(Note: This is a continuation of a series where we take you inside our War Room for the #MockOne draft series. This particular version is for #MockFour. If you are unfamiliar with what it is all about, you should probably start off by reading about what we did in the previous #MockThree. For prior #MockFour posts, check out #MockFour Begins and The Risks Continue.)

Alright guys, I have to be absolutely honest here. I kind of dropped the ball on this one. Things got very busy at work and I ended up going out of town last weekend so I wasn’t able to keep you all updated with #MockFour as much as I wanted to. Nevertheless, I wanted to get our draft out there before the actual Vikings have theirs. (You know, just so we look like geniuses when the real Vikings draft looks exactly like ours!)

So, here’s how we’re going to do things this time around. I’m going to list out how the draft went, the trades we made, who was selected, etc… Then Adam and I are giving to give our input and background on each pick.

Trade: Vikings 1.03 for Rams 1.06, 2.07 and 4.01
1.06 – Justin Blackmon, WR, Ohio State
Trade: Vikings 2.07, 5.03 and 7.03 for Ravens 1.29
1.29 – Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
2.03 – Janoris Jenkins, CB, N. Alabama
3.03 – Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State
4.01 – Antonio Allen, S, South Carolina
4.03 – Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami (FL)
4.33 – Juron Criner, WR, Arizona
4.39 – Tank Carder, ILB, TCU
6.05 – Evan Rodriguez, TE, Temple
7.16 – Greg Zuerlein, K, Missouri Western St.

There you have it! The Vikings #MockFour 2012 Draft Class. Now, let’s get into breaking these picks down.

Trade: Vikings 1.03 for Rams 1.06, 2.07 and 4.01
1.06 – Justin Blackmon, WR, Ohio State
Trade: Vikings 2.07, 5.03 and 7.03 for Ravens 1.29
1.29 – Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

We’ve already covered our exciting first round in a prior post, so I’ll just direct you there.

2.03 – Janoris Jenkins, CB, N. Alabama

We’ve also already discussed this controversial pick in detail.

3.03 – Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State

(Brett’s Take) After making, what we thought were, drastic improvements to this team at positions of need in the first two rounds, we really went into the third round wanting to address safety. Some of you may remember this pick from #MockThree because it’s the same person we took with the same pick. Markelle Martin would not only be a starter but probably the best safety on this team immediately. He fits our defensive scheme near perfectly and has the versatility to play either safety position. He’s a great tackler who flies to wherever the ball is on the field and is great against the run. (Antoine Winfield should definitely be a fan.) Martin is arguably the best free safety in this year’s draft. While we considered some other options like CB Trumaine Johnson and OT Bobbie Massie, ultimately we decided to continue to bolster a secondary in dire need of support.

(Adam’s Take) I have made it clear that I personally view safety as the Vikings biggest need in the upcoming Draft.  Interestingly enough, Brett and the gang that did #MockThree selected the exact same player at the exact same position, so perhaps Martin is a name to keep an eye on when the real Draft rolls around.  Martin is plain and simply superior to our current options in every way.  He tackles well, has big range, versatility, and can cover quite nicely.  A good pick that I was 100% behind.

4.01 – Antonio Allen, S, South Carolina

(Brett’s Take) Our War Room was really excited about the possibility of adding CB Jamell Fleming with our first selection in the first round. Unfortunately, Fleming was taken just prior to us selecting by the 49ers and, to be honest, put us in a little bit of a panic on how to select when we were on the clock. Adam being so insistent on upgrading the safety position even more (I’ll admit, it does need it), we began looking at S Antonio Allen. There was one member of our War Room who preferred selecting QB Kirk Cousins as a developmental quarterback and insurance in case Ponder fell through. Ultimately though, he was overrode 3 to 1 and we pulled the trigger on Allen. While Allen has a tendency to get burnt deep, he is excellent in run support and covering opposing tight ends. He has a huge frame and plays with an old school mentality resulting in mammoth-sized hits.

(Adam’s Take) This probably won’t be too surprising to the readers here, but I led the charge on getting yet another top safety prospect in the fold with this pick.  Allen is very good in run support and has the physical attributes required to hang with the tight ends we are looking at facing this year.  There have been questions about his ability to cover well, but he couldn’t possibly be worse than what we have already.  I envision Martin and Allen as immediate starters in our defensive backfield from day one, and hopefully will be a tandem that can grow and learn as a dominant force for years to come.

4.03 – Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami (FL)

(Brett’s Take) Surprisingly enough, Streeter was not the best player available on our board at this point. In fact, he wasn’t even the best wide receiver available. We recognized though that the guy we had higher than Streeter would probably fall further whereas Streeter would likely be selected before our next pick. Although we had already selected Justin Blackmon with our first pick, Streeter is the really the type of receiver who can take a top off a defense. The type of receiver the Vikings really need. He is a fast, tall vertical threat who, with a little work and development, could be an outstanding weapon for Ponder.

(Adam’s Take) This was all about the potential.  Streeter possesses the size, speed and attributes that could eventually see him surpass Blackmon as the team’s top receiver.  I wasn’t totally on board with this pick because I felt there were more NFL-ready prospects available, but the team felt that the upside was too great to pass up here and it is hard to deny that.  Streeter possesses unique traits that could make him very dangerous down the road.

