Alright, back to update you all again on our progress in the #MockThree online mock draft. I’ve touched on it a couple times already (so I won’t again here), but if you missed the first three rounds as well as the general background information on what the draft is all about, use the links below to catch up.

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

After making the Markelle Martin selection at the top of the third, we again had to wait almost two full rounds to make another pick (as a result of the Dre Kirkpatrick trade). And again, it was tough to watch so many players we were targeting fly off the board.

Before making the Martin selection at the beginning of the third, I was pushing for us to take a wide receiver. Let me rephrase that: I was pushing for us to reach on a wide receiver. I had done a ton of scouting on various later-round wide receivers and was convinced that we should take a certain Juron Criner. I really liked Criner’s size and physicality. In watching his tape, he always seemed to come down with the ball and get up the field quickly. Criner fought for extra yardage after the catch and had good hand-eye coordination. I thought it would have been a solid pick as well as address a need that the team had. The GM of our War Room mellowed me out a little bit and told me it would be a reach; that Criner would probably still be there for our compensatory picks at the end of the fourth round. So, we took the safety Martin instead and crossed our fingers that we’d have another shot at Criner with our 4.33 pick.

Juron Criner was selected at 4.25, capping off a frantic run for wide receivers during the fourth.

We were all a little disappointed that Criner didn’t fall just a few picks further. We would have (meaning Josh, our GM, would have…) looked like geniuses! But, alas, we were left without Criner and going back to our board to see what other wide receivers were available that would still fit that ‘BPA’ title and be a good value.

I proposed we take a wide receiver who had fallen a little bit and was still, in my eyes, a great value pick at that point. Somebody who had the size, speed and verticality to stretch the field. Our GM proposed we take a different receiver, one who was a little further down on our board and, while still very promising, didn’t fit the role of a receiver who could be a legitimate threat down field.

So, here it is:

With the 33rd pick (compensatory) of the fourth round of the 2012 #MockThree NFL draft…

The Minnesota Vikings select WR Nick Toon, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin (I know…) receiver Nick Toon has the size (6′ 2″, 215 lbs.) and speed to really stretch the field and take pressure off of Percy Harvin and our tight ends underneath. Toon is a solid red zone target who isn’t afraid to go up and fight for the ball. He has exceptional hands, does not drop many passes and is an above average route runner. Toon had a pretty good combine showing recording a 4.53 40 yard dash and a 37.5″ vertical jump.  Unfortunately, Toon has minor injury concerns having missed games in three of his four years at Wisconsin.

We weren’t done there, though. The Vikings have another selection just six picks away. Having already addressed receiver, we decided that if we were going to select again based on need, it should be a inside linebacker. Our GM favored one in particular and, because we managed to override his personal preference on the previous pick, I wasn’t going to contest it at all. Personally, I would have liked to take the other wide receiver we were targeting almost immediately (in fear that he would be taken before our 5.03 pick). But again, I conceded and let him make this decision. So, without further ado…

With the 39th pick (compensatory) of the fourth round of the 2012 #MockThree NFL draft, the Minnesota Vikings select ILB James-Michael Johnson, Nevada.

While Johnson wasn’t my first choice, I was not unhappy with the pick. “JMJ,” as we began to call him in our war room, could immediately compete and provide depth at middle linebacker. JMJ is speedy for his size (6′ 1″, 241 lbs.). He is a natural leader (was the captain for two seasons at Nevada) and constantly had good production. JMJ doesn’t have any injury concerns (I know, rare) and managed to not miss any time during his four seasons. He is good in coverage underneath and does a good job of reading the quarterback’s eyes. Johnson is also a very versatile player having played at both inside and outside linebacker. He would also be a good addition on special teams. My only gripe with Johnson is that he is not an ideal cover-two linebacker, something that may be an issue in the Vikings defense.

I like the speed at 1:32!

Overall, I was pretty happy with our two picks in the fourth round. In my opinion, we managed to pair need and value with the Nick Toon pick. And while Johnson wasn’t my first choice at linebacker, he’s solid (which is evident from the film).

