We're getting to the point of the season that we're actually seeing mocks for the 2014 NFL Draft. . .yes, before the Combine, before free agency, and all of the other off-season fun that will completely alter all of that stuff. But, it gives us something to look at.
Todd McShay of ESPN has just put out his first mock draft, and it has a bit of an interesting pick for the Minnesota Vikings, who currently sit with the #8 overall selection. McShay does not have them selecting a quarterback, but rather Buffalo University outside linebacker Khalil Mack. McShay states that while Mack might not be a perfect fit for Minnesota's 4-3 defense, he's the best player available in the scenario that plays out in his mock. He also says that the Vikings would likely use him as a pass rusher early on and eventually plug him in at defensive end.
I guess I wouldn't be completely opposed to that. . .the defense for this team is awful on every level, and has been all season. After the quarterback position, this should be almost exclusively a defense-based draft, with the possible exception of a running back in the mid-to-late rounds, since there's almost no way that Toby Gerhart is back next year as Adrian Peterson's backup.
And what about the QB position in this mock, you ask? Well, McShay's mock has four quarterbacks going in the top six selections. Those quarterbacks are Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Central Florida's Blake Bortles, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, and Fresno State's Derek Carr. McShay even goes as far as to say he wouldn't be surprised to see Bortles end up going ahead of Bridgewater. . .you know, the guy that the Minnesota Vikings (among other teams) were allegedly supposed to dork away their entire 2013 season for.
That's a bit different from the outlook that his ESPN cohort, Mel Kiper, has on the draft class. There are three quarterbacks in the Top 25 on Kiper's "Big Board" right now. Bortles and Carr aren't among them (UCLA's Brett Hundley is, along with Bridgewater and Manziel), and he has nine players ranked ahead of Bridgewater, his top-rated quarterback.
Obviously, we don't know what the Vikings' final 2014 draft position will be until December 29, but there's a bit of speculation for everyone to chew on for now.
Oh, and since it's in your head after reading the title anyway, here you go.