[NOTE FROM ADAM: The ever-valuable website DraftSeason.com recently ran out of options, or made a big mistake somehow, and invited me to take part in their All-Bloggers Mock Draft where I was able to grab defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson on behalf of the Vikings. Whatever led them to generously include me will hopefully prove to be the beginning of a good relationship with one of the top Draft resources available. I asked Matt Falk, Draftnik Extraordinaire to bestow us with some knowledge. He opted to do the ever-popular seven round mock draft that highlights some of the players he thinks the Vikings will draft. Enjoy, and don't forget to check out Draft Season for even more information on this year's prospects. Besides, Matt lives in Minnesota, so we know he must be a good guy.]
Full 7 Round Projection for the Minnesota Vikings
Matt Falk | DraftSeason.com @matt_falk
The Minnesota Vikings will be one of the more intriguing teams to watch come draft weekend. With a handful of needs Minnesota could go in a handful of directions in the early rounds. While many peg the Vikings to go either wide receiver or defensive line, never count out the wildcard of them going for flat out the best player available. Below is a full mock draft for each of the Vikings picks in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft.
The theme of this 7 round mock is simple for the Vikings. Fill some glaring needs at wide receiver and add some players on the defensive side of the ball that compete day 1 for a starting job.
While the 2013 NFL Draft might not be top heavy with superstars it is full of depth at many positions and will allow teams like the Vikings to fill some holes, not only in the early rounds, but also in the mid to late rounds.
On the offensive side of the ball it will be very surprising to watch the Vikings not grab at least 2 receivers throughout the draft weekend. Along with receiver I would be mildly surprised if they didn’t nab a quarterback even if it is in round 5 or later, not to necessarily compete, but to at least have in their back pocket for future use or even be a possible future number 2.
Defensively Minnesota needs to add some depth throughout the entire defense. I see free agency helping with this issue, but getting younger at a few positions will almost be a must. Depending on what free agency brings, we could see more than 1 linebacker and or defensive lineman go to Minnesota.
1. Keenan Allen WR, CAL
If Keenan Allen manages to stick on the board until pick 23 it might be too tempting for the Vikings to pass on the possible number 1 receiver. Allen isn’t a burner but the type of receiver that can make big plays and move the sticks. Has the mold of an Anquan Boldin and depending on Harvin’s status, could instantly become the Vikings number 1 receiver. Allen is one of the big wildcards in the 2013 NFL Draft, he is a player that could end up going top 10, OR be a guy who ends up falling into the 20′s due to other team’s needs.
2. Johnathan Jenkins DT, Georgia
Kevin Williams is still producing but will be 33 years old at the start of next year. Not only does Minnesota need to find his heir apparent, they could also use an upgrade to put next to him for the next few years. The 2013 class is loaded with defensive tackles which will most likely have guys like Jenkins who is first round talent, slide to round 2. Jenkins is a big boy at roughly 6’4, 346, and is a stout run-stuffer, won’t bring much on pass rush but his big body will allow others to take care of that for him.
3. Jon Bostic ILB, Florida
Jasper Brinkley is a free agent, and even if he comes back could use some competition in the middle. Bostic should be an every down linebacker in the NFL, making him very attractive to a team like the Vikings. Bostic has the athletic ability to that allows him to hold his own versus receivers tight ends in pass coverage. Bostic is seen as a ‘safe’ pick at the middle linebacker position, but that might be exactly what the Vikings are looking for to add to the middle of their defense.
4. Bacarri Rambo S, Georgia
The Vikings scored huge last year with first round selection Harrison Smith. Smith has been a savior to the Vikings horrific safety play over the past few years. Don’t be surprised if the Vikings try to find him a partner in 2013 to help solidify the position even further. Rambo is a ballhawking safety that would be a great match with the hard hitting Smith. Has great instincts and experience, has had a few off the field issues but in round 4 could turn out to be a steal.
4. Kenny Stills WR, Oklahoma
Don’t be surprised if the Vikings double dip at the wide receiver position before round 5. The Vikings need to add weapons to a sparse receiving group. Stills looks to be a solid number 3/slot receiver in the NFL. He is the type of receiver that does everything very good, but not great. Very solid route runner along with reliable hands could earn him a long career in the NFL. Has had plenty of experience at Oklahoma and could make an impact with the Vikings as a rookie.
5. Matt Scott QB, Arizona
The Vikings appear to be 100% behind Christian Ponder as the future quarterback in Minnesota. That said, they really don’t have a backup plan in the works. They will most likely bring in a veteran quarterback in free agency, but they still could bring in a project quarterback to have on the roster and compete with Bethel-Thompson and possibly the backup position. Scott is seen as a bit of a project, has all the intangibles to be an NFL quarterback, mechanics just need a bit of fine tuning. Has also become one of the hotter names at quarterback for the mid-rounds, so don’t be surprised if he ends up going earlier than expected.
6. Nigel Malone CB, Kansas St.
Winfields will be 36 next year and realistically probably only has 1 year left in the NFL. While they have Chris Cook and youngster Josh Robinson cornerback is definitely a position where Minnesota needs to beef up. I expect the Vikings to sign a free agent who can come in to compete for playing time but adding another youngster to the mix will be a necessity. Nigel Malone is a Junco transfer who has put up 12 interceptions in the past 2 years at Kansas. Malone, still a little rough around the edges could be a solid nickel back on an NFL roster and nab a handful of picks.
7. Ray Graham RB, Pitt
Toby Gerhart will be a free agent after the 2013 season which could leave a good sized hole at the backup running back position. I wouldn’t be shocked if Minnesota spent a mid or later round pick on a possible future number 2 back. The 2013 running back class is pretty thick in the mid rounds and the Vikings could score some good value at the position with a late pick. Graham is an smaller, shifty back that can explode up the middle. He would be a great compliment to the tough running style of Adrian Peterson.
7. David Bass DE, Missouri Western St.
Bass is a DII player who has been reeking some serious havoc on quarterbacks racking up 26 total sacks in the past 2 years. Minnesota will be looking to add a bit more depth along the defensive line, and this big man (6’5, 275lbs) could be the guy who fits the bill. Yes, he will need to prove he can play with the big boys, but his athleticism is incredible and is more than worth a late round flier.