Heading into the draft the majority of people feel the Vikings most pressing needs are MLB, WR, DT, CB, G, and S. I think the list is right. I do not know when they will actually get players at those positions in this draft. With 11 picks you would expect they could add some players at those positions for sure.
The draft all comes down to when will players get picked and what is your philosophy on handling the draft. It would appear that the majority of people believe in drafting for need. Most say they will draft BPA but only if it is at a position of need. That is one strategy. I do not necessarily agree with that strategy.
You have all 3 of the top DEs entering the last year of their deal. Two of those DEs will be 31 (Allen) and 30 (Robison) by the end of this month. Another reserve DE (George Johnson) is also on a one year deal. The only DE signed past this next year is Reed.
You have the best DT (KWill) in the last year of his deal and he will turn 33 in August. The other two DTs (Guion and Evans) that get a lot of playing time are average at best and never will be considered game changers. The 4th DT (Ballard) has yet to make a real impact. The coach has said it is time for him to step up this year because the team needs him so hopefully he can get it done.
You have the CB situation being murky at best. Cook has been a disappointment thus far (to me) because he has yet to play a full season (mainly due to injury). Robinson and Jefferson are nice looking young players but need more experience. After that it is not too pretty.
The safety situation is interesting. Smith has one spot locked down and played well last year. The other spot is up for grabs. Sometimes it is Sanford and others it is Raymond. Even Blanton is being mentioned as a possible starter. Perhaps he can make the conversion.
The LB position is obviously troubling considering that all we have is Greenway and Henderson. After that we have some special team type guys mainly.
The WR position needs some improvement because all you have is Jennings, Simpson, & Wright basically. The rest of the guys are going to have a shot at making an impact.
I think the guard position really needs an upgrade. Johnson is in the last year of his deal and was OK last year but the team could do better. Fusco was starting his first year last year and is going to have to take another step up. The reality is that the Vikings have two of the smallest guards in the entire league. With the defensive tackles getting bigger and bigger the guards needs to be able to match that girth.
I wish I could foresee some moves like a Karlos Dansby or Daryl Smith. I think a veteran like one of these two may be very good. But I think the Vikings are ultimately rebuilding still. I think it is going to much much harder this year.
The Vikings have picks #23, 25, 52, 83, 102, 120, 155, 189, 213, 214, & 229.
I think that a trade up is possible if a player is getting close that Spielman likes and I am going to project a trade up to get Sheldon Richardson.
The Vikings trade #23, #83, and a 2014 5th to the Saints for #15.
The Saints do not have a 2nd round pick due to their cheating
15. Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri rJr 6-3 294
Richardson is a heck of a defensive tackle. While he does not have the girth that people want he is a very good DT. The Vikings can find another Pat Williams but it just may take some time. Pat Williams was undrafted after all.
Now I am going to project a trade down from #25. I think it could be the 49ers who could be looking for a safety and may want to jump in front of the Packers.
The Vikings trade #25 to the 49ers for #31, & #93.
The Vikings now have picks 31, 52, 93, 102, 120, 155, 189, 213, 214, & 229.
31. Margus Hunt DE/DT Southern Methodist rSr 6-8 277
Obviously this is not a popular pick and some believe that Hunt will last until pick #52. But I do not care. The man is 6'8.1 277, ran the 40 in 4.60, did 38 bench press reps, had a 34.5" vertical, 10.1" broad jump, 7.07 3 cone (which is faster than some corners and safeties), and is just an absolutle FREAK of NATURE. Although he is already 26 he does not have a lot of football on his legs. He will be fine and can replace Robison eventually.
* this could be considered a reach and goes against my often stated like for production but sometimes you just have to go for it.
52. David Amerson CB North Carolina State Jr 6-1 205
Amerson is not a favorite of too many but he is very talented and a ball hawk. Alan Williams should be able to work with him and he may eventually move to safety. I like him.
93. Keenan Allen WR California Jr 6-2 206 Jon Bostic ILB Florida Sr 6-1 245
Allen is falling this far? Unbelievable but I am going with it. I also was looking at walterfootball and Walter's last mock.
102. Zaviar Gooden OLB Missouri rSr 6-2 234
Finally a LB but not even a middle LB. Oh no. What will the Vikings do? Well, considering that only two LBs play the majority of the time, any rookie is not likely to take over in those situations IMO. I like Gooden and he has all the tools you need. All he needs is a little more coaching.
120. Kevin Reddick ILB North Carolina Sr 6-2 243
Back to back LBs. Neither of whom anyone probably wanted either. Oh well. I think Reddick is a but underrated. He is a good two down type guy and hopefully can get better in coverage. Unfortunately, there just is not too many Urlacher's in this draft.
155. Kenjon Barner RB Oregon rSr 5-9 196
I think Barner would be a nice complement ot AP and a true change of pace. Toby is entering his last season and the Vikings should really try to move him (even after the draft) for a future 5th or 6th. It is highly unlikely that Toby will sign a huge deal next year (I think he will get a new deal but it wont be huge) and that the Vikings would then get some phantom compensatory pick.
189. Cooper Taylor SS Richmond rSr 6-5 228
I think that this could be a player that can eventually move to LB. Maybe he is an Urlacher type? Not the same NM. :) He has great size and speed. He played very well at Richmond after leaving Georgia Tech.
213. Mark Harrison WR Rutgers Sr 6-3 231
This is a big WR who is very fast. I think he is worth a shot late in the draft especially since he ran a 4.38 or something very close.
214. Mike Catapano DE Princeton rSr 6-3 270
The Vikings worked him out privately and he is likely to be off the board but not in this mock. He won the Ivy Leaue Defensive Player of the Year and was very productive. I really think this is kind of silly here because he is probably going in round 4.
229. Kayvon Webster CB South Florida Sr 5-11 195
The Vikings can always add more corners. Plus, Amerson may become a safety and Taylor may become a LB. Afterall, the Vikings do love conversion projects.
Ryan Allen P Louisiana Tech rSr 6-1 229
Sean Renfree QB Duke rSr 6-3 219
Nick Becton OT Virginia Tech rSr 6-5 323
Sam Barrington ILB South Florida Sr 6-1 246
Miguel Maysonet RB Stony Brook Sr 5-9 209
Braden Wilson FB Kansas State rSr 6-4 251
Matt Summers-Gavin OG California rSr 6-4 310
Rashard Hall FS Clemson rSr 6-2 210
Luke Ingram LS Hawaii Sr 6-5 258
Michael Williams TE Alabama rSr 6-6 278
Glenn Foster DE Illinois Sr 6-4 286
D.J. Harper RB Boise State rSr 5-9 211
A.J. Bouye CB UCF Sr 6-0 186
DeVonte Christopher WR Utah rSr 6-0 188
A.J. Francis DT Maryland rSr 6-5 309
Well there you have it. The last minute mock for this year. I hope it is not too awful. We know it will not be accurate. That is for sure.