So I've decided to throw out my own mock draft for critique. I based this draft as if the Vikes followed the great off-season plan by MarkSP18 you can again find - here. For a refresher, these are the main moves from Mark's plan:
1. Restructure Allen/KWill
2. Trade Robison/Gerhart for picks
3. Release Jenkins/ C. Johnson
4. Extend Percy
5. Sign Desmond Bryant (DT), Louis Vasquez (OG), and Brad Jones (LB)
The most controversial parts of this plan are likely the trading of Robison & Gerhart. I feel like Griffen will likely want (and have earned) a starting role and the combination of his potential and Robison's age make Robison the odd man out of the Vikes' 3 stud DE. Gerhart is another player who may no longer want to only get a handful of carries and could likely have a larger role on another team. I would like the Vikes to get what they can for these players rather than simply lose them to free agency.
I'm a big fan of Mark's free agency signings as they address key areas of need and should be able to be had without breaking the bank. Hopefully the Vikes recent playoff run will result in a bit more spending this off-season and I'm not a huge fan of the gigantic contracts given lately to receivers.
As a reminder, following Mark's plan, the Vikes sit with picks: 23,52,83,99,118,120,147,149,197,211.
I'm far from a prospect expert and haven't watched tons of game tape. I also drew most of my information from walterfootball.com, cbssports.com, optimumscouting.com, and mocking the draft here at sbnation.com. Now on to my mock:
#23 - Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia, 6'3" 235lbs
I think Ogletree could give the Vikes the dynamic MLB they need. He has great athleticism, can be a hard hitter, and has previous experience at safety which he's shown with decent coverage skills.
#52 - Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor, 6'3" 205lbs
Williams could be a big target with solid deep speed as well as provide help in the short-intermediate game. I also considered Justin Hunter from Tennessee and Da'Rick Rogers from Tennessee Tech and would consider any of the 3 available.
#83 - T.J. McDonald, S, USC, 6’2” 205lbs or Bacarri Rambo (S)
I agree with Mark on this pick as McDonald is a solid safety in terms of run support & coverage and has a good combo of size and athleticism. I'd also consider Bacarri Rambo from Georgia if available.
#99 - Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State, 6’1” 190lbs
Here I sought a big-bodied CB to help with the big NFC North receivers as Cook has been unreliable to play a full 16. Slay has shown good potential and has ideal size. I'd also consider Tharold Simon from LSU.
#118 - Keenan Davis, WR, Iowa, 6’3” 215lbs
Davis is another big body outside receiver to help with the receiver group renovation. He has decent speed and has shown a willingness to block downfield.
#120 - Michael Buchanan, DE, Illinois, 6’6” 250lbs
Buchanan looks to be a tall, athletic end prospect who could provide solid depth.
#147 - Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh, 5’9” 195lbs
Graham appears to be a very fast back that could also help in the return game. Had an ACL injury back in 2011 but still shows a good deal of agility.
#149 - Attempt to trade for future 4th
#197 - Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas, 6’5” 300lbs
Hawkinson looks like a mobile, athletic blocker who could be a developmental prospect and provide line depth.
#211 - Attempt to trade for a future 6th
There you have it. Feel free to dissect my picks. I wouldn't be shocked if there was some glaring red flag with one of my selections that someone more informed may know.