The first mock draft of the offseason is really just a shot in the dark. There are so many unknowns at this point. Who’s actually going to declare at the draft? What will their combine performance be? What kind of scandals/off-the-field issues will take place?
But still, putting these things together are fun. It starts to familiarize everybody with a lot of the names we’ll be hearing for the new few months. It gets us acquainted with some of the opportunities the Vikings may have when they are on the clock for the first time at #23 (unless they trade up, of course). They serve as a starting point for discussion regarding what the Vikings should try and do in the draft.
All around, they’re just a good time.
By the time Adam and I put out our final drafts for 2012 though, I’d say we both did pretty good. As Adam mentioned in his mock draft, we both held strong to our belief that the Vikings would select Matt Kalil with their first pick (despite the endless amounts of rumors floating around up to the very start of the draft). We didn’t guess spot-on for a lot of teams (I had maybe 6-7?) but, for the most part, the draft panned out a lot like we thought it would.
Who knows what the Vikings are going to do this time. Picking at #23 is going to make things a lot more difficult to guess. When you are at #3 (or #4 if you trade down…) it’s a lot easier to surmise what the team is going to do. There are only two other players taken before it’s your turn. In our case this year, there are 22 players that will be taken off the board before we get our turn to select. Talk about endless possibilities.
So, let’s get to what I have in my first mock draft, shall we?
The first thing you’ll probably notice is that I have more quarterbacks being selected in the first round than most people do. In fact, I have two quarterbacks going in the top ten. (Mel Kiper doesn’t even have a quarterback going in the first round!) Sure, a lot of people are going to tell you that there is not a quarterback in this year’s draft class worth the number one pick. Or a top five pick. Or a top ten pick even. I’d agree with them looking at it objectively. But the truth is, a lot of these teams that are desperate for an answer at the quarterback position are not looking at it objectively. They’re looking at it hopefully. They are taking a chance and hoping that the guy they like will be the answer and the future for their franchise. And just like the Vikings did by selecting Christian Ponder much earlier than everybody thought, I believe there are a couple of teams that are so desperate for someone at the quarterback position, they will use their first round pick to try and find that center piece for their offense.
The second thing you’ll notice… Well, let’s just be honest. You scrolled straight to see who the Vikings selected. Okay, let’s talk about my selection for the Vikings.
“With the twenty third pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select wide receiver Terrance Williams, Baylor.”
So, like Adam, I have also selected a wide receiver for the Vikings with their first pick. I have to be really up front and honest with you, I’m not really happy about the selection and was pretty torn when making it.
Here’s the deal: I think there are 4-5 receivers the Vikings could take at this spot that would almost be [hypothetically] interchangeable. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I’m not sure that there is a true #1 receiver in this year’s draft class – a sure thing. Somebody who can start day 1 and instantly provide the Vikes with another weapon and someone who can stretch the field. The problem is that, much like the quarterback situation outlined above, I think teams are also more likely to reach on players that they think can somehow provide a spark for them offensively – the playmakers.
In the case of my mock draft, I think there are some guys the Vikings could get better value for at positions of need but we just need a wide receiver so dang bad. There are two or three defensive tackles I think would be great for the Vikings at this spot. But, realistically, I don’t think the Vikings leave the first round without a wide receiver.
But let’s talk about Terrance Williams for a second because I don’t want to sell him short, I do like what I see from him.
Terrance Williams is a guy who, at 6’2″ and 205 pounds, plays physical and can go up and make a play on the ball. He isn’t blazing fast but he is a straight-line runner who can stretch the field and use his larger frame to overpower and shield off defenders. One of Williams biggest concerns is his route running (as he primarily ran go routes) and his tendency to try and catch the ball with his body. Those shortcomings are coachable though and Williams has the physical traits to potentially be the type of threat the Vikings could use.
While this is the first wide receiver I have the Vikings taking in my mock draft, I do not think it will be the last. I would not be surprised if the Vikings took upwards of three wide receivers this year. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we are looking at a radically different receiving corp in 2013. In fact, I suspect it.
Make sure to check out the scouting video of Terrance Williams below. Also, here are a couple of names I toyed with putting in that #23 spot instead of Williams:
John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Robert Woods, WR, USC
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State