There seems to be a perception out there that the Vikings would be best served by addressing their biggest need, wide receiver, later on in the 2013 NFL Draft. The reasoning seems to be that the value will be better at the position in rounds two and three.
I’m not certain that I agree that there aren’t a number of receivers deserving of being selected at #23 by the Vikings, but one has to wonder what direction the Vikings could go if there isn’t a receiver available that they deem worthy of the selection.
Linebacker, safety, defensive tackle, and cornerback could all make sense without a doubt. However, I also think that an instant-starter guard could do a lot to bolster an already formidable offensive line. Charlie Johnson and Brandon Fusco aren’t scaring any defensive coordinators and could be considered a weakness.
So, with all of that being said, who could possibly be considered when the Vikings are on the clock. I think we have to start with the guy that seems to be the consensus top guard in this year’s class, Chris Warmack.
Coming out of Alabama, Warmack weighs in at about 6’ 3” and 320 pounds, and appears to be a surefire first rounder that may not even be available to the Vikings at #23. In fact, as of this posting, my mock draft has Warmack being selected by the Rams at #16. Brett’s mock draft has him as a top ten pick going to the Jets.
Most mock drafts, in fact, have Warmack being selected before the Vikings get to pick and that alone should be a good indicator that he would be heavily considered should he somehow fall to them.
Going up against some of the toughest competition in the nation, Warmack has been a dominant force that capped a decorated college career by helping to power his offense over Notre Dame for a national championship.
Warmack plays with an impressive amount of strength and explosiveness, and plays in which he run blocks immediately jump off the screen because of how well he clears a path for his running backs. Like current left tackle Matt Kalil, however, Warmack also displays very sound fundamentals and technique in pass protection. He plays a very well rounded game and possesses all the attributes that should be attractive to every NFL team.
It is often stated on the comments page of this site that the Vikings should always look for the biggest, meanest, nastiest offensive lineman they can find. Warmack is exactly that, but also has the athleticism to succeed in a zone blocking scheme, and it would be incredible to watch him play between Kalil and current center John Sullivan.
There really are very few things about Warmack that a scout is going to point out as a negative, and when they do find something it will probably be pretty minor. He is a tad shorter than the prototypical NFL guard and will need to continue building on his strength at the next level. He has been the occasional victim of powerful bull rushes (See: SEC Championship against Georgia’s John Jenkins), but almost every NFL guard has those same issues from time to time.
In the end, if those little faults are enough to cause Warmack to fall to #23, then that might be a very good thing for the Vikings because they would be getting a heck of a football player out of the deal.
The following video is a little different than the normal highlight reel because it features commentary, but it is smart stuff and worth a watch.