Continuing in my series about players the Vikings should not draft, I chose this time a player that multiple people have mentioned would be a "good" first selection with our 1st round pick: Ha'sean Clinton-Dix. (Link to Mettenberger article).
What he's got going for him: In every report I looked at, he was quoted as "an excellent centerfielder", a player with a good amount of range. He is strong in run support, is experienced in a pro-style defense under Nick Saban, and has the body size to compete with the bigger TE's of the NFL. Hits hard, and is an experienced player on special teams. He has explosive closing ability.
Things going against him:
1. Projected to play a position the Vikings already have filled. Sorry guys, but Ha'sean is expected to be a top-flight Free Safety in the NFL, which is the position that Harrison Smith already occupies on the Vikings. So unless you feel like shifting H-dog out of his role into one he would definitely feel less comfortable with, I don't see Ha'sean being a Viking anytime soon.
2. Does not have elite speed. Three of the draft profiles I looked at mentioned that he had at best average speed. Not having top-end speed is not a great thing in the NFL, because it means you have problems matching up against the best of the best in receivers.
3. Inexperienced. As hard as it is to believe, Clinton-Dix has only 19 starts above high school. While he did play for the Tide for three years, he had a fairly average level of production. Calvin Pryor, though he started an additional year over Clinton-Dix, still put up far superior numbers to him, and Pryor is not nearly getting the first-round buzz that Clinton-Dix is.
4. Sometimes iffy tackler. The reports I looked at varied. Walterfootball listed tackling under his strengths (even saying he was an excellent tackler), but in three other reports (CBSSports, DraftHeadquarters, and SBNation) he was listed as sometimes losing his technique and failing to wrap up well. "An occasional issue that comes up in Clinton-Dix's game is him lowering his head when he goes to make a tackle. It can lead to missed tackles for him and makes him a lot easier to avoid in the open field" (SBN). "Lowers his shoulder to lay the intimidating hit on ball-carriers and fails to wrap up, at times, relying the collision to knock the opponent to the ground" (CBSSports). These descriptions almost make him sound a little like Jamarca Sanford.
5. Two different sources indicated he might be over-hyped coming into the draft. From DraftHQ: "Over time, Clinton-Dix has the tools to develop into a solid starter for an NFL team in a center field free safety role, however he's not the prospect that his accolades and headlines would lead one to believe." And from WalterFB: " League contacts also felt that Saban's defensive backs enter the NFL with a lot of hype, but the vast majority have never realized their individual potentials or become as good as they were billed to be. It will be interesting to see if Clinton-Dix can break that trend."
6. Tore his meniscus and had to have surgery. This is an injury to keep an eye on, as meniscus tears are caused by "twisting or turning quickly, often with the foot planted while the knee is bent" (WebMD). If he has had this injury once, it becomes increasingly more likely that it will happen again, both because it has happened once already and because your chances of tearing this muscle again increase with age.
7. Needs work on backpedal. Both DraftHQ and NFL.com called out his backpedaling skills. HQ said "Stands too tall in his backpedal; long-levered and is not one to change directions quickly in transition", and NFL.com said "Could stand to iron out his pedal."
Result: I don't have as many problems with him as I did with Mettenberger. However, if the Vikings do draft him, it should be in a later round (maybe 4th or 5th) because he plays a position they currently have a developing stud at, and he would be a luxury pick for them.
Round: Has been projected anywhere from a top-10 pick to a late first rounder. Depending on how the draft goes, he could end up towards the latter half of that prediction.