5 Late Round Prospects That Would Be a Perfect Match for the Minnesota Vikings
As the Minnesota Vikings head into the 2013 NFL draft, most of the attention has been focused on who general manager Rick Spielman will select with the team's 23rd overall pick and the additional first-round selection (25th overall) acquired through the Seattle Seahawks in the Percy Harvin trade.
But, some of the best value can be found in the later rounds with most of the big-name talent off the board.
This edition of draft prospects who would fit perfectly with the Vikings highlights the final day of the draft, specifically rounds four and five where the team has three selections:
Round 4, 99th overall
Round 4, 117th overall
Round 5, 148th overall
The position needs remain the same—wide receiver, middle linebacker, defensive tackle and cornerback—with the final slide as a wild card.
Make sure to check out the first edition of draft prospects who would fit perfectly with the Vikings in the first round and weigh in with your thoughts below.
All combine results courtesy of NFL.com.
WR Ryan Swope, Texas A&M
Ryan Swope may not have the type of buzz surrounding him like Cordarrelle Patterson or Tavon Austin, but he showcased similar speed at the combine in the 40-yard dash, posting a 4.34 that was tied with Austin and bested Patterson's mark of 4.42.
In addition to straight-line speed, Swope has demonstrated steady hands away from his body and excellent vision as a converted running back.
He runs crisp routes and has quickness to separate from defenders on the line, allowing for yards after the catch in the open field.
Swope's best year came as a junior at Texas A&M, catching passes from Ryan Tannehill who was selected eighth overall in last year's draft by the Miami Dolphins. He caught 89 passes for 1,207 receiving yards (both school records) and hauled in 11 touchdowns.
If the Vikings are looking to add depth at receiver and provide a reliable target for third-year quarterback Christian Ponder, the A&M product provides an excellent option in the later rounds of the draft.
ILB A.J. Klein, Iowa State
A.J. Klein may be relatively well-known in the Midwest playing for Iowa State, but he has not received the level of attention nationally.
The senior Cyclone has demonstrated a strong work ethic and good intelligence on the field during his time in Ames, characteristics valued highly by a team led by Leslie Frazier.
Klein has the ability to be an excellent run-stopper up the middle, as well as provide strong coverage in the Vikings' Tampa 2 defensive scheme. During his final two seasons in college, he collected 234 tackles (11 total for loss) and grabbed two interceptions.
In terms of speed, Klein recorded faster times in the 40-yard dash at the combine than both first-round prospects Alec Ogletree and Manti Te'o. He clocked in at 4.66, compared to 4.70 and 4.82 for Ogletree and Te'o, respectively.
Klein brings an instinctual style of play with very few lost steps when tracking ball-carriers. He moves well in traffic and should develop quickly at the next level.
DT Bennie Logan, LSU
With a deep class at defensive tackle, the Vikings may focus on other needs and wait to add a missing piece to the team's previously dominant front four. Bennie Logan would be just the player to come in and supply similar strengths as the higher rated players.
Logan is currently best suited as a pure run-stopping force at 6'2" and 309 pounds. He can clog holes and make running lanes difficult to find for the opposition. He reminds me of a slightly smaller version of Johnathan Hankins out of Ohio State.
Although playing alongside tough competition in teammates Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery, Logan still posted 102 tackles his last two years as a starter, including 12 tackles for loss and five sacks.
Logan has good athletic ability and physical tools, but will need some development as a pass-rusher. However, he provides excellent value this late in the draft and fills a need for the team.
CB B.W. Webb, William & Mary
Considering the uncertainty Minnesota currently has at cornerback, the team should select defensive back early and late in the draft.
B.W. Webb out of William & Mary would fit perfectly with Minnesota's style of defense.
Webb was flat-out dominant at the combine, posting top numbers in the 20-yard shuttle (3.84), vertical jump (40.5") and broad jump (11 feet).
These numbers help compensate for his average height (5'10") against receivers.
Recent reports indicate the Seattle Seahawks are close to signing a deal with former Viking Antoine Winfield. Webb would bring a similar unyielding style of play with the ability to make tackles in the open field and stick receivers in short passing plays.
With Webb's combine performance blowing his cover as a small-school prospect, the Vikings would most likely need to use its first selection in the fourth round on the redshirt senior.
OG J.C. Tretter, Cornell
J.C. Tretter continues to climb up my draft board and would be worthy of the Vikings' fifth-round draft selection. He played offensive tackle at Cornell but is being considered by NFL teams as a guard.
Although Minnesota had the leading rusher in Adrian Peterson last year, offensive guards Charlie Johnson and Brandon Fusco are not exactly dominant at their positions.
Tretter is a towering presence at 6'4", 307 pounds, but blends that size with good balance and control. He uses his hands well to gain leverage against defenders and has quick feet for various blocking assignments.
The senior out of Cornell will need to improve against stronger competition, but has the intelligence and athletic ability to fit in perfectly on the Vikings' offensive line.
If Tretter's pass blocking skills and ability to drive defenders off the line translates to the NFL, both Ponder and Peterson would be slapping the back of this lineman.
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