ESPN.com's two draft gurus, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper (along with Mel Kiper's hair), have updated their respective mock drafts. This is version 4.0 for Kiper and version 5.0 for McShay.
The draft is protected behind the walls of ESPN.com's In$ider section, but after the jump, yours truly will reveal what each of these men picked for the Vikings.
Bowers has seen his stock take a slight hit in the past few weeks as he faces questions about just how healthy his knee is coming off surgery for a torn meniscus. That said, the Viking should be giddy to get a pass-rushing talent like Bowers at No. 12. Once the No. 1 player in the country coming out of high school, many believe Bowers has the skill-set of a No. 1 overall NFL draft pick. While he won't be this year, he's a great pass-rusher and can give the Vikings an upgrade on the edge. With time to fully recuperate from a minor injury, his future is bright.
If you'll recall, I had the opportunity to take Bowers in the SB Nation Writers Mock Draft, and passed on him for what I thought was more of a "sure thing" in Wisconsin's J.J. Watt. While I still think Watt is more of a sure thing, if Bowers can answer the questions surrounding him and prove that his 2010 season wasn't a one-time thing, he would be a fine replacement for Ray Edwards opposite Jared Allen.
Kiper has three rounds to his mock, and has the Vikings taking Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea with the 43rd overall selection. Paea, if you'll recall, is the guy that set the new bench press record at this year's NFL Combine with 49 repetitions of 225 pounds.
McShay has the Vikings taking a defensive end as well, but not Da'Quan Bowers, who McShay actually has falling to the 20th overall pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No, McShay has the Vikings selecting the guy that we've called a "legacy" pick on more than one occasion, Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan.
Minnesota's biggest need is at quarterback but any of the remaining QBs on the board would be a reach here. Offensive tackle is another need area and Boston College's Anthony Castonzo or Colorado's Nate Solder are possibilities, but with DE Ray Edwards set to hit free agency Jordan provides better value than an offensive tackle. Bowers will be in play if his knee checks out but Jordan is a good option given his size, quickness, power and versatility.
McShay also has a three-round mock this time around, and with Minnesota's second round pick he has the team selection TCU guard Marcus Cannon.
As far as quarterbacks, McShay has seven of them going before Minnesota's second round selection. In order, they are Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton, Ryan Mallett, and Colin Kaepernick. Kiper has six (all of them listed above but Kaepernick), and has them in a slightly different order. . .the first three are the same, but his second three are Dalton, Mallett, and Ponder.