Interview with Scott Wright of NFL Draft Countdown


Okay, so I know a lot of guys love the draft speculation, the mock drafts, and the NFL scouting combine.  Well, one of the best (and 100% free) sites out there is nfldraftcountdown.com, run by Mr. Scott Wright.  I had a chance to interview him about the scouting combine, the NFL Draft, and what he thinks the Vikings will (or should) do.  Follow after the jump to get Scott's well informed opinion on all things NFL draft.  And check out his site if you haven't.  Oh, and good spots still remain for mockdraftapaloozafeststock, email me at tglover47d@aol.com if you want to participate.  Okay, shameless plugs over.  Go read the interview

DN:  Now that the combine is over, who do you think made the biggest impression, both positively and negatively?

Scott Wright:  Well that’s kind of relative.  Some of this year’s stars were actually expected to work out well so it wasn’t really a surprise.  Maryland OT Bruce Campbell and USC S Taylor Mays are perfect examples.  I think one big storyline was the offensive tackles and of the consensus Top 4, who could all be taken in the first dozen picks, Russell Okung of Oklahoma State, Bryan Bulaga of Iowa and Trent Williams of Oklahoma really solidified their status while Anthony Davis of Rutgers was a little disappointing.  USC OT Charles Davis also helped his cause and looks like a potential late first round pick now.  Pittsburgh TE Dorin Dickerson had an amazing workout, running a 4.40 and perhaps pushing himself into the top two or three rounds.  Notre Dame WR Golden Tate ran better than expected with a 4.42, Cal RB, Jahvid Best had a very good showing, Miami (FL) TE Jimmy Graham has a freakish blend of size (6-6 ¼, 260) and speed (4.56) and Alabama CB Kareem Jackson was quite a bit faster than everyone anticipated.  Meanwhile South Florida DE Jason Pierre-Paul continues to be one of the most talked about prospects in scouting circles and is a legitimate Top 10 overall pick.  As you can see I could go on and on but those are a few of the guys who stood out.  As for players who may have hurt themselves, I’d probably single out Ole Miss DE Greg Hardy  and Michigan CB Donovan Warren.

DN:  Who’s better, Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy?  Also, you had 5 DT’s going in your last mock on Feb 11th, including Tennessee DT Dan Williams to the Vikings with the 30th pick.  Is DT the deepest in talent this year?  If not, what is the deepest?

SW:  It’s basically a 1A and 1B situation with Suh and McCoy but I gave the ever so slight edge to Suh.  However, it’s like ice cream and cake:  They are both great!  Defensive tackle is definitely the strongest position in this draft and not only do you have those two elite talents at the top but there is also tremendous depth throughout the early rounds.  In fact, this could be one of the best defensive tackle classes ever!

DN:  The Minnesota Vikings need help at DT, CB, and QB.  You currently have them selecting a DT.  Did anything that you saw at the combine change your mind, or does DT still make the most sense?

SW:  Well, I keep hearing the talk about cornerback for the Vikings and while I agree that it’s a need I’m just not so sure it’s a first round priority.  If they did go that direction in Round 1 guys like Kyle Wilson of Boise State, Devin McCourty of Rutgers and Patrick Robinson of Florida State would all be logical targets.  I still think defensive tackle is a possibility as well since Pat Williams is 38-years-old.  As for quarterback, the Vikings are really playing with fire.  Even if Favre comes back for another season they desperately need to bring in a top youngster to start developing as an eventual heir to the throne.  Unfortunately for Viking fans it appears as though Brad Childress is still enamored with Tarvaris Jackson (for some unknown reason) so don’t expect them to nab a signal caller in the early rounds.

DN:  Based on what the conventional wisdom is on the positions the Vikings need combined with their draft position, who do you see as the top CB and QB available if they don’t draft a DT like you predict?

SW:  As I mentioned in the previous answer I think Kyle Wilson of Boise State, Devin McCourty of Rutgers and Patrick Robinson of Florida State would all make sense in late round one if Minnesota wanted a cornerback.  As for quarterbacks, the two most likely options would be Tim Tebow of Florida and Colt McCoy of Texas.  Now I’m not big fans of either one and I think they both have serious questions marks.  With that said there is at least a chance of them eventually developing into good starting quarterbacks in the NFL whereas we know Tarvaris Jackson can’t get the job done.

DN:  The QB position seems to have a lot of big names, but shallow on NFL talent.  Let’s say Tim Tebow doesn’t go in the first round, does he slip all the way to the third?  Do you see him being a fit for the Vikings if they go in that direction? 

SW:  Well, first of all let me say I am very confident that Tim Tebow won’t make it to the Vikings in Round 3 and I still think there is a good chance somebody will grab him in the first round.  Remember, it only takes on team to fall in love with him.  With that said, I think the Vikings would be a great fit for Tebow and probably give him as good of a chance to succeed in the pros as anyone.  With the Vikings he could sit and develop for a year or two with no pressure to play, which is something that is essential.  Now I think Tebow would be a major reach in Round 1 but at the same time I would like the pick if I were a Vikings fan because unless they start preparing now Minnesota will be an 8-8 team again when Favre is gone.

DN:  The Vikings philosophy since 2006 has been to select the best player available.  Positional needs aside, who do you see that being at the 30th pick, and do you think he’ll be on the board or already gone because of positional needs from other teams?

SW:  It’s so hard to say because you never know who is going to fall.  My guess is there will be an early run on offensive linemen so the top guys will all be gone before the 30th pick.  The value late in round one will be at wide receiver with guys like Arrelious Benn of Illinois, Golden Tate of Notre Dame, Demaryius Thomas of Georgia Tech but the Vikings really don’t have a need there.  Based on value and Minnesota’s need I guess cornerback will probably be the best match.

DN:  Most people are familiar with the first round names, but tell me a guy to look out for in the 4th or 5th round that I should get excited about if the Vikings call his name.

SW:  How about Ole Miss QB Jevan Snead, who was considered to be a potential Top 10 pick last summer.  He has some technical mechanical issues that need to be straightened out but he has early round talent and starting potential.  With good coaching and development he could be a steal.

DN:  Who has the biggest bust potential and why?  Who’s the biggest sleeper and why?

I would say Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford has major bust potential.  He comes out of a spread offense, has a surgically repaired throwing shoulder and you don’t know how he will withstand an NFL pounding.  I’d be scared to death to invest $75 million on that guy.  

 

As for an underrated player, I’ll say Ole Miss DE Greg Hardy.  In my opinion he is a legitimate first round talent but character concerns and an inability to stay healthy will lead to him falling to the middle rounds.  Still, I have always been a big fan of Hardy’s and if he can get healthy he could be a steal.

DN:  Finish this sentence:  The Minnesota Vikings will have a successful draft if__________________

They land a quarterback who can realistically be expected to replace Brett Favre, whether it be in 2010, 2011 or 2012.

Once again, thanks to Scott Wright of NFL Draft Countdown.  Hope you guys enjoyed it.

 

 

 

 

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