Our Remaining Picks, By Round
Round 4, Pick 23, No. 118 Overall (Acquired from Cleveland)
*Round 4, Pick 33, No. 128 Overall
*Round 4, Pick 39, No. 134 Overall
Round 5, Pick 3, No. 138 Overall
Round 5, Pick 4, No. 139 Overall (Acquired from Cleveland)
Round 6, Pick 5, No. 175 Overall (The Vikings got this pick from Cleveland in a trade for DE Jayme Mitchell.)
Round 7, Pick 3, No. 210 Overall
Round 7, Pick 3, No. 211 Overall (Acquired from Cleveland)
Round 7, Pick 16, No. 223 Overall (The Vikings got this pick from New England in the trade for WR Randy Moss.)
*CANNOT BE TRADED | compensatory picks for losing Sidney Rice and Ray Edwards in free agency in 2011.
There's a lot of depth in this round and I think teams will look to move (down) because of that depth and because they'll be able to get a similar developmental players later. We've got a plethora of picks in rounds 4 and 5 to work with, thanks to Cleveland, so I would like to see us try to get up higher in the 4th round. I wish we would've kept our 4th round pick and traded the one we got from Cleveland because (98) or rather the 3rd pick when the draft starts back up tomorrow looks a whole lot better than the 23rd pick. (118) is not good enough to get some of the top prospects (see below) that remain available for the picking. We could trade our 4th (118) and 6th (175) to move up to the 100 range. With the amount of trades that have happened already in this draft I feel it's a good possibility.
Also we should look to package any remaining picks, like our pair of 5th rounders, to move up into the 4th again after that. There's just too many good prospects available in the 4th still and we cannot just sit back and rest on our laurels and watch them go somewhere else. We're a 3-13 team that can use as many impact rookies and developmental starters as we can get our hands on. We gotta pinch, scratch, and claw our way back to the top of the NFC North and if we could walk away with four 4th round picks I'de be happy because for 1. We always do good in the 4th round and have found starters there before. 2. We don't need this many picks it would be unwise to keep them all. What are we going to bring in 10+ rookies into camp and expect to come away with starters with all of them? No. However, there is a good chance we could hit on at least 2 of the 4 picks in that 4th round. That would leave us with only our three 7th round picks, assuming they are not included in any deals, but that's okay. We drafted 3 solid A-rated players already + 4 picks in the 4th round = 7 players + 3 gambles in the last and final round and we got 10 picks, the same number we started with! However we didn't start with 7 picks in the top 150! We need the quality not the quantity.
Now onto my favorite remaining prospects:
Bobby Massie, RT, Ole Miss
Massie who measures in at 6-foot-6 and 318 pounds, played right tackle exclusively at Ole Miss. Leading up to the draft many had him pegged with a 2nd round grade. Some even believed he could've cracked the first round. Many felt it wouldn't be a complete shock if a team took him in the top half of the second round over Mike Adams. His agent even goes as far as saying he's "the best right tackle in this year's draft class," Massie is too strong to be bull rushed, and he has the athletic ability to mirror well in pass blocking. "The fluidity of movement at right tackle is what separates Massie from everyone else." his agent Schwartz said.
If all that is true and he's still out there he should draw consideration because what's not to like... He's big, strong, and a three-year starter at right tackle. Loadholt isn't that great, he struggles a lot actually and was a bigger weakness on the line than Charlie Johnson last year. Massie is still a little raw and could use more experience and development but there were stretches where he would simply overwhelm defenders and he had some quality games this season. Massie can come in and play right away or sit and develop it don't matter he's still a value pick this late in the draft since many considered him a future starter at right tackle in the NFL. Since we got Matt Kalil why not take Bobby Massie who would give us bookend tackles to protect Ponder.
Brandon Boykin, CB/K&P Returner, Georgia
There's been a lot of talk about finding players who fit our scheme later in the draft well here's one. Boykin is a physical slot corner who is strong in run support and is solid in zone coverage and a special returner to boot. Frazier and the rest of the Vikings staff must have seen that at the senior bowl, seeing him firsthand will definitely be in the back of their minds.
