Minnesota Vikings 2013 Mock Draft: Predictions for Day 3
For the Minnesota Vikings, the second day of the 2013 NFL draft could not have been any different than that of the opening round. For only the second time in franchise history, the Vikings had three draft picks in the first round.
For the second straight year, general manager Rick Spielman worked his way back into the first round. And for the second straight year, hopefully drafted another player that will make an immediate impact for the team.
The deal that gave Minnesota the 29th overall pick in the draft cost the Vikings all their picks in Rounds 2 and 3, and one of their picks in each of the fourth and seventh rounds.
So as great as the draft was for Minnesota on Day 1—it was a yawner on Day 2.
Even though the Vikings didn't have a draft pick for Day 2 of the NFL draft, it doesn't mean the landscape didn't change for their remaining five picks in Rounds 4 through 7.
Here's my last mock draft covering Day 3 for the Minnesota Vikings.
Round 4, Pick 23 (120 Overall): A.J. Klein, Linebacker from Iowa State
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The Minnesota Vikings need to add some depth at middle linebacker. Currently, the depth chart includes six-year backup Marvin Mitchell, who has three starts in his career, and second-year player Audie Cole, who made the roster on special teams.
A,J. Klein from Iowa State led the Cyclones with 117 tackles last season. He finished with 3.5 tackles for a loss, a sack and an interception. Over his four seasons he finished with 361 tackles, 20 of them for a loss, three sacks and five interceptions. Four of those five interceptions he returned for touchdowns.
Two of these came in his sophomore year when he also returned a fumble for a touchdown.
As a junior he shared the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award.
At the NFL Scouting Combine he ran a 4.66 in the 40-yard dash and had 20 reps in the bench press.
According NFL.com, Klein is an intelligent player with great instincts, but lack of speed and deficiency in man coverage could limit him to a two-down linebacker.
Round 5, Pick 22 (155 Overall): Ryan Swope, Wide Receiver from Texas A&M
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Sometimes the best way to attack a problem is by overwhelming it with numbers.
The Minnesota Vikings got a big-name receiver in the first round with the selection of Cordarrelle Patterson.
Last year the Vikings took two wide receivers in the draft. In return they got 22 catches for 310 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.
NFL Draft Scout ranks Ryan Swope as the 13th-best wide receiver in the draft. At the NFL Scouting Combine he surprised scouts with a 4.34 in the 40-yard dash—the second-fastest time at the combine.
Over his three years as a starter at Texas A&M he averaged 78 receptions for 981 yards and seven touchdowns.
The fact he was not drafted on Day 2 was a surprise. An early exit from the Senior Bowl may have caused his stock to drop.
Round 6, Pick 21 (189 Overall): Jake Knott, Linebacker from Iowa State
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Last year the Vikings drafted three sets of college teammates—from Notre Dame, Arkansas and USC.
With how thin the Vikings are at linebacker, why not continue the trend with Jake Knott from Iowa State?
During his junior season, Knott and fellow linebacker A.J. Klein led Iowa State with 115 and 116 tackles, respectively. Knott was named First-Team All-Big 12 and co-captain for the Cyclones.
A three-year starter, Knott finished with 347 tackles, 18 tackles for a loss and eight interceptions.
Round 7, Pick 7 (213 Overall): Quanterus Smith, DE from Western Kentucky
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As I have been pointing out quite frequently, the Vikings need to address the defensive end position. With both starters and the top backup all becoming free agents at the end of the season, it will be difficult to keep all of them.
This will be a pick where the Vikings should take the best player available and not necessarily reach for a position with a player they could attempt to sign as an undrafted free agent.
Quanterus Smith is a pass-rushing beast and led Western Kentucky with 12.5 sacks this past season, even though he suffered a knee injury that cut his season short.
He finished with 135 tackles, 41 for a loss and 24 sacks in his four years at Western Kentucky.
He has the height at 6'5", but may be considered a bit light at only 250 pounds.
Round 7, Pick 8 (214 Overall): Travis Bond, Guard from North Carolina
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The Minnesota Vikings need to find some depth behind starting guards Brandon Fusco and Charlie Johnson. The Vikings will look to add at least one lineman late in the draft and by signing some undrafted rookie free agents.
According to Matt Miller, B/R's NFL Draft Lead Writer, Travis Bond from North Carolina is one of the bigger and stronger linemen in the draft. He sees this as both a plus and a minus, as it could limit his versatility.
At 6'7" and 330 pounds, Bond has the size that will attract some interest from NFL teams. There were representatives from 28 NFL teams at North Carolina's pro day, so no doubt he is on some teams' radar.