Everett Dawkins to the Vikings: How Does the DT Fit with Minnesota?

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Everett Dawkins to the Vikings: How Does the DT Fit with Minnesota?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When the dust settled on the 2013 NFL draft, the Minnesota Vikings ended it in the same way they opened it—by drafting a defensive tackle. The difference between the 23rd pick in Round 1 and the 229th pick in Round 7 might be as different as the chances of Sharrif Floyd and Everett Dawkins making the roster. 

Floyd, the Vikings' first pick in the draft, will have the expectation of being a starter. As for Dawkins from Florida State, he might be labelled as a future starter.

Walter Football ranked him 20th among defensive tackles and projects him to be a backup in the NFL. The overview from NFL.com states: 

An active interior presence who didn’t rack up huge numbers due to Florida State’s constant defensive line rotation (4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks over the last two years) but possesses the quick first step and hands to be a thorn in the side of NFL offensive lines. If a coach can work on his pad level and improve his ability to anchor, he might have potential as a starter down the line. He projects to be a Day 3 draft pick.

From CBS Sports, here's an analysis of his weaknesses:

May be considered somewhat undersized for the position. Lacks ideal arm length, and is locked up often as a result. Doesn't rip or swim as much as he should when considering his plus hand quickness and lack of length. Struggles to disengage when attempting to close running lanes from his anchor. Hand power is marginal at best, as he appears to "bounce" off his opponent at times when initiating contact off the snap. Resorts more to the bull rush than he should, as he lacks the natural power to consistently drive opponents off the block.

In four seasons at Florida State, he finished with 106 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss and only seven sacks. His best season came as a sophomore, when he finished with career highs with 39 tackles, six tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. 

As a senior, he finished 12th for Florida State in tackles with 26 tackles—13 fewer than fellow Vikings' draft pick Xavier Rhodes, who had 39. 

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Should the drafting of two defensive tackles worry last year's starter, Letroy Guion?

The Vikings roster currently lists five defensive tackles, not including Floyd. Behind six-time Pro Bowler Kevin Williams are Letroy Guion, Fred Evans and Christian Ballard, who were active all season, and Chase Baker, who was on the practice squad.

That's a lot of bodies for Dawkins to leapfrog.

At 6'2" and 292 pounds, Dawkins measures about the same size as John Randle (6'1" and 290 pounds). Randle went undrafted in 1990 out of Texas A&I University. 

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It would be great if Dawkins had a similar motor as Randle—in fact, it would be a huge. More likely, he will be this year's version of Trevor Guyton, the Vikings' last draft pick in 2012.

Guyton, a defensive end from California, had a similar barrier in front of him last year. He did not make the final roster.  

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