Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft: Rating Walter Football's Latest Picks
The 2012 NFL draft is only 10 days away, and every Viking fan across the world is highly anticipating this year's draft. The draft for the Vikings this season means everything to the team. The fans and the team hope they never have to select his high again.
Today, Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com released his new five-round mock draft.
Some of the picks made by Campbell are picks that others have made, including myself, but none of the picks are shocking.
For each pick in this draft made by Campbell, I will give a grade to the pick itself and a grade to Campbell for the pick.
Let's get to it.
Round 1: LT Matt Kalil, USC
Matt Kalil is the consensus pick here. There is no reason for Campbell or anyone else to believe that the Vikings will not select him if they stay in the third-overall slot.
Campbell does not believe that the Vikings will select Morris Claiborne or anyone else with the third pick. He only believes the team will select Kalil because a left tackle is their biggest need and because of his great potential to grow in the NFL.
Draft Grade of Kalil: A+
Unless the Miami Dolphins give up the farm for the third pick, the Vikings should stay put and select Kalil. There might be some riots in Minneapolis if this doesn't happen.
Campbell's Grade: A
Kalil is an easy pick for any mock drafter, but Campbell gave some great analysis here.
My opinion is the Vikings are blowing smoke about liking Morris Claiborne over Matt Kalil. That sounds like Minnesota is trying to see if a desperate team will give up a truckload of compensation to move up for Claiborne. That seems extremely unlikely given the other talent available in the top 10. Perhaps the Vikings' best hope to move down is if the Dolphins have to ensure that they land Ryan Tannehill in front of the Browns. More than likely, Minnesota will probably be stuck with the third pick, but the team should be pleased to land the top non-quarterback in the draft. Also, the Vikings' biggest need is at left tackle.
Round 2: WR Alshon Jeffery, USC (South Carolina)
Before the season started last year Vikings fans would have never thought they would have a chance to draft Alshon Jeffery at all.
For starters, the fans did not think their team was going to be 3-13. Also, Jeffery was supposed to be the top prospect at the wide receiver position, but because of a pedestrian performance in the 2011 season, his stock dropped faster than AIG and BP's.
Campbell has went ahead and mocked Jeffery here, and it is very possible. Most readers on Bleacher Report and outside of this site would love to have Jeffery here if the Vikings select a wide receiver.
Campbell was right by choosing a wide receiver. He was also right by choosing Jeffery because his size and hands will definitely help Christian Ponder's growth.
Draft Grade of Jeffery: A-
There could be other selections here that will help the Vikings, including other wide receivers. Jeffery would be great, but there may be one or two better prospects here.
Campbell's Grade: A+
Round 3: CB Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt
Campbell has mocked Casey Hayward out of Vanderbilt, and here is his reasoning why:
Hayward totaled seven interceptions, 62 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss and 10 passes broken up this year. He has enough size and ball skills to fit any NFL defense. Hayward also is aggressive defending the run. Against Arkansas, he dropped three interceptions and had six passes broken up. The 5-foot-11, 188-pounder showed good instincts to get in position to make those plays, but if he had caught those passes, the Commodores probably would have upset the Razorbacks.
Hayward would be a great selection here, but there might be some better prospects to choose from. Chase Minnifield out of Virginia is still on the draft board for Campbell, and he would be great for this team. Josh Robinson is also still available. Robinson's performance at the combine was incredible, and his speed is exactly what the team needs to stop the deep plays.
Draft Grade of Heyward: B-
There are better prospects than Heyward, but he is a position of need. The pick is great, but if others are still available at that position, the Vikes should maybe go after them instead of Heyward.
Campbell's Grade: B
Solid pick by Campbell. He addressed the position of need and he chose a name many Viking fans are not talking about.
Round 4: DT/DE Mike Martin, Michigan (98th Overall)
This is a great selection by Campbell. The Vikings need some depth at their defensive tackle position because Kevin Williams is getting up their in age and Letroy Guion is a wild card.
Martin can play for a 4-3 and a 3-4. That would be nice if the Vikings needed someone for the 3-4 but they obviously don't. Martin's mix of speed and power would be a great for a defense that lacked power and emotion last season.
Draft Grade for Martin: B+
Campbell's Grade: A-
The Vikings still need safeties and some depth at linebacker, but Martin would be a great value pick.
Round 4: OT/G Senio Kelemete, Washington (128th Overall)
There is no reason for the Vikings to select another offensive lineman this early when they still need help in their secondary. Martin was an exception with the 98th pick because of his value.
The Vikings may need some more offensive line help, but they are slated to select Matt Kalil with the third overall pick and they signed Geoff Schwartz in the offseason.
The team needs a safety like a Markelle Martin or another cornerback like Chase Minnifield, who is slated to go to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 119th pick in Campbell's mock draft.
Draft Grade for Kelemete: C
Campbell's Grade: C-
Chase Minnifield should have gone to the Vikings with the 98th pick, and the team could have found another DT/DE with the 128th overall, like Jaye Howard out of Florida.
Round 4: CB Shaun Prater, Iowa (134th Overall)
The Vikings need a lot of secondary help, so it may come as no surprise that Campbell keeps mocking cornerbacks to the team.
This is a great scheme pick because Prater is familiar with the Cover 2.
Draft Grade of Prater: B-
Campbell's Grade: D+
Campbell has not mocked a safety to the Vikings yet, which is a big-time position of need.
Round 5: OT Andrew Datko, Florida State
Andrew Datko would be a solid pick for the team here if the Vikings do not select Matt Kalil; however, it would be crazy for the team to not select Kalil in the first place.
Datko used to protect Christian Ponder in college, and he could do that now in the NFL. It sounds cute and all, but it should not happen.
There is only one man the Vikings should select with this pick and his name is Vontaze Burfict. His character issues can go away with coaching, but his value is too high to not draft. The Vikings need depth at linebacker, and they may need a new starter because E.J. Henderson might not come back to the team.
Draft Grade of Datko: C
Campbell's Grade: D+
No safety at all in the first five rounds and three offensive linemen. Phil Loadaholt is good, and with Kalil on the line, Loadholt will have less pressure to carry the line.
Campbell had a decent mock draft when it came to the Vikings picks. However, he kind of lost it in the later rounds because he kept going after offensive linemen. Campbell completely ignored drafting a safety and chose a lesser-talented cornerback over a higher one.
Campbell's Overall Grade: B-
If he selected Burfict in the fifth round, a safety either in the third or fourth and Chase Minnifield somewhere in the draft, he would have gotten an A.