FanPost

Vikings 2013 Draft: Cumulative Rankings for MLB, WR, CB and DT

Chris and Ted recently addressed team needs and potential 1st round draft picks for our Vikings, and it got me thinking a little more about who would be the best selections in the 1st round. I agree with Chris that our team needs, in order, are middle linebacker, wide receiver, cornerback and defensive tackle. Obviously we can only select two of those positions, barring a trade, in the 1st round. So I thought I would put together a cumulative ranking list, similar to the ones I did last year. The big difference this year is that I’m going to focus it in on only these specific positions, instead of overall rankings (although I’ll include some of that information too). I’m going to take a look at eight of the more popular online player ranking sources and compute the average big board ranking for players at each of those four positions to see if there is any consensus that can be drawn. I thought it would be a fun exercise, and I figured some of you might be interested in seeing the results as well. I want to mention that this is not the same as the Mock Draft database, because this will be player rankings from the various Big Boards, and not mock drafts. I’m going to look at the Top 5 players at each position, since it’s unlikely that more than 5 of any given position we need will be drafted prior to our 1st round selections.

So, first up, let’s look at middle linebackers. The table lists their positional ranking by source, as well as their average positional ranking. In parenthesis is their overall ranking on the Big Board. Note that some sources listed a few of these players at outside linebackers, while others listed them as inside linebackers.

Linebacker Cumulative Rankings

Name

Average

Rank

NFL.com

ESPN

CBS

Sports

SB Nation

Walter Football

Drafttek

Draft Countdown

Optimum

Scouting

Alec Ogletree, ILB/OLB

2.25

(26.25)

4

(39)

1
(12)

2

(38)

3

(31)

1

(12)

1

(21)

2

(20)

4

(37)

Manti Te’o, ILB

2.38

(29.25)

2
(23)

2

(26)

3

(39)

2

(29)

3

(33)

3

(35)

1

(16)

3

(33)

Kevin Minter, ILB

2.5

(33)

3

(38)

3

(45)

1

(29)

4

(47)

2

(27)

2

(24)

4

(40)

1

(14)

Arthur Brown, ILB/OLB

2.88

(38)

1

(15)

4

(65)

4

(40)

1

(15)

4

(74)

4

(39)

3

(30)

2

(26)

Kevin Riddick, ILB

6.13
(113.38)

6

(105)

6

(97)

7

(142)

8

(111)

5+

(122+)

7

(128)

5

(112)

5

(90)

Nico Johnson, ILB

6.63

(127)

8

(204)

9

(116

+)

7

(121)

5

(79)

5+

(122+)

6

(111)

7

(150)

6

(113)

Kiko Alonso, ILB

6.88

(130.13)

7

(180)

5

(78)

5

(101)

7

(107)

5+

(122+)

8

(151)

9

(151+)

9

(151+)

Jon Bostic, ILB

6.88

(130.13)

11

(227)

8

(116

+)

6

(121)

6

(90)

5+

(122+)

5

(95)

6

(123)

8

(147)

Michael Mauti, ILB

11.25
(164.75)

5

(103)

12

(116

+)

33

(339)

11+
(201

+)

5+

(122+)

9

(166)

8

(151+)

7

(120)

So, there were a total of nine middle linebackers that made the Top 5 positional rankings in at least one source. Of those nine, only the top four were consensus Top 5 LB in the positional rankings, and only two of those four had an average overall ranking in the Top 32. But if these overall big board rankings are an indication of where the players might actually be drafted, there is a very good chance that all nine of these draft prospects should be available when the Vikings hit the clock with the 23rd overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft. And should Alec Ogletree or Manti Te’o be available, in my opinion, the Vikings shouldn’t hesitate to draft one of them, despite any potential off-the-field issues.

Next up is the Wide Receiver positional rankings. Same drill as above, and again, the numbers in parenthesis are the overall ranking.

Wide Receiver Cumulative Rankings

Name

Average

Rank

NFL.com

ESPN

CBS

Sports

SB Nation

Walter Football

Drafttek

Draft Countdown

Optimum

Scouting

Cord. Patterson

2.5

(20.88)

2

(14)

3

(22)

1

(11)

4

(28)

4

(28)

1

(18)

1

(18)

4

(28)

Keenan Allen

2.75

(23.88)

4

(25)

2

(19)

4

(32)

2

(24)

2

(19)

3

(27)

4

(34)

1

(11)

Tavon Austin

2.88

(24.13)

1

(10)

1

(15)

2

(18)

3

(26)

1

(16)

2

(20)

2

(29)

11

(59)

DeAndre Hopkins

4.13

(33.5)

3

(21)

6

(43)

3

(27)

1

(21)

5

(43)

5

(46)

5

(37)

5

(30)

Justin Hunter

6.13

(45.63)

8

(53)

4

(32)

9

(62)

6

(59)

3

(21)

4

(43)

3

(32)

12

(63)

Robert Woods

6.25

(47.25)

7

(46)

9

(62)

5

(36)

5

(51)

8

(53)

6

(50)

7

(53)

3

(27)

Quinton Patton

6.38

(52.5)

5

(40)

5

(39)