4.33 – Juron Criner, WR, Arizona

(Brett’s Take) This was the receiver we had higher than Streeter that we passed on with the last pick. It really worked in our favor that he fell like we thought he would. We have Criner rated very high and were ecstatic to be able to nab him this late with one of our compensatory picks. I know, I know… another receiver. But look, 2012 is all about Christian Ponder. I’m aware that I’ve said that a million times but I really can’t stress enough how important it is to provide Ponder with the protection and weapons he needs to do well. With a 38” vertical and good (not great) speed, Criner is another outside target who can really stretch the field. The guy can catch just about anything. Criner is also tough to bring down after the catch and will be an exceptional red zone target. With the wide receiver selections we’ve made in this draft, this team has the potential to have some serious offensive fire power. Blackmon, Harvin, Streeter, Criner, Rudolph, Carlson… that should put some scare into defenses.

(Adam’s Take) That’s right, yet another receiver!  Brett and I had a second round grade on Criner and he was by far our best available player at this point.  He is a big red zone threat that has a knack for getting up in the air and snatching the ball.  This could be a real steal for us.  Harvin, Jenkins, Blackmon, Streeter, and Criner is a group that should make any young quarterback happy to have.  But is three wide outs too many to select, especially with very little special teams value in the bunch?  We’ll let you be the judges on that.

4.39 – Tank Carder, ILB, TCU

(Brett’s Take) Adam has been dying to get Tank Carder and I can’t blame him. For one, the guy’s name is Tank. And, as a rule of thumb, I think anyone named after military vehicles should have an immediate role on the team. Apart from the awesome name though, Carder is an instinctive linebacker who does well in zone coverage. He has a non-stop motor and plays with passion and intensity. On top of that, Carder is a great leader and an incredibly hard worker. He should be able to compete with Jasper Brinkley immediately for the MLB spot. While all of our War Room was not in agreement on this pick, I think Adam’s determination and my support really pushed it through.

(Adam’s Take) Yet another prospect I wanted to go to bat for here.  There is some concern that Carder has already maxed out his potential in college and that he is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of guy.  I think he provides great competition for Jasper Brinkley at the MLB spot and would be a superior option in terms of pass coverage.  We had to address the position at some point, and right here Carder was our top option.

6.05 – Evan Rodriguez, TE, Temple

(Brett’s Take) I wasn’t involved with this pick as I was away on vacation. (Horrible GM, I know…) So, I can’t provide much insight into what went in to actually making the selection and will leave that up to Adam. I will say this, though: While we are pretty set at the tight end position, Rodriguez is a versatile weapon who can also line up in the backfield and create mismatches with the defense. I think it’s a great, developmental, late-round selection.

(Adam’s Take) About halfway through the sixth round I suggested we should try and package our two remaining picks to jump up and grab a guy we felt strongly about.  Some of our targets included:  LB Travis Lewis, LB Emmanuel Acho, CB Shaun Prater, RB Chris Rainey, and OT Andrew Datko.  Unfortunately, a trade never happened and all these players got selected prior to our choice.  Acho was the last to get selected in the spot right before us.  Rodriguez does not fill a huge need, but he was pretty much a consensus BPA in the war room.  He has the versatility to move between tight end and fullback, providing solid blocking and creating mismatches, and puts him into a heavy competition for a roster spot.

7.16 – Greg Zuerlein, K, Missouri Western St.

(Brett’s Take) Wasn’t around for our final pick either, but from what I understand, this was the consensus pick. Longwell is aging and it was obvious buy his drop in production and loss of strength last season that his time in the NFL is coming to an end. Greg Zuerlin, who we also selected with the same pick in #MockThree, has a canon for a leg. Still, he is incredibly accurate and should not only be able to split the uprights in the dome, but also in the nasty conditions at our NFC North neighbors’ stadiums. Not to mention, this is a somewhat realistic late-round pick as the Vikings actually have met with Zuerlein this offseason.

(Adam’s Take) Very few seventh rounders are going to bring honest competition at a position of importance.  However, selecting Zuerlin does exactly that.  If the Vikings are really rebuilding a roster for the future, then getting the best kicker in this class to possibly de-throne Longwell has to be thought of as a step in the right direction.  At the very least, if he wins the spot over Longwell, Zuerlin should increase the number of touchbacks dealt to opponents on kickoffs.

Well, that’s it folks – the end of #MockFour. Again, it was an absolute blast participating in both #MockFour and #MockThree and the creators behind the whole thing should really be applauded. As such, make sure to visit their site, check out previous mocks and show them some support. I’d also like to say thanks to the other members of our War Room: Adam Warwas (I think you know him…), Ryan Boser of Bleacher Report and Josh Deceuster of Mocking the Draft. We had a great team and I thoroughly enjoyed working with these guys.

Personally, I feel we managed to put together one heck of a draft. We orchestrated some really favorable trades that allowed us to add valuable players at positions of need. In the end though, we are interested in hearing back from you and your opinions of how we did. So, give us an overall grade using the poll and then leave us some comments below to let us know what you think.