Here we are less than 48 hours away from the greatest stretch of three days throughout the entire offseason and I can’t sleep. Obviously, I’m referring to the 2013 NFL Draft which takes place this Thursday evening. And unfortunately, the absence of sleep isn’t due to excitement regarding our two first round picks… It’s due to a nasty case of bronchitis and a sinus infection that leaves me coughing throughout the night. So, bear with me as I walk you through my third and final mock draft of the offseason and attempt to explain some of the decisions I’ve made (of which are bound to make at least a few Vikings fans squirm).

First, yes, I still do have Geno Smith going in the top 5. In fact, I have two quarterbacks being taken in the top 10. Here’s why and I’ve said it before: People can say anything they want about the lack of talent and a true franchise QB in this year’s draft but the truth is that teams over and over again have showed us that, on draft day, they are more than willing to reach on a quarterback that they think even has a remote chance of righting the ship (regardless of how delusional that thought may be).

Geno Smith to the Eagles isn’t that crazy. Their is a new head coach there who is going to be looking for someone that can run his new, fast-pace offense. Michael Vick is past his prime and has become a turnover machine. The Eagles selecting Smith and having the two face off in camp seems to make sense to me (and a few other people).

The next quarterback I have being taken (by the Buffalo Bills) also makes sense. The obvious connection with Nassib and coach Doug Marone is there from their time together at Syracuse. But, more than that, the Bills need to create competition at the quarterback position and it’s not a guarantee their guy (assumedly Nassib) will be there when they select in the second round. It’s possible, yes. But, unless they can somehow trade down, would not be surprised at all with this pick.

Alright, let’s get on to the important part, shall we? Our selections.

#23 – Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

This pick is obviously not going to sit well with a couple people. But, through all the research I’ve done on this year’s prospects, all the film and highlights I’ve watched, all the scouting reports I’ve read, etc. all lead me to believe that Te’o is the best inside linebacker in this year’s draft class.

There are a couple of knocks against Te’o that I want to address here, now, because there is a good chance that this is actually the Vikings’ pick Thursday. First, let’s get the ‘scandal’ out of the way.

As far as I’m concerned, Te’o could have an imaginary relationship with a goat pretending to be a horse that somehow managed to sprout thumbs from its hooves and learn how to use Facebook. I do not care what Te’o does in his private personal relationships as long as he isn’t breaking any laws. His relationships, real or imaginary, aren’t my business, they’re not your business and they’re not the media’s business. Now, some people say, “well, it’s not the relationship that bothers me, it’s that he lied about it.” Well, I don’t know all the details… But if I were to put myself in his shoes just weeks away from the National Championship game and days away from the Heisman selection, I would probably perpetuate this already existing story to the media too. Because I would be embarrassed, humiliated and would not want the media rainstorm that eventually showered all over Te’o and completely dominated the headlines and smeared his name. This ‘scandal’ will not affect the ability for Te’o to be a leader in the locker room. End of story as far as I’m concerned.

Secondly, we have the slow 40 time at the combine. Every year people read way, way too much into the 40 times at the combine. Beside the fact that his forty time was not incredibly slow when compared to the average time of other successful NFL linebackers when they were at the combine but there is a difference between 40 speed and on-the-field football speed. Part of what makes Te’o quick on the field is his ability to read and react to the offense incredibly fast. He has great awareness, a knack for making plays and understands the game. He takes good angles and is able to get to the ball carrier quicker than everyone else usually.

Finally, we have his poor performance in the Championship game after the hell-storm of media coverage the scandal created. People will point to the fact that he got handled by the Alabama offensive line… By a guy named Chance Warmack. Heard of him? This is because the Notre Dame defensive line was completely dominated by a superior, NFL-caliber offensive line and were able to get straight to the second level where they could have their way with guys like Te’o. It’s simple – Te’o is not going to be able to disengage from a guy like Warmack. Most, if not all linebackers are not going to be able to disengage from a guy like Warmack. Te’o had one bad game… Unfortunately for him it was the biggest college game of the year that everyone was watching and significantly hurt his draft stock.

The Vikings should capitalize on this and draft him without hesitation, if available, to fill a major need with the best player available at the position.

#25 – Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

I love this pick and have Williams as a close second to Sheldon Richardson in this year’s defensive tackle draft stock. Williams is a smart guy who is very competitive and has no character concerns. He has great short-area quickness, largely due to how quick he can get off the ball, and substantial size. He’s tough, will play through injuries and has the potential to be a leader on the line after losing Kevin Williams.

Plus, his last name is Williams. And I want to see the ‘Williams Wall’ one last time. Don’t you?!


In all seriousness though, this is likely my ‘ideal first round’ scenario for the Vikings. I’m very high on these two guys, which I know may cause me to get some flak around these parts… But I can take it!

Adam and I have a little wager going on who will hit on more selections. He’ll have his mock up here shortly, probably tomorrow. To be honest though, these mock drafts are really just a crap shoot. And, especially this year, what will happen Thursday is anybody’s guess. This year is much harder to predict than last year (and we did horrible at predicting picks last year!).

So, check out the full mock draft here and let me know what you think. If I’m completely off base, that’s fine – I’ll likely just blame it on the bronchitis, lack of sleep and the array of medicines I’m taking.

Hoping to be in good form for Thursday, though. Can’t wait to see you guys then. Almost here!

(Edit: A reader (Skol12) just pointed out that I somehow forgot Sheldon Richardson despite him being #3 on our board. Oops! Now I will need to revise tomorrow… Sorry about that.)