6

(41)

7

(63)

10

(73)

7

(70)

9

(84)

2

(18)

Here only seven wide receivers appeared in at least one of the top 5 wide receiver positional rankings. Of those seven receivers only the top two were consensus Top 5, although the top three averaged out as Top 32 players overall. Again, if the overall ranking averages are an indication of where a player might get drafted, then there’s a very good chance that Cordarrelle Patterson is off the board by the time the Vikings make their 1st pick at #23. However, they still have an excellent chance to draft Keenan Allen or Tavon Austin, the other two players with either a consensus Top 5 ranking or average ranking in the Top 32. That said, if the Vikings wanted to wait until the 2nd round with their #53 overall pick, there will still be a shot at a player on the list in Quinton Patton, or they could also trade up earlier in the 2nd for a player like Hopkins, Hunter or Woods. So, they have a lot of options when it comes to getting one of the top prospects at the wide receiver position, and the good news is, the talent level at WR is such that none should go in the first 15 picks.

Next up is the Cornerback position, and again, same drill as above. The number in parenthesis is the overall ranking.

Cornerback Cumulative Rankings

Name

Average

Rank

NFL.com

ESPN

CBS

Sports

SB Nation

Walter Football

Drafttek

Draft Countdown

Optimum

Scouting

Dee Milliner

1

(6.38)

1

(6)

1

(5)

1

(5)

1

(4)

1

(6)

1

(6)

1

(6)

1

(13)

Xavier Rhodes

2.5

(23.13)

2

(26)

4

(40)

2

(13)

2

(17)

3

(26)

2

(15)

3

(31)

2

(17)

Desmond Trufant

3.13

(28)

5

(35)

2

(23)

3

(21)

4

(38)

2

(22)

3

(28)

2

(28)

4

(29)

Jonathan Banks

4.5

(36.5)

4

(34)

6

(53)

4

(30)

5

(45)

4

(36)

6

(40)

4

(33)

3

(21)

Jamar Taylor

7.25

(59)

3

(29)

7

(58)

5

(47)

10

(73)

9

(83)

4

(33)

10

(73)

10

(76)

David Amerson

8

(65.25)

9

(85)

14

(106)

6

(50)

8

(65)

5

(51)

7

(45)

7

(56)

8

(64)

Jordan Poyer

8.25

(68.25)

10

(89)

15

(111)

7

(57)

6

(69)

10

(84)

5

(37)

8

(59)

5

(40)

Logan Ryan

8.88

(76.25)

17

(144)

9

(83)

10

(81)

3

(34)

6

(58)

9

(65)

6

(54)

11

(91)

Blidi Wreh-Wilson

9.13

(72.75)

8

(75)

3

(29)

14

(101)

7

(62)

11

(86)

14

(106)

9

(62)

7

(61)

Robert Alford

11.63

(95.38)

6

(57)

8

(75)

9

(73)

24+

(201+)

15

(114)

11

(82)

5

(49)

15

(112)

Dj Hayden

21

(160.88)

25

(188)

5

(50)

28

(228)

13

(112)

17+

(122+)

41+

(302+)

22

(151+)

17

(134)

Interestingly, there are eleven cornerbacks that appear in the Top 5 positional rankings in at least one source I consulted. Of those eleven, only three are consensus Top 5 cornerbacks, and those same three are also top 32 overall prospects with a fourth just barely missing the mark. The numbers pretty clearly show that in this draft class there is Dee Milliner, and everyone else. That said, Xavier Rhodes, Desmond Trufant and even Jonathan Banks could all get drafted in the 1st round, and the Vikings would have a very good chance to draft anyone not named Dee Milliner at pick #23.

And finally, we’ll take a look at defensive tackle. This proved to be one of the more difficult positional rankings due to such variety of positions among the different defensive schemes. Some sources simply listed “defensive tackle”, while others went into minute detail sorting out the 3-4 tackles from the 4-3 tackles. Because of this variety, this ranking will only consider defensive tackles in the generic sense, regardless of whether they would be a good fit for a 4-3 scheme or not, and regardless of if they would line up at the 3-tech or 1-tech positions along the line. And frankly, we kind of need both anyway.

Defensive Tackle Cumulative Rankings

Name

Average

Rank

NFL.com

ESPN

CBS

Sports

SB Nation

Walter Football

Drafttek

Draft Countdown

Optimum

Scouting

Sharrif Floyd

1.63

(4.75)

1

(3)

1

(2)

1

(4)

3

(8)

1

(2)

1

(4)

2

(8)

3

(7)

Star Lotulelei

1.88

(6.88)

2

(9)

2

(4)

2

(16)

1

(2)

2

(3)

3

(13)

1

(3)

2

(5)

Sheldon Richard.

