this is my first mock for the Vikes in 2012 -- it will most certainly change as the rankings shift, but i wanted to get my thoughts down on paper.
this also isn't exactly what i think will happen, but rather, what i'd like to happen.
i am going under the assumption that we will have the following picks in Rds:
(obviously anything in parenthesis is probable and may be subject to change.)
firstly, i'm hoping we upgrade via free agency with:
CB -- Brandon Carr (KC)
WR -- Stevie Johnson (BUF) or Reggie Wayne (IND)
maybe LaRon Landry, but his achilles is a concern and apparently he doesn't want to opt for surgery (yet)... so that's too big of a question mark to pursue, at this point.
this will set the tone for the direction we go in the draft. so, on that note...
LT - Matt Kalil (USC) -- this is still so hard to project, as we don't know if the Rams will end up taking Kalil, or Blackmon, or trade down. i've waffled over this for so long, but i think ultimately the Rams will trade down for a king's random to whichever team wants RG3 the most. anyone who has recognized my posts knows i'm a huge fan of Reiff, but if Kalil falls in our lap at #3 i've finally turned the corner on the "no-brainer" pick. should the Rams draft Kalil, then we should trade down and, at this point, i'm a fan of Reiff over Martin.
(of course, the best-case scenario would be the Rams take Blackmon, and the Browns are willing to swap picks with us to block any other team from getting RG3, and we get more picks and still take Kalil at #4. highly unlikely that will happen, though.)
LB - Lavonte David (Nebraska) -- some may consider this a reach for David's size, but this kid is solid and our LB's need an upgrade. David is quick, a good tackler and sound in coverage. projected at the WILL, he could probably compete to start Day 1.
*** Round 2 Trade Alert...!! ***
alright, admittedly, this is kind of fuzzy in a mock to say, "here's where we trade, but i don't know how we get this pick just yet..." -- perhaps if we trade down in Rd 1, we get an extra pick here in the 2nd. or, we trade a 2013 pick, or a player, or... you get the point. what i want to emphasize here is, we make a trade (potentially with the Patriots at #50, which was Oakland's pick) and finally address our DB needs and draft...
CB - Casey Hayward (Vanderbilt) - a bit underrated right now, but i fully expect that to change over the next couple weeks/months. we should get a good look at him in the Senior Bowl, as well. he's a bit small at 5'11" for what we want, but all-around he is a great prospect and has the potentially to seriously improve our secondary.
WR - Marvin McNutt (Iowa) -- oh, how i hope this happens... he may improve his stock to climb into the 2nd rd, and while he isn't a deep threat, he's about as reliable as you can get from a WR.
(comp3) -- we're going to be lucky to get a compensatory pick in the 3rd, but the speculation is we have a good shot at just that. going back to the DB pool...
SS - Harrison Smith (Notre Dame) -- originally i had Winston Guy Jr here, but i just got turned on to Smith, and holy hell, he is good. check out his YouTube highlights if you have a chance. looks to be a smart football player and possibly a starter down the road (if not sooner).
LB Emmanuel Acho (Texas) -- just fortifying our LB depth here. there are likely other areas to address with this pick, but Acho could end up being a good steal in the middle rounds.
TE George Bryan (NC State) -- the loss of the Sauce is going to be felt, and it will hurt a lot more if we don't get another blocking TE. Bryan is a fantastic blocker and while he isn't considered a receiving TE, he can still be relied upon to catch the ball every now and then.
DT Akiem Hicks (Regina) -- i honestly haven't followed Hicks enough to know a whole lot about him, just watched him a bit in the East-West Shrine Game and read he has a lot of potential. still raw, but with some coaching we might have another steal on our hands here.
BPA -- i don't want to seem like i'm copping out with all of our 7th rd picks, but at this point i really feel the BPA approach is the way to go. might find a diamond in the rough, even if it's at a position we don't necessarily "need to address".
welp, that's it for my first stab at the 2012 draft. quick recap:
1 - LT - Matt Kalil (USC)
2 - LB - Lavonte David (Nebraska)
(trade2 - CB - Casey Hayward (Vanderbilt)
3 - WR - Marvin McNutt (Iowa)
(comp3 - SS Harrison Smith (Notre Dame)
4 - LB Emmanuel Acho (Texas)
5 - TE George Bryan (NC State)
(6 - DT Akiem Hicks (Regina)
7 - BPA all the way
any impressions you may have, i'd love to hear them.