Minnesota Vikings 2011 Mock Draft: Could Cam Newton Be The Man?

Tanner ThomsSenior Analyst IJanuary 15, 2011

Minnesota Vikings 2011 Mock Draft: Could Cam Newton Be The Man?

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Quarterback Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates the Tigers 22-19 victory against the Oregon Ducks in the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, Ar
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Per request and the fact that I love to write, I'm going to be updating my Minnesota Vikings 2011 mock draft.

    The Vikings finished out the season with an embarrassing 6-10 record, which resulted in a surprising last place finish in a division that Minnesota was expected to win.

    Although I'm upset with the end results, I'm not surprised that Minnesota went 6-10.

    Yes, at the beginning of the season the expectations were astronomical. That said, the Vikings showed many weaknesses, stemming mainly fro, Brett Favre.

    Now that it's 2011, the Vikings have a new head coach, a soon-to-be new starting quarterback, and a whole different outlook on how the upcoming season will go.

    With the 12th pick in the 2011 draft, Minnesota has many options that they can go for.

    The Vikings could finally find their signal-caller that will be their for the long haul, draft a defensive end to replaced Ray Edwards or elect to look for a shut-down cornerback.

    With the 12th pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the Minnesota Vikings select...

Round One (16) From Jacksonville: Nate Solder, Offensive Tackle, Colorado

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    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 315 lbs.

    40 time: 4.89

    Stock: Mid to late first round pick

    ** Minnesota trades their first round pick (12th overall) to the Jacksonville Jaguars for their first (16th overall) and fourth round pick (124) **

    While it's clearly not the most sexy pick of the bunch, Nate Solder is needed more on the Vikings' roster than you would originally think.

    Bryant McKinnie's days of being a starter on the offensive line are nearing an end. His consistency issues are becoming more of a problem every year.

    In order to save some salary cap money, the Vikings could elect to release the 6'8" man known as "Mount McKinnie".

    Nate Solder is very close to McKinnie in size, although the picture that I chose would not do me diligence on that front.

    Minnesota's running game has decreased in production over the past few years, which can be put on almost anybody on the current offensive line.

    Even Steve Hutchinson saw his days where he couldn't help but flinch on the line.

    Probability of landing with Vikings:

    15 percent

    Minnesota's 2011 depth chart (LT):

    1. Jermon Bushrod, fifth year

    2. Nate Solder, rookie

Round Two (43): Pat Devlin, Quarterback, Delaware

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 222 lbs.

    40 time: 4.82

    Stock: late second to early third

    Although you may not be very familiar with the name Pet Devlin, soon, you will be completely aware of who he is.

    Devlin, who played wonderfully in two playoff games against New Hampshire and Eastern Washington, is an accurate passer with a strong arm.

    Due to his two great showings recently, Devin has been elevated from a fourth or fifth round pick all the way to the middle of the second round.

    With Minnesota's quarterback situation up in the air, the Vikings must look to either find a veteran to mentor Joe Webb or draft a quarterback early on.

    Probability of landing with Vikings:

    20 percent

    I give it 20 percent because I feel that Devlin may be somewhat of a reach here. I also think the Vikings may elect to sign a free agent like Matt Hasselbeck.

    Minnesota's 2011 depth chart (QB):

    1. Joe Webb, second year

    2. Marc Bulger, eleventh year

    3. Pat Devlin, rookie

Round Four (105): Clint Boling, Offensive Guard, Georgia

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    ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 21:  Clint Boling #60 of the Georgia Bulldogs against the Kentucky Wildcats at Sanford Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 304 lbs.

    40 time: 5.16

    Stock: Fourth to fifth round

    Not many will love the Vikings taking two offensive lineman early in the draft, but when you need something, you just need it.

    Minnesota's guard spots are currently being held by Steve Hutchinson, a veteran, and Chris DeGeare, a promising young player.

    While Hutch still has some gas left in the tank, nobody truly will know just exactly when his tank will be completely empty.

    The Vikings need to find plenty of depth for their struggling offensive line. Minnesota suffered several injuries to key players all the time in 2010.

    With Boling's arrival to Minnesota, Anthony Herrera could be the odd man out.

    Probability of landing with Vikings:

    10 percent

    I give it such a small amount because Minnesota can afford to wait a round before taking an offensive guard. That said, I don't advise it necessarily.

    Minnesota's 2011 depth chart (LG):

    1. Steve Hutchinson, eleventh year

    2. Clint Boling, rookie

Round Four (113): Will Hill, Safety, Florida

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 30:  Will Hill #10 of the Florida Gators holds up the ball after an interception during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field on October 30, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 207 lbs.

    40 time: 4.52

    Stock: Mid fourth to early fifth

    Will Hill, who chose to forgo his senior season with the Florida Gators, is one of the more underrated players in the entire draft, already.

    Minnesota's secondary issues cause me to believe that the Vikings will look to address it within the first four rounds.

    Tyrell Johnson and Madieu Williams, Minnesota's opening day starters at safety in 2009, could both be on their way out this offseason.