Stay tuned for Round 5 – it should be posted sometime tomorrow. In the meantime, leave your thoughts in the comments and maybe give some names that you think we should target in the seventh round. Also, make sure to visit the #MockThree website and show your support!


  1. Toon and JMJ, interesting. Toon seems to fill the Michael Jenkins role(#2/ possession receiver), I am curious who the other WR you wanted was. I more confused by the JMJ pick. Most have him ranked well below Tank Carder who was still on the board when you picked. JMJ has more potential than Carder who is viewed as more pro ready and safer, but if it was potential you wanted why didn’t you go with Vontaze Burfict? So why JMJ?
    Jarius Wright looks like the other WR you wanted, he is a harvin clone who could be a good backup if harvin gets roughed up this year. Too bad you missed out on Criner, I have him as the 4th wr in this draft behind Blackmon, Floyd, K Wright, and Hill.

  2. Have to agree with Skol12 on the JMJ over Tank Carter.. Carter would’ve been an absolute steal at that point. Plus, what better way to rebuild a defense than with a guy named TANK as your ILB.

    Also agree Criner would’ve been a good pick. Even though he wasn’t on the board, I’m very intrigued by Tommy Streener. Raw, but you can’t teach thy type of athletic ability and would probably only cost a 4th round pick

  3. I really liked the Nick Toon pick. I also like Juron Criner. There are some receivers that are projected to be mid rounders with vastly better ball skills than others. They are two receivers that I think fit into that category.

  4. Check this out. Found this on Rotoworld:

    ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on SportsCenter Wednesday that he doesn’t believe USC LT Matt Kalil is a lock to be the Vikings’ pick at No. 3 overall, “by any stretch.”
    “In talking to people around the league, I don’t think Kalil is a lock to Minnesota at No. 3 by any stretch,” said Schefter. Schefter has heard of some teams “sniffing around” Minnesota’s first-rounder, and expects interest to pick up in “a week to ten days,” when all clubs have their 2012 draft boards set. Vikings GM Rick Spielman is known to be open to trading down.

    • After Jim Irsays tweet it seems like we will be trading down, and if we do and dont get kalil I hope we fire spielman on the spot and replace Frazier with anyone not named childress.

      • Don’t buy any of it guys… this is all just pre-draft conjecture. Kalil will be the pick.

  5. From our friends over at Daily Norseman……………..Gerhart Good To Go
    by KJSegall on Apr 11, 2012 3:40 PM CDT


    Stephen Dunn – Getty ImagesMore photos »
    First: Gerhart SMASH! Second: Gerhart run you over. Then? Gerhart get steak. Cuz Coach says if Gerhart do good, Gerhart get steak. Gerhart like steak…
    Since we live in the United States, and it is my belief that the majority of readers here are American, then logic goes that you’ve all probably forgotten who I am. (You know, attention spans and all.) Well, I’m Kyle, and I happen to be a contributor here. Sorry about not doing much of that ‘contribution’ part in the past two weeks.

    Anyhoo, in a little less than two months Minnesota Vikings players will participating in OTA’s (no lockouts are nice, huh?), and by all indications, Toby Gerhart should be amongst them.

    Lest we forget, it was not only Adrian Peterson who injured his knee last season- his very solid backup, Gerhart, also injured his MCL against Chicago. However, no surgery was deemed necessary, and it seems like that was the right choice. This time. (*cough*SidneyRice*cough*)

    According to Jeremy Fowler over at the Pioneer Press, Gerhart had the following to say:

    “I should be able to do everything once we get back. I’m still strengthening the quad, and the MCL has healed on its own. The key is just doing more running. I still get a little soreness when I run, but that goes away the next day. I’m on track.”

    Which is more than good news. While we’re all hoping and believing that Adrian Peterson will be back for the season opener, insurance is never a bad thing- especially when that insurance is Toby Gerhart. Even if AP is back, let’s hope the team finds a way to utilize the powerful 1-2 running back combo they’ve got here a bit more than in the past, especially now that Gerhart has shown what he can do.