2.5

(10.13)

3

(12)

3

(14)

3

(17)

2

(5)

3

(7)

2

(9)

3

(13)

1

(4)

Jonathan Hankins

5

(29.13)

5

(41)

7

(37)

4

(26)

4

(25)

5

(25)

7

(34)

4

(25)

4

(20)

Jesse Williams

6

(37.38)

4

(30)

9

(55)

6

(37)

5

(30)

8

(61)

4

(23)

7

(38)

5

(25)

Sylvester Williams

6.13

(39.13)

8

(62)

4

(20)

7

(48)

6

(43)

7

(35)

5

(25)

5

(27)

7

(53)

Kawann Short

6.5

(39.88)

7

(61)

6

(27)

5

(28)

8

(57)

4

(18)

6

(31)

8

(42)

8

(55)

Jonathan Jenkins

6.5

(45.88)

6

(56)

5

(25)

8

(74)

7

(52)

6

(34)

8

(54)

6

(36)

6

(36)

For the defensive tackles, only eight different players appeared in at least one of the Top 5 positional rankings and of those, only three were consensus Top 5 defensive tackles. In this class there were those top three who are basically all Top 10 overall picks, and then everyone else. That said, after those Top 3, the talent drops off quick and the Vikings would potentially have to reach for one them with the #23 pick. The good news is, despite a potential reach, the Vikings have a shot at a Top 5 defensive tackle with one of their 1st round picks, should they choose to use it. If they waited until the 2nd round for a tackle, they would likely have to trade up in order to secure one of these eight players though. It’s possible that Jonathan Jenkins could fall to the Vikings in the 2nd at #53, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Putting it all together

An exercise like this helps me to see how other ranking sources value the players at each position. And it makes it much easier to try to mock certain players to the Vikings when you can average out the positional and overall rankings across a wide range of opinions. I certainly don’t consider myself to have any eye what-so-ever when it comes to scouting football talent, but I trust the averaging and cumulative process in an exercise like this. I trust that the sources behind each of these rankings, knows more about this than I do, and while they never agree, somehow stirring it all together into a cumulative pot can account for most of the scouting variables. To make this even more accurate, I’d have to scour the web for more than just eight simple sources, but since I don’t have time for that, this will have to do.

Since the whole point of this exercise was to look at Top 5 players, a noble goal for the draft would be to try to get a Top 5 player from each of these four positions, since they are our biggest needs. So, looking at the available players and when they are likely to be drafted, this is the order that the four positions would need to be drafted in order to make that happen: wide receiver, defensive tackle, cornerback, and middle linebacker, and here’s why. Of all the four positions, only one has a Top 5 player that is likely to be available after the 2nd round: middle linebacker Kevin Riddick. It’s a bit of a reach to take him in the 3rd round with our #83 pick overall, but he won’t last until the 4th round. At wide receiver and defensive tackle there are no Top 5 players that would fall to the 2nd round, so both of those must be taken in the 1st if we want a Top 5 player. And that leaves us with a CB in the 2nd, and there just so happens to be one that should fall to us in the 2nd. Doing it this way ensures that the Vikings are able to get excellent value at positions of need.

Vikings Value Mock

Round 1, Pick #23: WR Keenan Allen (2nd best WR)

Round 1, Pick #25: DT Jonathan Hankins (5th best DT)

Round 2, Pick #53: CB Jamar Taylor (5th best CB)

Round 3, Pick #83: MLB Kevin Riddick (5th best MLB)

Now, some might argue that middle linebacker is the biggest need, and therefore we should take the best available middle linebacker at pick #23, and I wouldn’t necessarily argue against that. So, here is another mock where we draft solely by positional need (as outlined in the opening paragraph at the top) and take the best available player at that position.

Vikings Needs Mock

Round 1, Pick #23: MLB Alec Olgletree (Best MLB)

Round 1, Pick #25: WR DeAndre Hopkins (4th best WR)

Round 2, Pick #53: CB Jamar Taylor (5th best CB)

Round 3, Pick #83: BPA

Notice, I wasn’t able to draft a defensive tackle from the table above. This is because the lowest cumulative ranking for the eight defensive tackles on the list is 45.88. This means if we want one of those eight defensive tackles, we will need to spend a 1st round pick on one. Both of these mocks aren’t terrible, but if I were the Vikings I wouldn’t be so rigid at either extreme. I would want to try to draft for value as well as need. So, this last mock is my attempt to fill both, call it the “Smart” draft.

Vikings Smart Mock

Round 1, Pick #23: MLB Alec Olgetree (Best MLB)

Round 1, Pick #25: DT Jonathan Hankins (5th best DT)

Round 2, Pick #53: WR Quinton Patton (7th best WR)

Round 3, Pick #83: CB Robert Alford (10th best CB)

This draft is a better combination of filling needs while also getting appropriate value for the draft pick. And while we don’t get Top 5 players at every position, we do get Top 10 players at every position. It does leave us a bit thin at cornerback, and it is expecting a lot of another 3rd rounder to come in and start. But perhaps they can convince Winfield to return for one more year for a smaller contract, or sign some other veteran free agent cornerback. But I would still go with the “Smart” mock if I were the Vikings, as it addresses both needs and value. And this is to say nothing of potential trades. We could use some of our extra picks to trade back into the second round to get a guy like Amerson, Poyer, Ryan or Wreh-Wilson and then we'd have a shot to draft a Top 7 player at every position of major need.

In any case, I found this to be a fun little exercise and I hope it was worth the read!

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a <em>community</em>, that view is no less important.

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