The latest incarnation of the 2011 NFL Mock Draft from the folks at the mothership is their first two-round version, as the pre-Combine mocks come flying fast and furious across the internet. I just might have to get in on the act for one of these things, but it will probably end up being at SB Nation Minnesota because. . .well, because we need the traffic over there.
But in this week's mock draft, the SB Nation folks have the Vikings going offense with both of their selections. With the first selection, we're back to where I believe they had us at in the first place, selecting Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Minnesota's desperation for a quarterback seems higher than other teams', and this is a good value spot for Gabbert.
Gabbert is still ranked by many as the top QB prospect in this year's class, so to get him at number 12 would be decent "value," I suppose. The folks at the mothership are, apparently, starting to buy into the Arizona Cardinals.hype, as this mock has him going ahead of Gabbert, all the way up at number five to the
In the second round, the Vikings turn to the offensive line, taking guard Danny Watkins out of Baylor.
Watkins' stock is soaring after a strong week at the Senior Bowl, and the Vikings need a long-term replacement for Steve Hutchinson.
Where Watkins ranks among guard prospects is a bit of a point of contention. The folks at Draft Countdown have him as the third best guard in this year's draft behind Florida's Mike Pouncey and TCU's Marcus Cannon (who is still available when the Vikings pick in this mock and who I think I'd prefer over Watkins if we were going to go guard), Walter Football has him as fifth best (behind Pouncey, Villanova's Benjamin Ijalana, Florida State's Rodney Hudson, and Cannon), but the consensus is that he's one of the better guards available. It's a shame that Pouncey doesn't last until the Vikings' pick (the Redskins grab him two picks before the Vikings in this mock), but I have a feeling that his stock is just going to continue going upward between now and draft time.
Still, if the Vikings were to take a guard, I think it wouldn't be as Hutchinson's long-term replacement, but as someone to compete with (and, likely, take over) Anthony Herrera's spot at right guard. The combination of Hutchinson and McKinnie on the right side is still pretty good, but the right side of the line was awful for most of 2010. Hopefully Phil Loadholt will be 100% next year and either Herrera or a replacement will be good to go by the time camp starts, too.
What do you think of SB Nation's selections for the Vikings in their most recent mock draft?