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Mel Kiper Releases First 2016 NFL Mock Draft

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

We're still a little more than 100 days away from the 2016 NFL Draft, which will get underway in Chicago on 28 April. However, that isn't going to stop the draftniks out there from starting their mock drafts. I know that some people love mock drafts and some people hate them, but at the very least they give us something to talk about. . .even though the NFL Scouting Combine and the various Pro Days are still weeks away as well.

With that, we bring you the first mock draft of 2016 from Mel Kiper. . .dramatic pause. . .draft expert. He has his initial mock behind the great E$PN paywall, but we can still tell you who he has the Minnesota Vikings selecting.

With the 23rd pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Kiper has the Vikings selecting Josh Doctson, a wide receiver from Texas Christian University.

The Vikings are moving indoors and Teddy Bridgewater has a chance to really take off. Do the Vikings want to pay Mike Wallace another $11.5 million to be a part of it? They have Stefon Diggs, but Doctson gives them another weapon, a guy who can stretch the field, win after the catch, and a reliable set of hands.

Doctson is a tall, rangy receiver, standing 6'3" and weighing 195 pounds. In Kiper's mock, he is the second wide receiver off the board, behind Laquon Treadwell of Mississippi (who went to San Francisco at #7). In his final season with the Horned Frogs, Doctson caught 79 passes for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns. He missed the final three games of TCU's season, including their triple-overtime victory over Oregon in the Alamo Bowl, after suffering a wrist injury.

If you're curious about offensive linemen, Kiper has of the big uglies being selected before Minnesota's pick at #23. They are Laremy Tunsil of Mississippi (who went #3 overall), Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley (#6), Jack Conklin of Michigan State (#14), and Ohio State's Taylor Decker (#18). All of those players are offensive tackles, and the only four offensive linemen that Kiper has in the first round at this point. No interior linemen, be they centers or guards, were in the first round of Kiper's first mock.

So, what do you make of this selection, folks?