Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft: Fresh 7-Round Preview Post-Percy Harvin Trade
The Minnesota Vikings head into the 2013 NFL Draft with questions at several positions, but now none bigger than their hole at wide receiver. With the report that Percy Harvin has been traded to the Seattle Seahawks (via Jay Glazer of FOX Sports), Rick Spielman may have his work cut out for him in free agency and the draft.
With a deep draft class at the wideout position, the Vikings are likely to address other priorities in the early rounds . Defensive tackle and linebacker, in particular, are key positions the team will need to upgrade. Cornerback will also play into the mix, with the aging Antoine Winfield and oft-injured Chris Cook struggling to stay on the field.
The NFL scouting combine helped to improve the stock of several players, while other early favorites regressed to the pack.
The following previews all 11 draft picks the Vikings hold after receiving first and seventh-round selections from the Seahawks in exchange for Harvin.
All combine results courtesy of NFL.com.
Round 1 (23): WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Senior | 5'8", 174
20-yard shuttle: 4.01 sec
40-yard dash: 4.34 sec
Vertical jump: 32"
Broad jump: 120"
Bench press: 14
With Cordarrelle Patterson off the board by No. 23, the Vikings select the second-best receiver in this draft class with Tavon Austin. The senior out of West Virginia had a stellar performance at the NFL combine, with blazing times in both the 40-yard dash and 20-yard shuttle.
Austin would immediately step into the role previously held by Percy Harvin. Primarily a slot receiver, he can also line up in the backfield and return kicks. Austin led the country in all-purpose yards as a junior and finished second in that category last season.
The former Mountaineer displays excellent vision and top-end acceleration to avoid defenders. He would be a dangerous weapon for Christian Ponder, who thrives in the short and intermediate passing game.
WR Keenan Allen, California
DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
Round 1 (25): WR Keenan Allen, California
Junior | 6'2", 206
Combine results: DNP
The Minnesota Vikings strike twice at wide receiver with Keenan Allen, combining forces with Tavon Austin in the slot. Rick Spielman does his best work in the draft and these two selections would rebuild the receiving corps from the ground up.
Allen did not participate in the NFL scouting combine, but is scheduled to hold his Pro Day on April 9. The vertical receiver is hoping to alleviate fears over a lingering knee injury.
The junior out of California has the physical tools to step in as a No. 1 receiver for the Vikings. His size, ball skills and reliable hands project well into the NFL. Allen attacks the ball in the air at its highest point and demonstrates good agility after the catch.
DT Sylvester Williams
ILB Kevin Minter
Round 2 (52): DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
Junior | 6'3", 320
40-yard dash: 5.31 sec
Vertical jump: 26"
Broad jump: 104"
20-yard shuttle: 4.61 sec
With the rise in value of defensive tackles Sylvester Williams and Kawann Short, the Vikings are in prime position for Johnathan Hankins fall to them in the second round. A potential first-round draft pick, Hankins did not impress scouts at the NFL combine and was in the bottom-half of a number of drills.
On the field, Hankins is a significant presence on the defensive line. The big-bodied junior excelled at driving offensive linemen into the backfield and disrupting the run. He has surprising foot quickness for his size and plays hard through the whistle.
Drawing comparisons to former defensive tackle Pat Williams, Hankins complements Kevin Williams nicely allowing for a pass rush by fellow teammates. He started all 12 games last season and recorded 55 tackles (four for loss) and one sack.
With the Vikings addressing wide receiver with its two selections, the team can add an incredible physical asset to its defensive line at great value in the second round.
ILB Arthur Brown, Kansas State
WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
Round 3 (83): CB Robert Alford, Southeastern Louisiana
Senior | 5'10", 188
40-yard dash: 4.39 sec
Vertical jump: 40"
Broad jump: 132"
20-yard shuttle: 4.23 sec
Bench press: 17
Robert Alford impressed scouts with outstanding speed and jumping ability at the combine. He was one of only four cornerbacks to break 40 inches in the vertical, which helps him in jump ball situations against taller receivers.
Alford possesses strong upper body strength to press receivers at the line and quick feet to maintain coverage in a backpedal. His support against the run will also be a vital asset for the Vikings to eventually replace Antoine Winfield.
CB Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
WR Aaron Dobson, Marshall
Round 4 (99): WR Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas
Senior | 6'2", 212
40-yard dash: 4.56 sec
Vertical jump: 29.5"
Broad jump: 107"
20-yard shuttle: 4.31 sec
Bench press: 11
Selecting for value in the fourth round, the Vikings take a third receiver in former Razorback Cobi Hamilton. This would mark the first time since 2007 that a wideout went off the board three times to Minnesota, highlighted by Sidney Rice in the second round.
