On April 19th, 2011 rick Gosselin came out with his first of three Mock Drafts this year. He will update those this week and traditionally will post his last draft on Wednesday . Why is this important? Because he is the best draft prognosticator in the country. Year after year he does the absolute best job. And guess what? He can't judge talent worth a crap. And he admits it. But he does have the best list of NFL contacts inside each team. He listens to those contacts and tells people what is really going on inside. His first couple of drafts are based on team needs and things he hears and teams tendencies in the draft. The last draft will be 100% based on what he hears. No matter what other mock drafts are saying his will be based on inside information unknown to most.
Anyway, here is a list of his first 32 draft picks
1. Carolina: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
2. Denver: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
3. Buffalo: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
4. Cincinnati: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
5. Arizona: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
6. Cleveland: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
7. San Francisco: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
8. Tennessee: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
9. Dallas: Tyron Smith, OT, Southern Cal
10. Washington: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
11. Houston: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
12. Minnesota: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
13. Detroit: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
14. St. Louis: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
15. Miami: Mark Ingram, HB, Alabama
16. Jacksonville: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
17. New England: Cameron Jordan, DE, Cal
18. San Diego: Ryan Kerrigan, OLB, Purdue
19. NY Giants: Mike Pouncey, C, Florida
20. Tampa Bay: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
21. Kansas City: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
22. Indianapolis: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
23. Philadelphia: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple
24. New Orleans: Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
25. Seattle: Danny Watkins, G, Baylor
26. Baltimore: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
27. Atlanta: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor
28. New England: Ryan Williams, HB, Virginia Tech
29. Chicago: Jon Baldwin, WR, Pitt
30. NY Jets: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
31. Pittsburgh: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
32. Green Bay: Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona
So, the Vikes have no opportunity for either of the top 2 DTs, WRs,QBs,and CBs. The best DE is gone. The best OT is gone. The linebacker group this year is very weak. The other O-Line positions are not considered stellar.
There is however, a very good class of CBs which should be available in the 4th and 5th rounds. An exceptional class of NFL size and speed CBs. Good reason for the Vikes not to reach here for Jimmy Smith.
A) There is a very good class of DEs available ( including the medical mystery Da'Quan Bowers). If the Vikes have an eye for a certain 2nd best DE in the class taking one here would be a good pick, but perhaps called a reach.
B) There is a very good class of three or four OTs this year. Drafting Anthony Castonzo makes sense if the Vikes value him at this lofty a pick. Apparently Castonzo is not only the smartest OT in the draft, he rivals many for the smartest player in the draft.
"When he was in grammar school, Castonzo was put in English and math classes with the kids in the grade ahead of him. In high school, he had a 4.2 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. He scored a 35 out of a possible 36 on the ACT. His GPA at Boston College was 3.5 with a major in biochemistry. On the Wonderlic test NFL teams use, he scored 41 out of a possible 50. Boston College nominated him to be a Rhodes Scholar."
The knock on Castonzo is that he isn't a mauler. More of a finesse type run blocker. Not the mean streak kid that will blast holes for AP.
C) There are three available QBs that could go in the later 1st round.. You already know them. Locker, Ponder, and Dalton. If the draft does work out this way ( first 11 picks) and the Vikes Love one of the three they could simply pick the player. It might be a reach but it is never the wrong time to pick your QBOF. Don't forget the cardinal rule. Never pass on a franchise QB. We can argue whether any of these are going to be franchise QBs, but that is not my point. The Vikes could move back and risk losing that QB. That will probably only happen if they really like two of the QBs and will settle for either of them.
I don't believe the Vikes will take Castonzo. Although smart, the new offensive coordinator has said that he wants players that are tough, hard working, athletes to play on our offense that mirror our defensive players. This is not Castonzo.
I can see the Vikes taking Locker or Cameron Jordan at #12. Moving down a couple of spots maybe. But after all this time I am amazed at how truly unsure I and everyone else is about this pick.
Is it Draft Day Yet?