Saturday, November 28, 2015

sheldon richardson

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The 2013 NFL Draft is drawing nearer and we here at VT are giddy as can be, like kids before Christmas.

One of the things we’ve done in recent years is create a “Big Board” that stacks up all the NFL Draft prospects in a unique way, and will allow you to follow along throughout Draft Weekend to see who we have remaining as our top rated prospects as the weekend progresses.

The Big Board is not necessarily strictly our rankings.  We use boards of all our favorite draft analysts, some mainstream and some not, and then factor in our own Vikings-specific rankings, to create a unique board that averages the opinions of everyone we include.  You can view the entire board here, where we have ranked 229 players, and can access it at any time from the menu section at the top of our main page.  Brett even put together a nifty little option for those that might be interested in printing it off to follow along during the event.

Since the Vikings have two of the top 25 picks in this Draft, here is how we stack the top 25 players of this year’s class:

1.  Luke Joeckel, OT

2.  Star Lotulelei, DT

3.  Sheldon Richardson, DT

To shake things up a little this weekend I decided to solicit questions from the audience for the first time in a long time.  As the Draft approaches, there is always an increase in questions from those that for some reason find this hack blogger’s opinion to be relevant, and I wanted to give the opportunity to ask as many as possible before the pre-Draft craziness fully sets in.  Below are the results.

There have been some recent questions about our tradition of our Draft Weekend Live Chat and whether it will live on in 2013.

Our normal software avenue has decided to start charging for their services.  They are now charging by the number of readers that use the live chat services and VT has really started to take off recently, which is a great problem to have, and we expect thousands of people to visit our site on Draft Weekend.  This means it could be a pretty expensive proposition for this little blog to consider.

Still, Brett and I are currently evaluating alternatives, and we are sure to come up with something.

One of our loyal readers very generously offered to set up a chat room for us here at VT free-of-charge and we’ve been testing it out.  There are some pros and cons to it, and it won’t look as slick as what you’ve grown used to, but I think it will get the job done.  Stay tuned!

A number of people asked about us updating our mock drafts and releasing some sort of positional rankings prior to the Draft.

Yes, my mock will be updated at least once (probably more) prior to the draft taking place.  I’m hoping to find the time to add a second round fairly soon, as well.

I am also working on creating a VT-unique “Big Board” of about 300 players.  Last year Brett worked hard to make our Big Board update somewhat instantly as the Draft progressed, crossing off players as they were selected on Draft Weekend.  Preferably we’ll be able to get something like that together again.  That’s the goal.

Okay, now onto some more interesting questions.  SKOL12 wanted to know what type of defensive tackle the Vikings are in need of.  Do they need a big run stuffer, and athletic pass rusher, or someone a little more balanced?

I think it is clear that the Vikings don’t have a massive run stuffer and could benefit from grabbing one like John Jenkins or Jesse Williams.  Given the age, possible regression, and heavy cap hit of Kevin Williams I also can’t see the downside of drafting a very well balanced defensive tackle like Sylvester Williams.  With the Vikings defense struggling greatly against mobile quarterbacks last season, and about 10 of them on the schedule this season, getting more athletic in the middle of the defense needs to be a priority, as well, which is why a guy like Sheldon Richardson appeals to me so much.

Ideally, Letroy Guion and Christian Ballard can step up to the plate in 2013, and Kevin Williams regains some of his previous spark.  That might be a lot to bank on, however, and the Vikings need to add some competition via the Draft regardless of the type of lineman they are eyeballing.

Reader SB wants to know if trading up into the late teens to grab Sheldon Richardson would appeal to me if it only costs a fourth or fifth rounder to pull off.

Yes!  I consider Richardson to be a special talent and any team in that range will be interested in him.  It will likely cost a lot more than that to move up in the first round, but if this deal presented itself I would certainly move up and get my guy.

Free agency hasn’t even opened up yet, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t draft season on the blogosphere.

Brett is preparing to be the General Manager of a war room at the famous Mock One site and I was recently invited to represent the Vikings in an all-bloggers mock draft at

The was pretty simple:  One round with no trades.

I’m not going to lie… I was feeling a little anxious about having to make a choice at #23 as I weighed options carefully and played out scenarios in my head.

As it turns out, my choice was every bit as simple as the rules.

Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was still available when I was on the clock and I considered it to be a no-brainer to make him my choice.  Richardson was my choice for the Vikings in my very first mock draft, and we know the Vikings seem to have interest in him, but the way things played out in this mock made it difficult not just consider him the best player available.

I have my doubts about Richardson actually being available when the Vikings are on the clock, but this exercise illustrates that the Vikings could be in prime position to get a steal on day one, as there are enough blue chip defensive line prospects that one of them could very well fall.  If it isn’t a defensive lineman that falls then it could very well be a receiver, defensive back, or guard which would also be positions of need.

To view the full results of the blogger mock please click right here.  I hope I represented the Vikings in good fashion.



In a normal year I tend to stick with the same pick for the Vikings for at least a month or so in my mock draft, but this year seems very different.  I don’t know if it is how late the Vikings are picking, or if this is just a difficult class to properly tier, but I have now mocked four different players to the Vikings over the last two months.

Sheldon Richardson, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Manti Te’o were all previous selections in my mock draft versions but today’s update brings up yet another name.

Keenan Allen.

It just so happens Allen was featured in my “Draft Target” series last night so click here to read all about him.

Click here to see how I mocked the first round in its entirety.

We know the Vikings met with a lot of players and their representatives in Indianapolis during the NFL Scouting Combine this week.  What we don’t know is who all those players were and how interested the Vikings really are in them.

Quinton Patton and Manti Te’o are among the players known to have met with the Vikings, but we can now add defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson to the list by his own admission.  He is also going to visit with the team in Minnesota prior to April’s Draft.

“It went pretty well and I’m going to visit the franchise probably April 1 or 2,” Richardson said of the Vikings. “They were pretty interested in me, but I want to go a little bit higher than that.”

In my first version of my 2013 mock draft I had the Vikings selecting Richardson, coming out of Missouri, as I felt like he was a perfect fit for what the Vikings need to do on defense moving forward.  Since then I have been mocking him much higher and so have most other draftniks out there.

Richardson’s stock is currently so high that I’m not even certain the Vikings could trade up to get their hands on him if they were willing to sell the farm, but there is still plenty of time for things to develop and stranger things have certainly happened.

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