Monday, October 5, 2015

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Welcome to v2.0 of my mock draft. A lot has changed since my first pass and the landscape of free agency and the draft is starting to take shape.

Most notably, my pick for the Vikings has change pretty drastically. Take a look here.

The draft still has a lot of unknowns, but I think we’ll see a lot of edge rushers fly off the board in the first 15 picks. Offensive tackles will dominate the back half of the draft, with a lot of notable wide receivers and defensive tackles filling in between.

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Xavier Rhodes NFL Draft
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No one is tired of mock drafts already, right? Didn’t think so.

We genuinely value every single one of our readers here at Vikings Territory. (Seriously, more than you all know.) John Borgert, better known around these parts as “Skol12” has been a valuable member of the VT community for quite some time. Particularly, I’ve always appreciated his draft insight this time of year. That’s why, during an email exchange we were having about the redesigned site, I proposed John shoot us over a mock draft of his own for the whole world to see. (I mean it, we have readers all over. Shout out to Iceland!)

Though we’ve already had a bunch of mock drafts posted here, John has the Vikings selecting someone no one else here has yet. In addition to this unique take, “Skol12” also has some great insight on the other 31 selections. So, if that didn’t peak your interest, I’m not sure what will. Check out the first five selections below and then continue reading to see the entire mock draft in its full glory.

 Tampa Bay Logo
1. Tampa Bay (2-14) // Jameis Winston, QB Florida State

Mariota vs. Winston will be the debate all the way up to the draft. Can Mariota adjust to a pro style offense? Has Jameis matured enough? Can either step in and start week one? These are just a few questions every team at the top of the draft is asking themselves every day. The bottom line is, Jameis Winston is a quarterback who can turn a team around himself. But he is also a player who can get a coach or GM fired quickly. Winston is the most talented quarterback in this draft which is why the Buccaneers will take him first overall.

Alternate Picks: Marcus Mariota, Leonard Williams

 Tennessee Titans Logo
 2. Tennessee (2-14) // Leonard Williams, DE USC

It hasn’t even been a full year since Tennessee drafted Zach Mettenberger, who many considered to have more potential than any other quarterback in the 2014 draft. Mettenberger wasn’t awful in the 2014 season with a 59.8 completion percentage and an 8-7 TD-INT ratio. The Titans still believe they have something in the former LSU quarterback, which is why they skip Mariota and take the best player in this draft. Leonard Williams is an absolute monster on the line and could improve the Titans defensive front tremendously.

Alternate Picks: Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper

 Jacksonville Jaguars Logo
3.  Jacksonville (3-13) // Dante Fowler Jr., DE/OLB Florida

Jacksonville really wanted Leonard Williams but instead will gladly settle for Dante Fowler Jr. The Jaguars are years away form competing and need help everywhere, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Fowler will be a valuable asset that can improve the players around him and could be the Khalil Mack of this draft.

Alternate Picks: Vic Beasley, Randy Gregory

Oakland Raiders Logo
 4. Oakland (3-13) // Kevin White, WR West Virginia

Originally, I had Oakland taking Amari Cooper and still think that would be the better pick. Unfortunately for Raiders fans, Oakland always manages to make the wrong decision, and after a tremendous combine, Kevin White has leapfrogged Cooper in the minds of the Raiders.

Alternate Picks: Amari Cooper/Brandon Scherff

 Washington Redskins Logo
 5. Washington (4-12) // Brandon Scherff, G/T Iowa

The Redskins line couldn’t block a beach ball last season which led to RG3 getting hit far more times than necessary. Scherff is a versatile lineman who can play 4 positions and go where needed, stabilizing Washington’s offensive line quite a bit.

Alternate Picks: Shane Ray, Landon Collins

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 “The first sentence I wrote on him in the free agency preview is that “he is better than Everson Griffen”. I sincerely think that.”

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) joins me again on the podcast to talk Vikings Free Agency and what the cap rich – and potentially more cap rich if they move Adrian – Purple People Eaters will do once the FA flood gates open on March 10th.

We run through the Top-10 list of potential free agents Arif listed on his count down over at Vikings Journal, hit on some big name pipe dream FA names to keep the rubes happy, and also break down what it’s like to be in the crosshairs of #KeyboardWarriorNation after his latest Adrian article.

We also speculate what the Cassel trade means for the backup QB position, what Spielman could potentially alchemy that 5th round pick into, and how the “Bro-Hug” meeting between Rick, Zimmer, & Adrian will affect the 30-year old running back’s future with the team.

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Both Peter King and Todd McShay have Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes currently mocked to the Minnesota Vikings.

Does that make me a trend setter?

All jokes aside, this is my third update to my 2015 NFL Mock Draft and I just can’t come up with many scenarios where I wouldn’t want Waynes to be our selection. Without going into an enormous amount of detail (those in-depth scouting reports are coming), let me give you a few insights into my thinking.

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[Note: This segment is a part of a position-by-position look at what the Minnesota Vikings might be inclined to do during the 2015 free agency period. This is the 12th article, focusing on the outside linebackers. In case you missed it, feel free to check out the quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, fullbacks, wide outs, specialists, safeties, cornerbacks, defensive ends, and defensive tackle/nose tackle.]

In 2014 Mike Zimmer stamped his mark on the Minnesota Vikings defense by getting quick development and quality production from his young outside linebackers Anthony Barr and Gerald Hodges.

Barr’s rookie season started with the Vikings first round pick being in the discussion for NFL defensive rookie of the year honors, unfortunately a knee injury in the week 11 contest with the Chicago Bears stymied his fast start in the NFL.

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