Minnesota Vikings 2012 Mock Draft: Buying or Selling Matt Miller's Latest Picks
It's what every fan loves to scream at the television when an "expert" is on telling them how it's going to go, or how it's going to be.
This is another one of those opportunities.
First Round (Pick No. 3), Matt Kalil, USC Offensive Tackle: BUY IT
Prior to the St. Louis Rams announcing they planned to trade the No. 2 overall pick I would have sold this pick. The Rams drafted Jason Smith No. 2 overall in 2009, but he hasn't panned out the way they hoped.
Kalil should have been their guy at No. 2. But since the Rams will trade the pick to a team that wants to pick Robert Griffin III, Kalil should fall right into Minnesota's hands.
The selection of Kalil means Minnesota has its franchise left tackle. Kalil is athletic (4.96 40-yard dash) and large (6'7", and 295 pounds). He can protect Christian Ponder's blindside for the next 10 years.
Is there anything better Minnesota can do at No. 3 than protect its investment in Ponder?
Second Round (Pick No. 35), Devon Still, Penn State Defensive Tackle: SELL IT
This is not a knock on Devon Still's talent, but it's because his position is not a high-priority need. The Vikings do need help at the defensive tackle position, but not this early in the draft.
Kevin Williams is still a solid play at one spot and Remi Ayodele is adequate.
The secondary and offensive line are the top two needs. They already drafted an offensive lineman in the first round, so this is the time to help the secondary.
At this point in the draft, there are equally talented players available, according to Miller's mock. There are defensive backs available at this point that also are first-round talents, like Alabama safety Mark Barron, Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard and Northern Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
Any one would be a suitable selection over Still at this point.
Third Round (Pick No. 67), Chase Minnifield, Virginia Cornerback: BUY IT
Chris Cook is suspended until his legal problems are resolved. Antoine Winfield is 34-years-old. Cedric Griffin is expected to be released, as is Benny Sapp.
The secondary is the No. 1 priority this offseason. It needs fixing. Minnesota should select one piece for its secondary in the second round. Alabama safety Mark Barron would be ideal, given that he's available in Miller's mock.
But Chase Minnifield would give Minnesota another strong piece for the future. At 6'0", 185 pounds, he has good size and cover skills.
His biggest strength is the ability to tackle similar to Winfield. He's a strong open-field tackler.
Minnifield's bloodline is strong, as his father, Frank Minnifield, was a Pro Bowl cornerback for the Cleveland Browns (1984-1992). And unlike the last cornerback Minnesota selected out of Virginia, he has no off-the-field issues of note.
Fourth Round (Pick No. 99), Tommy Streeter, Miami Wide Receiver: BUY IT
At some point, the wide receiver position needs to get addressed. This is a good part of the draft to do just that.
Tommy Streeter is the anti-Percy Harvin. At 6'5", 215 pounds, he's a big, bulky receiver who can go vertical and snatch the ball away from defensive backs.
He doesn't have breakaway speed, but what the Vikings need are receivers who can make plays. And Streeter can do just that.
Fifth Round (Pick No. 131), Marvin McNutt, Iowa Wide Receiver: SELL IT
Minnesota just took a wide receiver in the fourth round. This is a position that is littered with available, talented free agents. At this point in the draft, and given who's available in Miller's mock, Marvin McNutt isn't a great choice.
He's played only three years at the position and questions remain about his route-running and speed.
Where Minnesota still needs help at is the offensive line. This would be a great spot to pick up a guard.
Brandon Brooks from Miami of Ohio should be the pick. He's really, really big: 6'5", 357 pounds. He'll need to lose some weight in order to be successful, but the reviews otherwise are positive for a fifth-round pick.
He won't be a star, but he can be a stable force on an offensive line.
Seventh Round (Pick No. 195), Donte Paige-Moss, North Carolina DE: SELL IT
At this point in the draft, the talent has thinned out greatly and it's time to find gems. Donte Paige-Moss is not one of those gems.
Read this scouting report from CBSSports.com and you won't feel good about Paige-Moss either. It says he "does not have an elite first step as a pass rusher," "does not have elite hustle and quickness to the ball," and "had trouble keeping his temper during his first year at UNC: arrested for simple assault in July 2009 after getting into a fight with a teammate in a dorm room, then suspended for Meineke Car Care Bowl last year for an incident with a N.C. State player after their match-up."
That's too much baggage to be a desirable selection. But Texas A&M's Jeff Fuller is a desirable player.
Minnesota's receiving core needs help. Fuller can help. He was projected as a first round pick early in the season and the talent is still there.
Fuller was an all-conference player his junior year, catching 72 passes for 1,066 yards and 12 touchdowns. At 6'4", 220 pounds, he possesses a desirable frame for an NFL wide receiver.
And his 2011 numbers weren't terrible: 70 receptions, 828 yards and six touchdowns. He doesn't have breakaway speed, but that's what Percy Harvin is for.
Seventh Round (Pick No. 208), Evan Rodriguez, Temple Fullback: BUY IT
Evan Rodriguez has a large frame (6'3", 250 pounds) and as a CBSSports.com report states, he "possesses soft hands and good focus" and is "a natural pass catcher [sic]."
Minnesota does not use the fullback much in its offense, but with Jim Kleinsasser's retirement and Visanthe Shiancoe not expected to come back, the Vikings could use another tight end-caliber player.
Rodriguez's strength is catching the football, and with Christian Ponder still finding his way in the NFL, another pass-catching target can't be a bad thing. Especially in the seventh round.