What's up gang? It's been awhile. The month of March has been a blur. As I mentioned Saturday in the comments section of the Mock Draft Database, my wife and I welcomed a baby girl to the world on March 8th. Mom and baby are doing great, but at least one of has been in the been in the hospital since the 1st. I'm sure many of you know how that goes. Credit to my cousin nmvikesfan for keeping me up-to-date on all things Vikings, including the free agent signings. Well for those of you who came here to read a mock draft, I have my first "official" mock draft of 2014 unvelied:
But before I release my Vikings mock, let me go through the scenario I believe will play out for picks 1-7:
1. The Houston Texans select Jadeveon Clowney.
2. The St. Louis Rams select Greg Robinson.
3. The Jacksonville Jaguars select Teddy Bridgewater.
4. The Cleveland Browns select Johnny Manziel.
5. The Oakland Raiders select Jake Matthews.
6. The Atlanta Falcons select Khalil Mack.
7. The Tampa Bay Bucs select Darqueze Dennard.
A few surprises, but mostly par for the course at this point in time. The biggest surprise is that Sammy Watkins is on the board. Some mocks have Watkins going as high as #2 overall to the Rams, and most mocks don't have him getting past Oakland at #5. The raiders always do something unexpected, although Matthews at #5 is not a reach.
Some of you are saying that it's a bigger surprise that only 2 QB's went in the top 7. I think by the time the dust settles, only 2 go in the top 7. Which 2? Now that is the question. That leaves the Vikings with a few options. Watkins is likely the BPA in this scenario. But Rick Spielman has made it clear in saying that the Vikings must continue to "spin the wheel" until they hit on a young QB. Well without further adieu, my Vikings mock:
1.8 The Minnesota Vikings select Blake Bortles, QB Central Florida. Some see Bortles as a late riser, but the reality is that the scouts have been doing their due diligence on this kid for some time now. The word that has been tied to Bortles is "raw." And right now he is raw. And that's okay. With Cassel and Ponder on the roster, the Vikings won't need to rush Bortles onto the field for hopefully all of 2014. Let the kid hold the clipboard and study under Norv Turner, and learn what not to do from Ponder and Cassel.
2.8 Jordan Matthews, WR Vanderbilt. Some may see this as a luxury pick. What with Jennings, Simpson, Patterson and Wright in the fold. But Matthews is a top 25 player in my book, so if I were presiding over the war room, I would have one of my minions running to the podium to turn in the card. This kid doesn't get much love from the "experts" but he is a heck of a football player.
3.8 Billy Turner, OL North Dakota St. With Charlie Johnson re-signed this may also seem to be a luxury pick. I still believe that the guard position must be upgraded. Turner played OT in college, but I think he is better suited to kick inside.
3.32 Carl Bradford, LB Arizona St. This kid is just a hard-nosed football player. He's the perverbial blue-collar, brings his lunch pail to work player that Mike Zimmer would love. He lined up at different spots, similar to FSU's Christian Jones, but I think Bradford has a better nose for the ball than Jones. I see Bradford as the successor to Chad Greenway at the Sam linebacker spot.
4.8 Will Clarke, DE West Virginia. Clarke's size will attract 3-4 defensive teams as well as 4-3 teams, thus pushing him up a little. I think he will backup Griffen and Robison, but can also come in on passing situations and allow Zimmer and Co. to move Griffen inside.
5.8 Justin Ellis, DT Louisianna Tech. After the signing of Linval Joseph, I almost changed this pick. But Fred Evans will not play for ever so Spielman looks to the future with this pick.
6.8 Terrance West, RB Towson. This may be a pipe dream, but with RB's undervalued in today's NFL, hopefully this #28 is available for us on day 3.
7.8 Walt Aikens, CB Liberty. You can never have too many 6'0"+ corners on your roster. I go with small school players back to back to close out the draft, but both should have no problem making the final roster.
Jeff Matthews QB, Cornell
Daniel Sorensen, SS BYU
Zach Fulton, OG Tennessee
Zach Moore, DE Concordia
Matt Hazel, WR Coastal Carolina
Kasey Carrier, RB New Mexico
So what do think? I would love to hear your thoughts on this picks and what you would do the same or different.