My first idea was to take the overall rankings from CBSSports.com and the Vikings draft picks (23, 54, 85, 101, 119, 150, 199, & 215) and match the picks to the overall rankings. While fun at first, it lead to a mock full of RBs, CBs, and OTs which doesn't look as good as it might sound. So instead of going straight picks to rankings (#23 pick=#23 overall ranked prospect), I decided to pick players at or within 10 spots of the pick (#54 pick, choose any player ranked between 54-63). I don't know how up-to-date their rankings are, but its interesting to see where they rank guys and where they think they'll ultimately be taken. These guys may end up going several rounds up or down from where they are ranked, but if the NFL ranked 750 prospects just as CBSSports has, then this could be how the Vikings draft pans out:
Round 1, Pick 23: Xavier Rhodes, CB Florida State (CBS overall ranking - #23) - This is the one straight pick to ranking pick I'll be keeping for this exercise because I would love it if he were to become a Viking. Cook and Rhodes have similar builds and skill sets and would make a great 1-2 CB combo for the Vikings D. Improves secondary depth and relieves some of the Vikings dependence on a healthy Winfield.
Round 2, Pick 54: Quinton Patton, WR Louisiana Tech (CBS #55, CBS #54 is OT/OG Kyle Long) - Patton is one of those players, that while ranked 55th, could end up being picked much, much earlier. Getting him here is a steal both talent-wise and fit-wise. Patton could be a Day 1 starter at the split-end position.
Round 3, Pick 85: Sylvester Williams, DT North Carolina (CBS #89, CBS #85 is CB Darius Slay) - Williams is a popular high round pick in most mock drafts because he is a bit of a freak athlete and is expected to test well at the combine. However, he isn't as good a pass rusher as he is a run stopper and that alone could push Williams down draft boards as interior pass rushers are more highly valued.
Round 4, Pick 101: Jonathan Cyprien, S Florida International (CBS #102, CBS #101 is CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson) - Cyprien is a good looking prospect out of a small school. He has the speed/length to defend the deep ball, but may be best working downhill in the run game. Not elite at anything, but good at just about everything. would be a nice back-up plan if Sanford does leave in FA.
Round 4, Pick 119: Vance McDonald, TE Rice (CBS #127, CBS #119 is OT Xavier Nixon) - McDonald might not be a traditional weapon for Ponder, but he is a big capable receiver as well as an in-line blocker. This is a move that challenges Carlson's spot as the 2nd TE possibly making him expendable sooner than later.
Round 5, Pick 150: DeVonte Holloman, OLB South Carolina (CBS #152, CBS #150 is RB Kenjon Barner) - LB is a need big enough to warrant an earlier pick than this, but the way the rankings currently fall out over at CBS, the Vikings can get a big, speedy LB who can play in base and cover in nickel.
Round 7, Pick 199: Vince Williams, ILB Florida State (CBS #205, CBS #199 is RB Rex Burkhead) - Vince showed up big at the Senior Bowl. He reminded me of EJ in his ability to get into the OL and stop the run, but he seemed better than EJ as a zone LB. Williams is very nimble for his size and his Senior Bowl week could elevate him by a few rounds.
Round 7, Pick 215: Terrence Brown, CB Stanford (CBS #224, CBS #215 is FS Bradley McDonald) - Brown is a big, physical CB who probably came out a year early. He would add great depth to the secondary this late in the draft and while more of a special teams player year one, but could also work his way into the rotation before his freshman year is done.
Which position do you think is the Vikings biggest need (before free agency)?
WR (74 votes)
DT (11 votes)
CB (6 votes)
LB (19 votes)
DE (0 votes)
OG (3 votes)
113 total votes