  6. From PFT. Check out the part about the Vikings needing to win now. It is funny…
    Team needs: Minnesota Vikings

    Posted by Mike Florio on April 11, 2012, 8:06 AM EDT

    Getty Images
    The team-by-team look at draft needs continues with consideration of a franchise that matched its all-time 16-game low-water mark in 2011, with three wins and 13 losses.

    Left tackle: The Vikings put up with a lot from Bryant McKinnie, because really good left tackles don’t fall out of the sky. (Except when cut by the Vikings after they can no longer put up with him.) With the team hoping 2011 first-rounder Christian Ponder can become a competent quarterback, the chances of Ponder maximizing his potential will be maximized if he isn’t running for his life. USC tackle Matt Kalil would give the Vikings a blind-side Ponder protector, who could man the position for a decade or longer. With the Vikings needing to win now, his ability to start right away is a significant bonus.

    And while the Vikings would surely love to trade down and get more help, they need more help now — not in future drafts. Also, they need to not move down so far that they won’t get Kalil.

    Cornerback: The Vikings need significant help when it comes to the men primarily assigned to covering receivers. Especially with quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Jay Cutler in the division. Antoine Winfield turns 35 in June, Cedric Griffin is gone, Chris Cook is on double-secret probation, Asher Allen has been underwhelming, recent arrival Chris Carr is rickety, and speedy newcomer Nicholas Taylor didn’t play college football. If they hadn’t cut McKinnie, the Vikings surely would be targeting a game-ready cornerback with their first-round pick. They may be planning to take the best guy left when they pick in round two; in fact, with coach Leslie Frazier and G.M. Rick Spielman on an apparent win-now mandate, don’t be surprised if next year’s first-round pick is dangled in order to move back into round one in 2012 and grab a possible difference maker.

    Receiver: Percy Harvin has special skills when used the right way. But he’s not going to streak down the sideline or run fade routes or do the things that other receivers can do. And that’s what the Vikings need, even as they appear intent on becoming the latest team to extensively use two tight ends at the same time, either or both of whom can run routes.

    The problem is that it’s hard to find receivers who can make a dramatic impact in their first seasons. The goal should be to take a flier on a mid-round guy who may have the ability to stretch the field and open up the underneath routes for Harvin and the tight ends, and perhaps to draw the strong safety out of the box if/when Adrian Peterson is bowling defenders over again.

    Defensive tackle: With Remi Ayodele gone and several mid-level members of the rotation back and Kevin Williams getting no younger (then again, who is?), the Vikings need a young, talented, and very large man to take advantage of the attention that will go to defensive end Jared Allen during the remaining years of his prime. Weaknesses in the secondary often become less glaring when the defensive line is stopping the run and wreaking havoc. The Vikings need to get back to that, or it will be a long decade in the shadows of the Packers, Lions, and Bears.

    Safety: The franchise that once had Paul Krause and Joey Browner and Robert Griffith and Darren Sharper now has, well, no one. With so many balls in the air, the Vikings need someone with the nose to go get it. Badly.

    The Vikings have plenty of needs and, ideally, they’ll find a way to parlay the third overall pick into more chances to immediately infuse talent onto the team. Even if they do, it will be difficult to compete in a division that, not long ago, they ruled.

  7. Adam, Brett, and the rest of Vikings territory members, have you heard anything about the rumor I heard today on a local radio station? I can’t find anything about the rumor anywhere on the net. The local radio station said that Vikings have offers and are considering trading Jarred Allen. I don’t believe it, but I am wondering if any body else has heard anything?

    • Haven’t heard anything like that. Highly unlikely. If the Vikes traded Allen they’d have a fan riot on their hands I imagine.

      • I agree!!! I was totally shocked when I heard it on the radio. And no quotes from newspapers or websites. I couldn’t keep listening I had a appointment.

  8. Adam or Brett, can you set up a page, so everybody can make their draft predictions and why they want that player, for maybe the first three rounds? Could it be step up by this weekend? If you can do this, it will be cool to go back and look at it after the draft and see you guessed right.

    • Have you checked out the forums? It would be great to do that there. Create a post, list your mock and maybe everyone will follow through!

      • OK, if I get time I will do that. I have been working so much ot since I got my new job. Good money but sucks for researching the Vikings.


Leave a Reply