With the combine now over and done, even though most draft prospects' stock remained about the same; there were a few that showcased enough of their skills to open a few more eyes, while others were revealed as just not what some of the hype built them up to be. There are a couple of very excellent players of their respected positions that teams picking early seemingly can't go wrong, but after that it looks to be pretty deep as far as solid, decent players at a few different positions; primarily at wide receiver and along the defensive line. With Minnesota holding the 23rd pick and two of their most important positions needs being WR and DT, this works to their advantage.
Outside of those two positions the Vikings also need help at linebacker, guard, more depth with their defensive backs, another back up quarterback and possibly a change of pace running back. Now, a lot that will determine how the draft unfolds of course is free agency; which players teams will retain and what free agents they will bring in. I'm going to assume Minnesota will not be foolish enough to not put together a deal for Harvin. Also, I think there will be one or two teams that reach for a QB and one or two teams that reach for another player that would have been there in the second round. If so, not only would the Vikings have at least a couple of really good players to pick from that were not expected to still be on the board, this is where it could get interesting because I think there will be a willing team to allow us to trade back and acquire more picks as well as still draft one of the initial players that we would have been happy picking at 23. It could work out that we could have three picks in the first two rounds and three picks in the next two rounds. With six picks in the first four rounds, Rick Spielman should be able to acquire some valuable players for the team.
Looking at the WRs, Minnesota should still be able to get a top level talent and get a steal on the second one they draft. With trading back a few spots, I think you have to go WR and maybe one of he kids from Tennessee is there or maybe Keenan Allen; it would be a stretch, but still possible. If they're not, there is still Hopkins, Williams and Patton. If we trade back with someone like New England who wants Tavon Austin, it's likely that there is only three or four wide receivers taken by the time we pick and it very well could end up that one of Hunter, Patterson or Allen is still on the board and without a doubt we would pull the trigger on any one of those three. As the draft goes into the mid rounds a guy like Ryan Swope or even Da'Rick Rogers could be looking at us around the third round. I wouldn't be surprised if someone like Woods, Wheaton or maybe even Dobson is still hanging around. However it plays out the Vikings have a good opportunity to walk away with two potentially really good WRs.
At the defensive tackle position, we should be able to well also. John Jenkins or Johnathan Hankins might not be there, but one of the Williams kids whether it's Sylvester, Brandon or even Jesse Williams. Hopefully one of the better ones falls to us in the second, but I still think we can do well here.
With the linebackers there isn't as much depth. I think Te'o will fall and we'd be wise to stay away from him. If we're able to trade back(idealistically w/NE), adding another either second or third pick will help greatly. With being not as deep, I doubt anyone is going to slide to us. There is an outside chance that Minter or Brown could prompt Minnesota to go LB before DT, but It's more likely they wait around for Bostic, Brown or even Greene to slide to the third round. If we do end up having six picks in the first four rounds, I think we will pick up another corner back and an offensive guard if there's one good enough to rival the BPA at that point with the last fourth round pick or fifth round pick. From then on, it's gotta be BPA and/or trading picks for next years draft. I am looking for Spielman to find us at least one late round gem. It should be interesting and fun by then. And it will really start to look a lot clearer after free agency and pro days have passed. None the less, I think we will get at least three players from the draft that will be immediate impacts to the team and possibly more.
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