The last few rounds of the #MockThree draft went much quicker than the first four. That’s partly due to the fact that each team has significantly less time on the clock but it’s also because it just feels like there is less weight on your decisions in those later rounds. Or at least it felt that way for me. There aren’t really any guarantees that deep in the draft. Well, I guess there are very few guarantees at any point in the draft, but more so it seems the further back you go. If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, it’s probably because you missed the first few posts in this “Inside Our War Room” series. If that’s the case, you can catch up and see how we impacted who the Vikings selected in the community online #MockThree draft by reading about the first round, the second and third round and the fourth round.

Here’s a short recap of who the Vikings selected up to round five:

Round One

1.03 – LT Matt Kalil, USC
Trade – 2.03, 4.03 and 6.03 for Bengals 1.21
1.21 – CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama

Rounds Two & Three

3.03 – S Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State

Round Four

4.33 – WR Nick Toon, Wisconsin
4.39 – ILB James-Michael Johnson, Nevada

Pretty good haul so far if you ask me.

If you remember from my post about the fourth round, their were different opinions in our war room regarding which receiver we should select with our first compensatory pick in the fourth round. I suggested we take receiver Nick Toon while our GM preferred taking a different receiver. Kyle, another member of our war room from the Daily Norseman, tipped the scale in the favor of Toon and that’s what we ended up doing. My point at the time was that the receiver Josh, our GM, wanted to take would probably be there at the beginning of the fifth round whereas Nick Toon was less likely to be around. Ladies and gentleman, something rare happened that day: I was correct! Luckily for us, we were able to grab the two guys we wanted and have our third guy fall to us in the third.

Wide receiver is a huge need for the Vikings. Luckily for them, this year’s draft class is deep with players who can immediately contribute and provide more weapons for Ponder to use in his semi-sophmore season. I outlined a few of these receivers (and did some ‘scouting’) who the Vikings could target in later rounds and it just so happens we ended up with two of those players. Nick Toon and…

With the third pick of the fifth round of the 2012 #MockThree NFL draft…

The Minnesota Vikings select WR Jarius Wright, Arkansas.

From the above mentioned, recent ‘scouting’ post:

“Wright is fast. No, Wright is super fast. He gets off the line very quickly and can change directions almost instantly. His route running is good and he consistently creates separation between himself and receivers. After the catch, he is elusive and fights for extra yardage. Wright has shown he can produce on the inside as a slot receiver as well as on the outside… [Unfortunately] Wright’s small stature allows him to be pushed around coming off the line sometimes. This could potentially create problems for him at the next level when dealing with NFL size and strength defenders.”

Bringing Wright into the receiver mix adds a very versatile, dangerous weapon to the team, almost like having another Percy Harvin. The duo of Wright and Harvin could create absolute nightmares for defenses.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have any sixth round picks as a result of the Dre Kirkpatrick trade in the first round. So, we just watched our board and prepared ourselves for the beginning of the seventh round. Our war room discussed selecting a small school project type player with lots of upside. Ultimately though, we ended up going with one of the better players left on our board and adding depth to a position of need.

With the third pick of the seventh round of the 2012 #MockThree NFL draft, the Vikings select DT Jaye Howard, Florida.

Jaye Howard is a fast defensive tackle who gets off the line quickly. He slips through defenders and gaps to create pressure on the quarterback and is also good against the run. Howard moves well laterally and can stay with the play, closing in quickly when the time comes. He also has good size and uses his hands to keep lineman off of him. Howard lacks power though, which could hamper his ability to disengage from blockers. Another common gripe with him is that he plays inconsistently and does well in spurts.

We had one more pick in the draft and, surprisingly, we all agreed quickly on what we wanted to use it for. We felt that we had a great draft up until that point and addressed a majority of the team’s needs quite well – withone exception. Longwell has been great for the Vikings. During his career, he’s easily been one of the most reliable, consistent kickers in the league. Unfortunately, he is aging and doesn’t have much time left with the Vikings. Last season, he became less reliable and missed six field goals throughout the season. He also doesn’t have the strength to split the uprights from further distances.

This offseason, the Vikings even visited with a prospect kicker. And guess what, we liked him and that’s who we took.

With the 16th pick of the seventh round of the 2012 #MockThree NFL draft, the Vikings select K Greg Zuerlein, Missouri Western State.

Zuerlein has one heck of a leg. He is not only accurate, but also very strong and consistently nails kicks over 50 yards. This accuracy and strength should allow Zuerlein to not only do well in the dome but as well as the other harsh outdoor stadiums in the NFC North.

So there you have it, folks – #MockThree is complete. It was an absolute blast to participate in and I hope you all enjoyed reading about it and agree with the decisions we made. Currently, Adam and I are both participating in #MockFour so we’ll be sure to let you know how that goes, too. Within the next day or so, I will put up a post that summarizes our picks and allows you all to vote on how you think we did. In the meantime, tell us what you think about the above three selections.

Thanks for reading!