    While these two aren't needed any longer, depth will be if they decide to cut them both. Will Hill could be the man to cure these issues.

    Probability of landing with Vikings:

    20 percent

    Will Hill is a very talented player that fits exactly what Minnesota needs. While he's unlikely to make much of a difference in his first hear, we'll hear his name somewhere down the road.

    Minnesota's 2011 depth chart (FS):

    1. Cedric Griffin, sixth year (
    converts from cornerback to safety due to injury issues)

    2. Jamarca Sanford, third year

    3. Will Hill, rookie

Round Five (147): Wayne Daniels, Outside Linebacker, TCU

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    SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 07:  Quarterback Ryan Lindley #14 of the San Diego State Aztecs throws a pass against defensive end Wayne Daniels #96 of the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs on November 7, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.  TC
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 250 lbs.

    40 time: 4.79

    Stock: Early fifth round

    With Ben Leber as a free-agent-to-be, Minnesota must either decide to resign him for a cheap deal or draft an outside linebacker in the draft, for depth.

    Minnesota's back-ups at linebacker aren't the worst, but there is truly nobody behind Leber that is ready to step in to start in his place.

    Wayne Daniels will not be that man right away, maybe ever, but he will provide Minnesota with help on special teams, which is always beneficial.

    Due to the limited amount of great talent for linebackers in the later rounds, the Vikings will likely be forced to resign Leber for a couple more years.

    Probability of landing with Vikings:

    15 percent

    There's no question that Minnesota will draft a linebacker in the 2011 draft, but that doesn't mean it'll be this far along.

    Minnesota's 2011 depth chart (WLB):

    1. Ben Leber, tenth year

    2. Erin Henderson, third year

    3. Wayne Daniels, rookie

Round Five (158): Markus White, Defensive End, Florida State

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31:  Markus White #98 of the Florida State Seminoles against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 262 lbs.

    40 time: 4.69

    Stock: Late fifth round

    I sound like a broken record, but it has to be done. Depth is often an issue for Minnesota, and it needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

    With Ray Edwards likely to leave via free agency, the Vikings will look to start either Brian Robison or Everson Griffen at the defensive end spot, opposite Jared Allen.

    When somebody goes away, another play must come in. I see no reason as to why that man can't be Markus White, a solid pass-rusher from Florida State.

    His sack stats aren't the greatest, but his ability to stop runs to the outside will be key, if he gets playing time in the preseason.

    Probability of landing with Vikings:

    20 percent

    This is a great number for this late in the draft. After reading as much as I could on White, I'm definitely impressed.

    Minnesota's 2011 depth chart (LDE):

    1. Brian Robison, fifth year

    2. Everson Griffen, second year

    3. Markus White, rookie

Round Six (193): Devon Torrence, Cornerback, Ohio State

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    COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 13:  Cameron Heyward #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates with Devon Torrence #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes after Torrence returned an interception 34-yards for a touchdown against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 200 lbs.

    40 time: 4.53

    Stock: late fifth to early sixth round

    As I mentioned before, Minnesota's secondary is still as bad as it always was. I say that because it's never been consistent.

    The Vikings were often able to make a great quarterback look decent, but then they would get burned the next week.

    Cedric Griffin's ACL tear is a major reason why Minnesota's pass defense couldn't stay consistent, but his poor legs will likely cause him to switch to safety.

    Chris Cook will be pushed into the starting role, leaving Asher Allen and Frank Walker as Winfield and Cook's only back-ups.

    Probability of landing with Vikings:

    10 percent

    Only 10 percent because there are a few other cornerback options here that Minnesota may elect to take over Devon Torrence.

    Minnesota's 2011 depth chart (CB):

    1. Antoine Winfield, thirteenth year

    2. Chris Cook, second year

    3. Fabian Washington, seventh year

    4. Asher Allen, third year

    5. Devon Torrence, rookie

Round Seven (226): Tori Gurley, Wide Receiver, South Carolina

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    COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 06: Tori Gurley #81 of the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 230 lbs.

    40 time: 4.63

    Stock: late sixth to early seventh round

    After a bunch of defensive picks of late, Minnesota will look to address their wide receiver depth, especially with Sidney Rice, Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett set to become free agents this season.

    Don't fret however, Sidney Rice won't be going anywhere for a long, long time.

    That said, Lewis and Baskett will probably both be let go, leaving a couple spots open for the Vikings at wide receiver.

    Tori Gurley, a 6'4" receiver out of South Carolina, left the Gamecocks as a redshirt sophomore, but he did it with class, like a professional would.

    Probability of landing with Vikings:

    10 percent

    Toni would be the best receiver available by this point, but Minnesota may feel as though it's completely illogical to address a position that isn't hurting.

    Minnesota's 2011 depth chart (WR):

    1. Sidney Rice, fifth year

    2. Percy Harvin, third year

    3. Jacoby Jones, fifth year

    4. Greg Camarillo, sixth year

    5. Jaymar Johnson, third year

    On the bubble:

    Tori Gurley, rookie


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