A few weeks back, I did my first ever 7 round mock, which was half serious, half OSU-homerific. My second was a legitimate attempt to get the Vikings a decent draft, and then I got froggy and went head to head with Drafttek.com.
I got smoked by Brett in the head to head matchup, if the commentariat is to be believed.
WHICH I DON'T.
So it's time to get serious. No BS, no fooling around, 100% nose to the grindstone, full mock draft. I looked at who the Vikings were looking at, who they've had in for official visits, and trying to glean any information and turn that into a Vikings draft that we could be happy with.
Or conversely, you can call me an idiot again. Oh, my one rule in this is, at least for the early rounds my picks are guys who I might not necessarily want, but guys that I think the Vikings will pick.
Anyway, here we go:
Round 1, 23 Overall, Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame. There's too much smoke around the Vikings and Te'o for there not to be a fire. The Vikings really like taking Notre Dame players, both Leslie Frazier and Rick Spielman have said they will get a LB to address their depth concerns...and they can't afford to wait until the middle rounds to try and find a guy they think could start. It's going to be Te'o. I'm not a big fan of Te'o for a couple reasons: I believe he's over rated, and the whole fake dead girlfriend thing. I will say this, though: if there is one locker room that would probably be the easiest transition for Te'o into the NFL, and one that would set him up for success more than any oher in the NFL, it would be Minnesota.
Round 1, 25 Overall, Keenan Allen, WR, Cal. My initial pick here is Tavon Austin, but I think he'll be gone. That leaves it as a choice between Allen and DeAndre Hopkins. The Vikings seemed a lot more interested in Allen at his pro workout, and with Dr. James Andrews declaring his knee 100% healthy, I think Allen is their guy.
Round 2 (52), Kawann Short, DT, Purdue. I've gone back and forth between Short and Jonathan Hankins, but even though a lot of mocks have Hankins still available here, I think he'll be gone. With DT arguably a bigger need than WR at this point, Kawann Short will be a nice get here.
Round 3 (83), Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU. Is this probably the biggest 'Risk/Reward' pick in Spielman's tenure? Yeah. The Honey Badger has just as much a chance as not even being on the Vikings draft board at this point, but he could be a fixture in the Vikings secondary for a long time, too. I just have a hunch on this, nothing more.
Round 4 (102), Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, UConn. Wilson is a guy that can compete right away for the nickel or dime slot, and I'm not just that fired up about A.J. Jefferson or Marcus Sherels. Wilson could also very well be a form of insurance in case the Honey Badger flames out.
Round 4 (120),Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas. One thing we know about Rick Spielman is that he has favorite schools, like Notre Dame, for example. I have a feeling they favor players that come out of Arkansas now as well, as they've drafted three Razorbacks in the last two drafts. Hamilton gives the Vikings a full up receiving corps that is solid from top to bottom.
Round 5 (155), Hugh Thornton, G, Illinois. I'm still not convinced Brandon Fusco is the long term answer at guard, and if he isn't, in a year or two a guy like Thornton could very well get a chance.
Round 6 (189), Zeke Motta, SS, Notre Dame. Depending on what big board you believe and whether or not you buy into the theory that Spielman and the Vikings like players from specific schools determines whether or not this pick makes sense. If you do believe the first sentence, then Motta is the best player available and he's from Notre Dame, making this almost a no-brainer pick, if that's possible for the sixth round. If you don't buy the first two suppositions, then you think I'm full of crap here. Your call.
Round 7 (213), Quinn Sharp, P, Oklahoma State. I don't see the Vikings cutting Chris Kluwe, but I do see them bringing in a training camp body for competition.
Round 7 (229), Jake Stoneburner, TE, Ohio State. Let me just repeat what I said when I picked Stoneburner in the same spot in my head to head with Brett from drafttek.com: Seriously, I'm not being an OSU homer here, Stoneburner was a wide receiver converted to tight end, and I think I've picked him in
two of three three of four mocks. I think he can be a solid #2 TE in the NFL. He can't be any worse than John Carlson, can he? CAN HE??
Round 7 (231), Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas. See my explanation for Motta in round 6. Davis is the best player available from a school Spielman likes...or I'm full of crap. Davis is also coming off of an injury, and Spielman likes taking gambles on guys with a lot of upside.
So there you go. As 1980's fashion trendsetter and poet laureate Pat Benatar would say, hit me with your best shot.