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2015 NFL Mock Draft...What Direction To Go?

SB Nation's most recent mock draft has the offensive minded fans happy, I would think

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

With the Senior Bowl over, mock drafts are starting to take center stage, and SB Nation is at the forefront, with Mock Draft Guru Dan Kadar leading the charge.

In his latest mock, the first one since the completion of the Senior Bowl, Dan has an intriguing pick at #11:

11. Minnesota Vikings: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

This pick is just too fun to not make. Parker is what the Vikings' offense needs and his timing with Teddy Bridgewater should come back quickly. He's a big-impact wide out who can do good work in the red zone and after the catch. It's hard to find flaws in Parker's game so pick 11 isn't a reach for him.

Okay, a disclaimer from me, and it's a personal nitpick that has nothing to do with Dan's pick, at all:

Mock drafts are almost impossible to forecast until free agency is largely over. And free agency is almost impossible to forecast until franchise tags have been levied by teams. So, with that said, I'm thinking Dan is off on his pick, although in a vacuum, I could live with it.

Why is he off?

Because I believe Minnesota will make a run at at least one big time wide receiver in free agency, and will largely address the problem before the draft. According to Rotoworld, here is a list of free agent wide receivers for 2015, pre-franchise designations, obviously:Wide Receivers

1. Dez Bryant
2. Demaryius Thomas
3. Randall Cobb
4. Jeremy Maclin
5. Torrey Smith
6. Michael Crabtree
7. Kenny Britt
8. Cecil Shorts
9. Eddie Royal
10. Nate Washington
11. Wes Welker
12. Hakeem Nicks
13. Reggie Wayne
14. Denarius Moore
15. Leonard Hankerson
16. Dwayne Harris
17. Vincent Brown
18. Miles Austin
19. Jerrel Jernigan
20. Brandon Lloyd
21. Brad Smith
22. Santana Moss
23. Jason Avant
24. Marcus Easley
25. Derek Hagan
26. Robert Meachem
27. Greg Salas
28. Dane Sanzenbacher
29. Kevin Ogletree
30. Darrius Heyward-Bey

Now, let's line through guys that I think aren't worth looking at, and we come up with our final list of candidates:

1. Dez Bryant
2. Demaryius Thomas
3. Randall Cobb
4. Jeremy Maclin
5. Torrey Smith
6. Michael Crabtree

Of those six, the only guy I really think has a better than 50% chance to get the franchise tag is Dez Bryant, and I would listen to an argument for Demaryius Thomas. That leaves four or five really decent receivers to pursue, and depending on how the Vikings handle their roster with regards to the salary cap, they'll have more than enough room to maneuver to go after one...or more...of these guys.

Now all of that said, Devante Parker and Teddy Bridgewater put up some big numbers together at Louisville, putting up over 1,600 yards in two full seasons, and Parker was Bridgewater's favorite target, hauling in 95 catches in 2012 and 2013.

It's an intriguing pick, and in line with the Vikings thinking of trying to draft guys from the same school, so in that vein, this makes sense. But with a young QB that needs veteran targets to throw to, and the Vikings already facing the potential of getting burned in the first round with a wide receiver that might not pan out, right now I'm going with a 'no' on Parker at 11.