Hamilton would line up well opposite to Keenan Allen, flashing a big target down the field and on inside routes. He put up 90 receptions for 1,335 yards and five touchdowns as a senior, earning first-team All-Conference honors.
DT Akeem Spence, Illinois
WR Chris Harper, Kansas State
Round 4 (117): ILB Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
Senior | 6'1", 243
40-yard dash: 4.72 sec
Broad jump: 113"
Bench press: 23
Regardless if the Vikings sign free agent Jasper Brinkley, the team needs to add depth and a potential upgrade at inside linebacker.
Kevin Reddick is an athletic defender playing both in the middle and at outside linebacker in college. He recorded 85 tackles (18.5 for loss) and 6.5 sacks during his senior season at North Carolina.
Although he can lose leverage and take missteps at times, Reddick's size and versatility translate well in the Vikings defense.
ILB Jon Bostic, Florida
OT David Bakhtiari, Colorado
Round 5 (148): OLB Zaviar Gooden, Missouri
Senior | 6'1", 234
40-yard dash: 4.47 sec
Vertical jump: 34"
Broad jump: 131"
20-yard shuttle: 4.18 sec
Bench press: 27
Already addressing a need in the middle, the Vikings turn around and select outside linebacker Zaviar Gooden. Similar to the uncertainty with Brinkley, Erin Henderson is a free agent looking to sign a long-term deal, something the team has been unwilling to do in past years.
Gooden was impressive at the combine, clocking the fastest time in the 40-yard dash for a linebacker. He would line up well on the weak side opposite to Chad Greenway, blending speed and agility to track down ball carriers and defend against the pass.
OLB Jamie Collins, Southern Miss
FS Robert Lester, Alabama
Round 6 (179): OG J.C. Tretter, Cornell
Senior | 6'4", 307
40-yard dash: 5.09 sec
Vertical jump: 29.5"
Broad jump: 109"
20-yard shuttle: 4.69 sec
Bench press: 29
The Vikings head into the 2013 season with Charlie Johnson and Brandon Fusco at left and right guard, respectively. While the team featured the league's leading rusher in Adrian Peterson, neither guard had a stellar 2012 campaign.
J.C. Tretter played tackle at Cornell, but projects to move to guard in the NFL. He has quick feet and balance against the pass rush, offering good protection in five-step drops. Considering the offense Minnesota is trying to build around Ponder, the front office would land an excellent upside player in Tretter.
OT Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin
QB Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech
Round 7 (197): CB Adrian Bushell, Louisville
Senior | 5'9", 186
40-yard dash: 4.58 sec
Vertical jump: 33"
Broad jump: 116"
20-yard shuttle: 4.25 sec
Bench press: 17
Adrian Bushell is a strong run defender and has good agility to stay with receivers on double-moves and broken plays. He recorded 61 tackles and defended 13 passes, adding one interception in his senior year at Louisville.
With the 24th-ranked defense against the pass, the Vikings begin to add depth at secondary in the latter part of the draft.
CB Micah Hyde, Iowa
DT Everett Dawkins, Florida State
Round 7 (213): FS Josh Evans, Florida
Senior | 6'1", 207
40-yard dash: 4.58 sec
Vertical jump: 34.5"
Broad jump: 123"
20-yard shuttle: 4.10 sec
Rick Spielman made a bold move trading up last year to select Harrison Smith in the first round of the 2012 draft. While that selection proved successful, the Vikings could use a replacement for backup Mistral Raymond.
Josh Evans led the Gators in tackles his senior year with 79 (4.5 for loss) and added three interceptions. He has good agility (as he demonstrated in the combine's three-cone drill) to avoid blockers and attack the run, with good height and speed to defend against the pass.
FS John Boyett, Oregon
OG Jeff Baca, UCLA
Round 7 (215): DE Michael Buchanan, Illinois
Senior | 6'5", 255
40-yard dash: 4.78 sec
Vertical jump: 33"
Broad jump: 113"
20-yard shuttle: 4.44 sec
Bench press: 22
Michael Buchanan had a breakout junior year in 2011 and earned second-team All-Conference honors. He recorded 64 tackles (13.5 for loss) and 7.5 sacks.
Buchanan lost much-needed bulk in the offseason of his senior year, having his jaw wired shut following a fight. The all-liquid diet led to a drop in his production and the lean defender subsequently dropped down draft boards.
Teams will be fearful if Buchanan can compete in the NFL with his lanky build, but the Vikings would receive great value at this selection if the former Illini can add to his frame and get stronger.
DE Stansly Maponga, TCU
OG Sam Brenner, Utah
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