Value In The Draft

Mock season is upon us and as of right now Minnesota Vikings currently hold 8 picks in the 2014 draft (1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Instead of giving you a typical mock, I'll give you a list of players that can be found in each round of the draft that I think could easily be contributing members of the Vikings next season and then pick the best fit from each pool. I won't address free agency in this post and will instead look to draftees to fill the numerous holes on the Vikings.

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Round 5

Round 6

Round 7

1. Blake Bortles QB

1. Lamarcus Joyner CB

1. Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB

1. Justin Ellis DT

1. Deion Belue CB

1. De'Anthony Thomas RB

1. Zack Kerr DT

2. Khalil Mack OLB

2. Jimmy Garoppolo QB

2. Keith McGill CB

2. Chris Davis CB

2. Ryan Carrethers DT

2. Storm Johnson RB

2. Sean Parker SS

3. Darqueze Dennard CB

3. Dee Ford DE

3. Pierre Desir CB

3. Craig Loston SS

3. Ronald Powell OLB

3. Aaron Lynch DE

3. Kevin Norwood WR

4. C.J. Mosley MLB

4. Deone Buccanon SS

4. Christian Jones MLB

4. James Wilder Jr. RB

4. James White RB

4. Deandre Coleman DT

4. Kevin Pierre-Louis OLB

5. Derek Carr QB

5. Kyle Van Noy OLB

5. Daquan Jones DT

5. David Fales QB

5. Marcel Jensen TE

5. Ricardo Allen CB

5. Spencer Long G

6. Kony Ealy DE

6. David Yankey G

6. Shayne Skov MLB

6. Jordan Tripp OLB

6. Brandon Coleman WR

6. Marcus Martin C

6. Taylor Hart DE

7. Gabe Jackson G

The trickiest for me is round 1, QB or not-QB. I'll cheat and give 2 possible selections

Round 1

#8 - Khalil Mack OLB (6-3, 248 lbs)

Why him? He is versatile and can play DE/OLB in any scheme Mike Zimmer deems fit. A guy this explosive is too good to pass on in the draft. 100 total tackles, 19.0 for a loss, 10.5 sacks, 3 INT (2 TDs), 7 Pass Def, 5 FF. He is a play maker plain and simple.

#8 - Blake Bortles QB (6-3, 230 lbs)

We need a QB, obviously. 67.8 Comp %, 3581 yards, 25 TD-9 INT, 9.4 Y/A, 272 rushing yards (6 TDs). Not a traditional dual-threat QB but can extend plays and get first down yardage occasionally, steps up in the pocket nicely. Let's see what Norv Turner can do with this guy.

Round 2

#40 - Deone Buccanon SS (6-1, 216 lbs)

The more DBs, the better (his initials are even DB, what more do you want?) He is a devastating tackler with excellent ball skills, possibly the best SS in the draft. 114 total tackles with 6 INTs. Pairing him with Harrison Smith would be a lethal combination of solid tackling ball hawks.

Round 3

#72 - Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB (6-3, 215 lbs)

Currently a third round prospect, he could easily find himself shooting up the draft boards after impressing at the Senior Bowl (with the combine still to come, of course). A very physical corner with good press-man ability and ball skills, would be an excellent fit opposite of Xavier Rhodes. 41 total tackles, 4 INTs. We are desperate for corner help, SJB would be an excellent selection (and a steal) if available in the third. I'd jump up back into the second to take this guy.

#95/96 from Seahawks - Christian Jones MLB (6-4, 234 lbs)

I think this guy is very underrated for his draft projection and could be a great pick for the Vikings (you know Spielman always takes someone from Florida St.) He has excellent coverage skills and is a tremendous athlete. His production did slip from a tackling standpoint in his JR to SR year going from 95 tackles down to 56, but did improve his tackles for a loss from 7.0 to 8.0 while acquiring 2.0 sacks, 1 INT, 2 FF (1 TD). This is due mostly to the way Florida St. used him this year as he is versatile enough to play outside or in.

Round 4

#104 - Justin Ellis DT (6-2, 342 lbs)

This would be the definition of a value pick. The nose tackle position is undervalued in the NFL and potential starters can be found in the middle rounds just like Justin Ellis. This guy is a monster. 48 total tackles, 5.5 for a loss, 1.5 sacks. He is the run clogger we've needed since the departure of Pat Williams and would solidify our defensive line.

Round 5

#136 - De'Anthony Thomas RB (5-9, 170 lbs)

Boasting an unofficial 4.34 40 yard time, this guy can fly. The reason I have him in the 5th round here is because he is surely to shoot up from the 6th round after he dazzles at the combine. De'Anthony Thomas can be used in Norv Turner's system as an effective 3rd down/scatter back. He can line up in the backfield or in the slot as a WR. He would allow Peterson to take some snaps off to reduce wear and tear while adding another dimension to our passing game. His 2013 season was a down year due to injuries but he has previously had extremely productive years (2012 16 total TD, 701 rush yards, 445 receiving yards) With Toby Gerhart leaving, he would be a more than suitable replacement even though they have significantly different abilities. While not possessing blocking ability, he can be an excellent check down option instead.

Round 6

#168 - Ricardo Allen CB (5-9, 187 lbs)

53 total tackles, 4.0 for a loss, 1.0 sack, 6 INTs. This guy plays bigger than his size and while that may be a cliche, he has excellent ball skills and is a willing tackler. He would be an excellent nickel corner with the possibility of taking over slot duties from Josh Robinson. As I've said, the point of this mock is to find solid contributors and he certainly has the potential to get snaps for the 2014 Vikings in some capacity.

Round 7

#200 - Spencer Long G (6-4, 315 lbs)

This pick is more of a flier. We could use offensive line depth and Spencer Long can provide just that. Missing most of the 2013 season due to a knee injury, he could essentially be the Mauti of this draft. He was first team all Big 10 for Nebraska his junior season in 2012 and had started every game from 2011 up until six games into this season when he suffered his injury.

Well, I've chipped away at this since the Senior Bowl to get my daily football fix until the Super Bowl and I hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know what you think and I'd appreciate some insight on players I've missed as well as your input on the players I've highlighted if you have additional knowledge (I'm no expert, clearly).


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 community, that view is no less important.

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