Saturday, December 10, 2016

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Alabama’s old-school hard hitting inside linebacker is an elite prospect who will be a day one starter in the NFL. Reggie Ragland is a premier run-stopper with exceptional football instinct and IQ.

Reggie Ragland | Linebacker, Alabama

Measurements

Height: 6’1”
Weight: 247 pounds
Year: Senior

At First Glance

SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
Numerous All-American Honors.
BCS National Championship 2015.

Projected Round:

First Round

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An Andrew Billings scouting report with a Minnesota Vikings focus.

[This Andrew Billings Scouting Report, with a Vikings slant, has been provided to Vikings Territory by Draft Season. Be sure to check back for more and also be sure to visit Draft Season to quench your NFL Draft thirst. All previously published scouting reports can be found by clicking here.]

Andrew Billings | DT, Baylor

Measurements

Height – 6’1″
Weight – 311 lbs.
Age – 20 yrs.

At First Glance

First-team All-Big 12

Projected Round:

1st – 2nd Round

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CLICK HERE TO VIEW MY ENTIRE 2016 FIRST ROUND MOCK.

The Vikings made improving their offensive line a priority heading into the offseason and they put their plan into action by signing guard Alex Boone and tackle Andre Smith in free agency. The Vikings will look to add even more help in the first round.

Jack Conklin, OT Michigan State

This mock draft has Rick Spielman on the clock with a tough decision to either select offensive tackle Jack Conklin or wide receiver Josh Doctson. Conklin gets the pick because I don’t think the Vikings are finished revamping the line. He fits the same mold as Boone and Smith being more talented in the run blocking department than as a pass protector. Conklin can offer competition for Matt Kalil at left tackle or he can be plugged in at left guard as an immediate starter. Boone could play right guard and Brandon Fusco could compete at center or either guard spot.

I also believe that wide receiver is not a locked and loaded priority in the first-round for the Vikings.

“We had a receiver here that was making a lot of money that really didn’t do what we needed to do,” Zimmer said. “So I don’t know that it’s a necessity to go out and sign another wide receiver. We’ve got to get better with the guys we’ve got, and we’ve got to fix other areas that can allow these receivers to be more effective in the games.”

With untapped potential in Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson on the roster, maybe Zimmer is speaking the truth about finding ways to make them more effective. With great value at the receiver position in the second and third-rounds featuring prospects like Tyler Boyd, Micheal Thomas, Braxton Miller, Rashard Higgins, Kenny Lawler, Charone Peake, Leonte Carroo and Tajae Sharpe the Vikings shouldn’t be feeling pressure to reach for Doctson.

New tight ends coach Pat Shurmur loves to get his tight ends and backs involved in the passing game, thus reducing the need to take a first-round wide receiver. Shurmur is a Michigan State alumni, and offensive line coach Tony Sparano will love a physical blue collar guy like Conklin.

 

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Technically, version 2.0. Thanks, Rams!

Trae Waynes Draft

The NFL Draft is incredibly unpredictable. Even some of the best gurus around are only able to guess a handful of picks correctly. Take last year for example: Thanks to some tracking from Sports Grid we can see how some of the better known draft experts fared in 2015. Todd McShay? He was only able to correctly guess 10/32 picks. How did Mel Kiper Jr. and Mike Mayock, two of the most respected draft heads around, fare? They both got 7/32 picks right. In fact, the most accurate mock draft last year (according to Sports Grid) was from Jason Boris who got a whopping 12/32 (38%!) picks correct.

The truth is, there are just way too many variables and unknowns. Exhibit A? Yesterday’s mammoth trade. This mock draft was done and ready to post Thursday morning. Of course, it’s just my luck that the biggest trade in quite some time took place and left my mock draft outdated and useless in an instant. Every pick had to be revisited because of the domino effect created by the Rams blockbuster trade to move up to the first overall pick. If one team picks Player A instead of Player B, then another team might have to take Players C, D or E, and so on and so on…

What’s nice about this otherwise inconvenient trade is that it gives us a chance through this mock draft to see how it impacts the Vikings .

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minnesota vikings

The 2016 NFL Schedule has been released (like so many white doves). We now know the order of the menu of the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings as we feast towards #LombardiAtNRG. I walk through the schedule and give an HONEST assessment of wins and losses in the first of many way too soon 2016 Vikings season forecasts.

All that and other “16-0, Homeboy” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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