Minnesota Vikings 2013 Mock Draft: Predictions for Day 2 and Beyond
Minnesota Vikings' general manager Rick Spielman was able to pull off another draft day deal that gave the Vikings three picks among the first 29.
It is the second time in Minnesota's history that the Vikings had three picks in the first round. The last time came in 1967. That year they drafted running back Clint Jones second overall, followed by wide receiver Gene Washington eighth, and defensive tackle Alan Page at No. 15.
Here's hoping this year's crop of first-round selections can be just as successful.
Spielman was able to address three of the team's needs, and draft the top-ranked players at their position.
With the 23rd pick, the Vikings selected defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd from Florida. Walter Football and Matt Miller, B/R's NFL Draft Lead Writer, rated him as the top DT in the draft and NFL Draft Scout had him ranked second.
Two picks later the Vikings fortified the defense again. This time they selected cornerback Xavier Rhodes from Florida State. Rhodes was rated the second-best corner by Walter Football and NFL Draft Scout and fourth by Miller.
Then Spielman and the Vikings worked the phones and negotiated a deal that moved them back into the first round. The Vikings received New England's 29th pick in the draft in exchange for Minnesota's picks in the second, third, fourth and seventh rounds.
If you're counting, that's four-for-one.
With that pick the team addressed a need at wide receiver, drafting Cordarrelle Patterson from Tennessee. Patterson was Miller's top receiver in the draft, while Walter Football had him ranked second and NFL Draft Scout third.
The Vikings were able to improve themselves at three positions, but still have needs at linebacker and defensive end to be addressed.
After the dust settled on the first round, the Vikings still have five picks remaining, but don't select again until the fourth round.
Here's a look at how those picks might go.
Round 4, Pick 5 (120 Overall): Kevin Reddick, Linebacker from North Carolina
Originally, I had the Vikings using this pick to select a defensive end. Of course, when they had three picks prior to this one, the linebacker position was already addressed.
With no real depth at middle linebacker, after Jasper Brinkley signed with the Arizona Cardinals, look for the Vikings to take the best inside linebacker available in the fourth round.
Kevin Reddick finished second on the North Carolina defense last season with 85 tackles, leading the Tar Heels with 18.5 tackles for a loss. He also had six passes defensed and led the team with 6.5 sacks.
In four years at North Carolina, he finished with 275 tackles, 36 of them for loss, 8.5 sacks and two interceptions.
Round 5, Pick 22 (155 Overall): Cobi Hamilton, Wide Receiver from Arkansas
Why not? Last year the Vikings drafted two wide receivers from Arkansas in Jarius Wright and Greg Childs. The two took turns leading Arkansas in receiving while playing together for four seasons.
In 2009, Childs led the Razorbacks in receiving with 48 receptions for 894 yards and seven touchdowns.
In 2011, Wright led Arkansas with 66 receptions for 1,117 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Last year Cobi Hamilton was the Razorbacks' leading receiver with 90 catches for 1,335 yards and five touchdowns. At 6'2" and 212 pounds, Hamilton fits right between Wright (5'10", 182 pounds) and Childs (6'3', 220 pounds).
And who knows, perhaps the third time is the charm for the Vikings.
Round 6, Pick 21 (189 Overall): J.C. Tretter, Offensive Tackle from Cornell
The Vikings need to find some depth for the offensive line. With Geoff Schwartz signing with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Vikings don't have much experience to back up Charlie Johnson and Brandon Fusco. Currently they are left with Joe Berger who has been in the league seven seasons.
There are plenty of undrafted free agents whom the Vikings have signed to the practice squad over the years, but none have stepped up and provided any depth.
J.C. Tretter went to Cornell to play tight end and eventually made the switch to tackle after two seasons.
Tretter is 6'4" and 307 pounds. He was invited to play in the 2013 Senior Bowl, but unfortunately suffered a broken nose during workouts and missed the game.
Although he played left tackle last season, NFL Draft Scout ranks him as the 10th-best guard in the draft.
Round 7, Pick 7 (213 Overall) from Arizona: Jeff Locke, Punter from UCLA
If Chris Kluwe's antics and political rantings are wearing thin on head coach Leslie Frazier, how poetic would it be to draft Jeff Locke from Kluwe's alma mater?
In four years at UCLA, Lock had 274 punts for an average of 44.2 yards per punt. He also filled in as the kicker as junior, converting 6-of-9 PATs and 2-of-3 field goals.
At the Senior Bowl he averaged 45 yards per punt, placing two inside the 20-yard line.
Why punters and kickers are typically signed as undrafted free agents, the Vikings did well drafting kicker Blair Walsh last season.
NFL Draft Scout ranks Locke as the top punter in the draft, projecting him as a third or fourth round pick. Walter Football ranks him as the third-best punter and falling to the sixth or seventh round.
Round 7, Pick 8 (214 Overall): Devin Taylor, Defensive End from South Carolina
The Minnesota Vikings will need to address the defensive end position at some point. With their top three DEs all becoming free agent after the 2013 season, the odds are not favorable that all three will remain with the team.
Besides, Jared Allen will be 31 and Brian Robison will be 30. Their backup, Everson Griffen is the youngest at 26.
As with the last two seasons, look for the Vikings to use a seventh-round pick on a defensive end. In 2011 they selected D'Aundre Reed with the 215th pick. Last year it is was Trevor Guyton at No. 219. Reed, is still with the team, but Guyton was cut during training camp last season.
Devin Taylor played four seasons at South Carolina and finished with 161 tackles, 35.5 tackles for a loss and 18.5 sacks.
At 6'7" and 266 pounds, his measurements match those of Allen. It's a matter of how fast his motor runs.
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