Brett Anderson (Founder) is a passionate Viking fan hailing from Sin City, Las Vegas. He can remember, as a child, scraping his knee on the playground and his friends being completely shocked by the purple blood trickling from the wound. When Brett isn't scouring the Internet for some semblance of Vikings news, he enjoys blindly putting money on them to beat whoever their opponent may be, and daydreams about being their next Tight End. Brett graduated from UNLV with a degree in Architecture and specializes in web/graphic design; he hopes to provide this site’s visitors with the best Vikings experience on the net.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Man Brett what happened? Last year we were so close on our player evaluations, heck you even sold me on Jarrius Wright weeks before the draft. This year we literally couldn’t be further apart.

    I abhor every first/second round Mike linebacker, mlb is not a priority position so taking one early he better be a stud which Te’o is not. Kiko Alonso and AJ Klein whom I wouldn’t mind in the 3rd or 4th round could fill the need as well as Te’o. Ignore the girlfriend scandal, lies, and mediocre 40 time and look at talent on Te’o; he isn’t fast he won’t be able to cover Finley, Pettigrew, or any decent TE without help. Te’o will also struggle vs power run teams and the read option, which seems to be a growing trend in the NFL, due to his lack of strength and tackling issues. The biggest upside to Te’o was leadership which is all but destroyed thanks to his scandal. I just view Te’o as a 3rd round prospect with red flags not a top 25.

    As for Sylvester I don’t see the ceiling I’d like on him. We have missed on a bunch of dt’s in a row we can’t afford to again. I want Richardson or Jesse Williams personally if neither of them I’d say wait til the second and grab who’s available. I also like the Jon’s better than Sylvester – especially Jon Hankins.

    Hope I’m not coming off overly harsh on your picks Brett but these are by far the 2 I want least. If we don’t move here’s my dream draft:
    23: Rhodes
    25: Woods
    2nd: Jesse Williams
    3rd: Kiko Alonso
    4th: Ryan Swope
    4th: Matt Scott
    After that it doesn’t really matter, a rb and ol help would be nice tho.

  2. Te’o would be an acceptable pick…. In Round 2. Like mentioned earlier, Kiko Alonso would be a huge steal later in the draft. He’ll go on to have a better career than Te’o. If we take Te’o in Round 1, you can add me to the list of pissed off fans (especially if its with the pick me got Percy for… Percy Harvin for a two down ILB with mental issues…. Ew)

    • Didn’t Alonso have some major off field issues? I’ve had him as a sleeper for the Vikings but just yesterday I was reading about his past transgressions off the field and am wondering if he’s even on the Vikings board. Was I reading bad info or does he have some dirt in his past?

      • Alonso had a pair of arrests both related to driving when he was a sophomore. A DUI and he passed out in the wrong apartment. I can’t be to hard on the guy for those as I have done the second one in Mankato and a dui is becoming quite common no-a-days. They were also both years ago its different if your dumb enough to get arrested within a year of being drafted.

  3. I’m not as convinced today as I was a few days ago about the level of interest they have in Te’o but still think he’s a likely selection. I’m also not as sure he will be available when we pick. I am thinking they might trade up a few spots to grab Rhodes if he’s available in the late teens, early twenties but otherwise they will just stay put and take the best guy at 23. If Spielman’s telling the truth I don’t think we’ll be picking at 25, probably slide down a few picks and target Woods or Carridine. I think Austin goes somewhere in the Jets pick range 9-13, Hopkins to the Rams with one of their two picks, Woods to us if we take a WR, and Patterson probably to the Texans to finish off the first round receiver picks. I don’t think the Rams are going to take Patterson. They took Quick at 33 last year and I just don’t see them taking another project type receiver who likely won’t produce this season. They are in the same boat as the Vikings as far as wanting to give their QB an instant starter.

      • Same reason they took Rudolph, because he fits the profile for value and future need. They could slowly rotate him in this year to take it easy on that surgically repaired knee before setting him loose as a starter next season. He is a top 20 pick in this draft if he doesn’t have the knee injury late in the season. If the medical on him is good I’m guessing he’s a definite possibility. The rumors lead me to think he’s a late first rounder but who knows at this time of year.

  4. if there’s a position on a team where you don’t mind some ‘off-field’ issues, it’s MLB, as long as it relates to being mean and nasty and creates some respect from his teammates and fear for the offense and makes them wonder what the guy is capable of. you want them asking themselves if the guy is about to punch you in the face just cuz he feels like it, not if he’s peter pan living in a fantasy world

    • Yeah like getting away with murder at MLB can make people consider you the best ever right? Sorry I couldn’t resist. But everybody does like a Mlb with a bit of a mean steak, last year I wanted us to take Burfict so bad but instead he signs with Cincinnati and almost gets droy.

  5. Alonso will have to be picked in the second round, but I like him too. ILB is pretty deep, Ogletree, Minter, T’eo, Brown, Alonso, or Bostic would all be good to me. I think Alonso is probably the best of both worlds of coverage ability and a linebacker body. AJ Klein would even be ok.

    I think DT is more shallow. There’s a big drop off after Floyd/Lotulelei/Richardson in my opinion; would love for Richardson to fall. If we wait until the second round for a DT we should go for Brandon Williams.

    • I think he’s got a chance of falling to us in the third, and if he didn’t I’m quite high on AJ Klein as well, to the point if he and Te’o were on the board I’d take him. MLb rankings : Ogletree, Alonso, Klein, Brown.

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