Mock drafts, in my eyes, are too implausible. There's no way to account for what all 32 teams in the NFL will decide. For example, many experts say the Buccaneers should draft a QB, but the organization could very well be sold on Mike Glennon who showed a lot of promise as a rookie last year. Every draft has surprises and even trades which can completely change the draft plans of other teams. That's why I prefer to set up a 'big board' instead.
The Minnesota Vikings has the number 8 overall pick in the 2014 draft. I therefore list 8 players in order of who Minnesota should draft first. This way we can be sure that the team will have the chance to draft one of the players. Most likely more than one since teams have different needs. Vikings are, for example, fortunate enough to be all set on offensive tackles since they have two young promising blockers on each end of the line. Most will agree that at least one offensive tackle will be drafted in the top 8 which is further substantiated considering the increasing value of OT and last year's run at offensive tackles.
Here are the players I would be (at the very least) pleased to see the Vikings draft at number 8:
1. DE Jadeveon Clowney - Not the best work ethic, but to much potential to pass on.
2. LB Khalil Mack - I envision him as a complete outside 'backer in the 4-3 scheme.
3. QB Johnny Manziel - I've not seen a QB play like this kid since Fran Tarkenton. High risk, high reward. A little 'guilty pleasure' of sorts.
4. QB Teddy Bridgewater - Most ready and the safest QB. Logic says draft Bridgewater before Manziel.
5. WR Sammy Watkins - The best overall WR in the draft.
6. WR Mike Evans - Unique in some areas, as opposed to Watkins. I'm tempted to rank Evans higher.
7. OL Greg Robinson - Not a need, but too good to pass on. An outstanding run-blocker and could play guard.
8. LB Anthony Barr - High ceiling. Not a perfect fit, but I envision him being used similar to Von Miller in Denver at linebacker.
9. CB Justin Gilbert - Not a huge fan of this year's corners (compared to other positions), but good potential.
10. DT Aaron Donald - Still underrated, which baffles me. Can be the next Geno Atkins. Yes, that's how good he is.
As you can see, I included two more names. That's because there are more than 8 players I believe deserve to be there.
Update: Some people might want to add Blake Bortles to the list, but I’m just not sold on him. He has a high ceiling, but players who has a long way to go doesn’t belong in the top 10. The situation reminds me of Blaine Gabbert picked at #10. As the pre-draft workouts began, Gabbert soar up the draft boards. Why? Because people overvalue QB’s and Gabbert looked the part.
What's your big board? Post it in the comment section below.