So enough about that for a while. I want to talk about the third round—a round that the Vikings have made a mockery of over the past decade.
This organization has not succeeded with a third-round pick since they selected Nate Burleson back in 2003. You have to go all the way back to 1996, when the Vikings drafted Moe Williams, to find another player who made a significant contribution out of the third round.
This team has only had two third-round picks since 2006 and none since they took Asher Allen back in 2009.
We all have to agree on that being just awful.
So, while the first and second rounds are very important this year, it’s paramount that the Vikings drill their mid-round picks in order to fill all the holes that this team currently has.
Now let’s see what options the Vikings will have with the 67th pick in this year’s draft.
Weight: 218 lbs
School: Wisconsin Badgers
Last week I had Nick Toon as a potential second-round pick for the Minnesota Vikings. However, things can change quickly in the world of NFL mock drafts.
Names like Mohamed Sanu and Rueben Randle have risen up the latest boards out there, forcing Nick Toon back towards the middle of the pack.
If Minnesota knows a player of Toon’s caliber will be available for them in Round 3, focusing on defense in Round 2 will be so much easier for General Manager Rick Spielman.
Weight: 214 lbs.
School: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The deficiencies in the Vikings secondary have been well documented, so there’s no need dive back into that painful topic.
Instead, let’s discuss why the Vikings should have Harrison Smith on their radar.
He’s a physical specimen with 4.55 speed who has shown he’s very good at playing the run.
While he had shown he can defend the pass with seven INTs in 2010, he took a step backwards with zero INTs in 2011.
If Minnesota decides not to go with a corner in Round 2, they would be best served taking a guy like CB Brandon Boykin out of Georgia. However, in a perfect world, the Vikings snag Chase Minnifield in the second round and focus on either the safety or receiver positions here.
Weight: 183 lbs.
School: Georgia Bulldogs
Hopefully Minnesota won’t have to be drafting a corner in the third round, but, if they’re put in that position, Brandon Boykin is the player to look at.
He’s undersized at 5’9”, but has blazing 4.44 speed that enables him to make up for mistakes at the line of scrimmage.
You won’t see him covering the best receivers in the NFC North play after play because of his size, but he would be a nice fit in nickel situations.
The area where he could come in and contribute right away would be as a returner on special teams, which we all know is awful when Percy Harvin isn’t back there.
Over Boykin’s career at Georgia, he took five returns back for touchdowns. He is skilled enough to do both punt and kick returns.
With Adrian Peterson slated to miss some time in 2012, Harvin will become the main focus on offense—as a receiver and out of the backfield.
That being said, Leslie Frazier can ill afford to put him back there to return kicks and risk losing him to injury, leaving a huge hole in the return game that Boykin will fill nicely.
Weight: 308 lbs.
School: USC Trojans
DaJohn Harris’ 308-pound frame may hurt him when stopping the run, but he has the strength and quickness to get to the quarterback.
He will have to work heavily on his technique if he’s to become a legitimate NFL starter, though.
The Minnesota Vikings will have to address the defensive tackle position at some point in this offseason, and Harris could be the guy they target in the third round.
Defensive tackle is not a top priority, but it should be something the organization is concerned with. The Vikes fell out of the Top 10 in rushing defense for the first time since 2005, and it’s only going to get worse until they find a replacement for Pat Williams.
Weight: 215 lbs.
School: Miami Hurricanes
Tommy Streeter is only a junior, so he is still very raw and has yet to tap into all of his abilities. But, when he does, he could become one of the very best receivers in the NFL.
He's built in the same mold as Plaxico Burress with the size/speed (4.4) combo that can take the top off a defense and give opposing coaches nightmares, and he’s also willing to go across the middle and make the tough catches.
His leaping ability mixed with decent hands will give any team that drafts him a legitimate red-zone threat.
He does need work on his route running, but that should get worked out with the proper coaching.
Streeter should be the No. 1 option on Minnesota’s board as Round 3 approaches—that is if Round 1 and 2 go according to plan.
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