Rice
3 (87) - Rhett Bomar, QB, Sam Houston State
4 (119) - A.Q. Shipley, C, Penn State
5 (151) - Ellis Lankster, CB, West Virginia
7 (207) - Cedric Peerman, RB, Virginia
7 (215) - Jamarko Simmons, WR, Western Michigan
Remember, the Vikings don't have a sixth-round pick, as they sent it to the Eagles in the epic Kelly Holcomb trade.
Matt McGuire over at Walter Football has a two-round mock available. Rather interesting picks in this one, I think.
1 (23) - Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi
2 (55) - Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest
Now, to be honest, I don't think there's any way that Smith makes it to the Vikings' second round pick. . .not if the draft were held today, anyway. But I do like the Jerry selection there. The Vikings need to start thinking about a potential Pat Williams replacement sooner rather than later. . .not to mention the potential prospect of losing both of the Williams' boys for the first four games of next season. . .and having seen a lot of Ole Miss games this season, I can tell you that Peria Jerry is a monster.
Many of these mock drafts have recognized that the QB class this year is a fairly weak one if a bunch of juniors don't declare. Many of the drafts listed in the DCPSR database have Georgia QB Matthew Stafford going to the Lions at #1 overall, and not a lot in the way of QBs after that. So, they have the Vikings simply adding talented depth to most of their depth chart.
So, other than quarterback (which is probably the obvious answer at this point), where do you think the Vikings should focus their attention in the early rounds of this year's draft? Discuss it all here, folks!