We can assure our defensive backs are not going to be weakness in the future with this pick. Winfield is retiring soon enough and while there's no doubt in my mind that Josh Robinson will one day start opposite Chris Cook we still need a nickle corner. The nickel role is still VERY important in today's NFL with the pass happy offenses that spread you out (like the packers and lions). When Winfield retires he could take over until then he provides good depth and contribute as a prolific returner on special teams.
Marvin Jones, WR, Cal
Marvin Jones from Cal Berkley might just be one of the most underrated offensive prospects in the entire 2012 NFL Draft and in reality Jones has first-round talent and skill set. As far as WR's that are left go he's the one I really want. Jones is one of the most pro-ready players available and might be able to become an immediate contributor in the league. There's a chance he falls to us in the 4th but that's not a chance the Vikings can afford to take. With a plethora of picks in rounds 4 and 5 to work with, thanks to Cleveland, the Vikings could offer their 4th rounder (118) and 5th rounder (139) in order to move up and get him. There's a lot of depth in this round and I think teams will look to move (down) because of that depth and because they'll be able to get a similar developmental player later.
Draft expert Mike Mayock of the NFL Network believed Jones would be a third-round pick. "He's a good blocker. He's got good speed, good size. He's a smooth receiver. What I like is he fights for the ball -- comes back for the football, attacks the football. He’s simply got a lot going for him. "Jones is the most technically sound receiver in this class," wrote New York Times NFL blogger Matt Waldman, who ranked Jones as the No. 4 wideout in the draft. He's not a every down starter (at least not right away) but he's very talented and can come in and make an impact. That's all we can ask for this late in the draft really. "He's got squeaky clean intangibles and according to him, "I've been this guy my whole life. There wasn't one time you've seen me in a negative light." No red flags at all so what's not to like about him, and honestly why did he fall to the 4th round?
There's not much talk about Jones but I don't understand why. I feel Jones is not only one of the best left but one of the best in this draft class overall. So why is he so underrated? Unfortunately, Cal's quarterbacks couldn't match Jones's natural talents and quite frankly it's caused him to be undervalued coming out. We have seen in the past this does cause some prospects to drop further than they should in the draft. In Jones’ three seasons as a starter, Cal’s primary starters at QB – Kevin Riley and Zach Maynard – had a combined completion percentage of 56.7. Despite Cal’s underwhelming quarterback play Jones was still productive at Cal -- career totals of 156 receptions for 2,270 yards and 13 touchdowns - but he was overshadowed a bit by Cal star receiver Keenan Allen.
While Zach Maynard clearly favored his brother Keenan Allen, which limited Jones's touches in his senior season, Jones still had some great moments and has done a great job proving his worth and showcasing his pro credentials in this predraft process. He's a lock to be picked in the first three or four rounds of the NFL draft. He stood out as the top wideout on the North squad of the Senior Bowl, and as we all know that's the side the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff got to coach this year. Jones performed well in front of coaches, scouts and general managers in the week of practice leading to the Senior Bowl, then caught a touchdown in the game.
He's got all the measureables with good NFL size (6'2" 199), measured in with long, 33 1/8-inch arms and massive 10 1/4-inch hands (second-biggest among wideouts this year). With long arms and big hands there's no wonder why Jones displays a great catch radius. He's got good range and makes great adjustments to mediocre throws. He ran a 4.46 forty time (third-fastest among wideouts 6-2 or taller). He's very athletically gifted and showcases good short-area burst and footwork to separate from defensive backs in one-on-one drills, he stands out in his ability to run crisp and precise routes. No one on Cal's team has made more spectacular catches along the sidelines than Jones, who has caught at least one pass in 37 straight games. He can also contribute as a punt returner.
CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang compares Jones to Chad Ochocinco (when he was still known as Johnson and actually making plays) in terms of on-field playing style. After watching his game tape, NFL Films guru Greg Cosell observed that Jones displayed the "widest catching radius of any wide receiver I evaluated." Rotoworld draft analyst Josh Norris, thinks Jones' draws comparisons to Donald Driver but I've also heard from other's there are comparisons to Mike Wallace. With that kind of upside to his game I think he's more than worth a 4th round pick.
Who knows at the very least he could turn into a similar player to Wallace's teammates Antonio Brown as an intriguing player who starts out in the slot where he could excel in space and develop his way to starting outside. While at first glance he may not appear to be a guy with monster potential with the number one receiver upside we're in need of but how many times have teams underrated receivers who only go on to prove yes they are that talented, a lot! I think Jones will prove to be the same. He'll develop into a very consistent, solid wide receiver but even as a rookie he's got the skills to make an impact. He's this year's Denarius Moore.
Alameda Ta'amu, NT, Washington
While a 4-3 NT isn't a huge need I don't think Guion is the answer and one day, maybe next year, we'll be looking for a new starter there. Why not jump the gun and draft one of the biggest tackles to come out in years. Ta'amu at the very least has that one thing that teams covet in the National Football League: SIZE. Ta'amu will not be moved off the line of scrimmage much, if at all. Ta'amu will be a force in the run game but also play a roll in our pass rush simply because he helps our pass rushers to go up against single blockers a great majority of the time. His ability to act as an anchor and take up two blockers would free up our linebackers to make plays and we could once again return to being one of the top run defenses in the league.
Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
McNutt is an underrated prospect and could be a steal at this point in the draft. He made 82 catches for 1,315 yards and 12 touchdowns this year and could have had even more production if he played in a better offense for a more passing-friendly school. The one good thing about him playing where he has though is he's above the curve in his ability and willingness to block. We all know the NFL places a premium on WRs that can block and McNutt brings a lot of experience and skill in this regard.
He was a big-play threat for Iowa's offense and produced big plays in all levels of the defense and beat secondaries with a combination of size and speed. He's got prototype size standing 6-foot-3 and runs good crisp routes and is capable of making big play grabs. He is a deep threat despite lacking the elite speed. His deceptive quickness gives him the ability to stretch the field while his hands and he has very good hand-eye coordination as he tracks the ball very well to make tough catches look easy. I think he's a strong possession target type who can move the chains on third down, give Ponder a big target and another weapon to throw to in the redzone. His leaping ability makes him a dangerous redzone threat. He has long arms and highpoints the ball well making many of his catches away from his frame. With large hands he won't drop many balls.
His main concerns are his speed. While McNutt couldn't get separation from Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard bringing his ability to separate in the NFL into question, if he had gotten the better of Dennard though then I would like to point out he wouldn't be available with this selection, he would have been a first or second round pick. He's not starter material, at least not right away, but just because he is not ready to start doesn't mean he can't come in and contribute as a rookie. He'll likely be a threat in the redzone as a rookie and develop into a more complete player, probably following the usual 3 year curve for receivers coming into the NFL.
Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest
Givens, who probably should have stayed in school another year before going pro, caught 83 passes for 1,330 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011. It was his first season of big production after modest years in 2010 and 2009. Raw developmental starter type potential with dangerous game changing speed. Would be a solid 4th round pick in all regards.
Other names on my list:
Antonio Allen, SS, South Carolina
Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Audie Cole, ILB, N.C. State
Markelle Martin, FS, Oklahoma State
Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, NT, Baylor
Senio Kelemete, OT/G, Washington
Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
Juron Criner, WR, Arizona
Dwight Jones, WR, UNC
Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington
Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami
George Iloka, S, Boise State
Ron Brooks, CB, LSU
Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina
Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State
Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas
Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas
Jeff Fuller, WR, TAMU
Chris Owusu, WR, Stanford
Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State
Chris Rainey, RB/R, Florida
Janzen Jackson, FS, McNeese State
Greg Zuerlein, K, Missouri Western