NFL Draft 2012

Inside Our War Room: #MockFour Begins

(Note: This is a continuation of a series where we take you inside our War Room for the #MockOne draft series. This particular version is for #MockFour. If you are unfamiliar with what it is all about, you should probably start off by reading about what we did in the previous #MockThree.)

We are at it again. I had such a blast participating in #MockThree that I decided to just keep rolling right in to #MockFour. This time, though,  I’m the General Manager. Not only that, but everyone’s favorite Vikings writer, Adam,  is a member of the War Room. We’ve also added a new manager to the team: Ryan Broser, a great writer for Bruno Boys, Fantasy Victor and Bleacher Report Vikings. (Josh Deceuster, our GM for #MockThree has returned to provide his valued opinion in the War Room as well.) So, let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

The first two picks of this draft started off much like the previous drafts. Andrew Luck is selected by the Indianapolis Colts and Robert Griffin ends up with the Washington Redskins. Now on the clock at #3, we were prepared to select OT Matt Kalil, the sure thing that I so vehemently defended selecting in me and Adam’s recent debate. Ironically enough, we actually ended up not selecting Matt Kalil.

Now, wait, before you kill me hear me out. At first, we really just wanted to see what was available. We approached Miami knowing they may be interested in moving up to select Ryan Tannehill. Miami was not interested. We probed the Browns to see if they wanted to swap spots to ensure they got Tannehill if they wanted him. Cleveland did not want to swap spots. Strangely enough, though, we got lots of interest from a team we weren’t really expecting it from: the St. Louis Rams.

The Rams were interested in moving up to select our guy, Matt Kalil. We were hoping that they wanted Blackmon, leaving open the possibility that Kalil would still be there even after the trade. They told us straight up though that he wouldn’t be. It was a tough decision, but we still decided to pull the trigger. The Rams were offering us their 1.06, 2.07 and 4.01 picks simply to move up three spots. And moving to the sixth spot meant that we still had a shot at landing one of the top 3, non-quarterback talents.  It’s well known that the Vikings have a good amount of needs to address in the draft. Obtaining an extra high second rounder and a high fourth rounder was too good to pass up on.

Also, I have to be absolutely honest here. We have seen Kalil selected in almost every single mock draft. The Vikings first three picks almost always go something like: Kalil, wide receiver, cornerback (with cornerback and wide receiver being swapped occasionally). I was extremely curious to see how things would pan out if we didn’t take Kalil and amassed more picks instead. Again, it’s not like we moved to the #8 spot where most of the top talent is off the board (in my opinion). Having the sixth pick still allowed us to take a stab at one of our top-3 prospects.

With the third pick of the 2012 #MockFour draft, the Minnesota Vikings select wide receiver Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State.

It should be noted that not everyone agreed on this pick. There was a voice in our war room that was adamant about wide receiver Michael Floyd being a better prospect and a better fit for what the Vikings are looking for in a wide receiver. Riley Reiff was also given consideration, too.  In the end though, a majority of the war room agreed that Blackmon would be a better playmaker and outside weapon for Christian Ponder.

After the pick, our room seemed to be a little down. While we weren’t unhappy with the Blackmon selection, it just seemed wrong to pass on Kalil. He is hands down the best talent at our biggest position of need and our pick in the second round likely wouldn’t allow us to target someone like Riley Reiff or Jonathan Martin.

Or at least that’s what we thought.

After making the Blackmon selection, we monitored the draft to see who was being selected – keeping an eye on targeted players to see if they were slipping down the board. Jonathan Martin began to catch our eye. He kept falling further and further. Much lower than where he was ranked in our big board. (In fact, Adam has Jonathan Martin as a top-10 talent.) We decided at one point that we should start talking to teams about moving back up into the first to select Martin. We made offers to multiple teams and nothing ever really got worked out. In fact, we even considered making a deal with the Packers at one point! (It should be noted that even in mock drafts, Packers are still Packers.) We were being rejected at every turn.

Jonathan Martin kept falling though. And eventually, we managed to strike up a deal with the Baltimore Ravens at 29, sending them our 2.07, 5.03 and 7.03. We were ecstatic. This was less than we were offering the teams that rejected us and we were still able to get our guy. It was an absolute steal! (Especially considering the extra picks we managed to obtain through the trade with the Rams.)

With the 29th pick of the 2012 #MockFour draft, the Minnesota Vikings select offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, Stanford.

(Note: Martin looks superb in this game.)

We couldn’t have been happier with the way it all panned out. Essentially, by not taking Matt Kalil we were able to select Justin Blackmon, Jonathan Martin and still have an extra fourth round pick. Even after our first two picks in round one, we still have three more picks in the top-100. Our war room worked hard at maneuvering down and up during round one. We had well over 100 emails in a short time span discussing strategy and negotiations with various teams. It all paid off though, and, in our opinion, we walked away from round one feeling like geniuses!

Stay tuned for round two tomorrow. In the meantime, make sure to support #MockFour, check out Adam’s thoughts on round one below and then leave us your opinions, criticisms, etc… in the comments. Hope you guys aren’t tired of all this draft talk yet. We sure aren’t.

Adam’s Take On First Round:  Due to my work schedule I was not a part of the trade that moved the Vikings backwards from the three spot.  Still, I was thrilled when I logged on and saw how things panned out.  We managed to grab Justin Blackmon with the sixth overall selection and set ourselves up for an exciting remainder of the Draft by stockpiling additional picks.

Blackmon is a near consensus choice for the top receiver in this class.  He has decent size, good speed, and excellent hands and would be a major asset to Christian Ponder and this Vikings offense.

We were not real active from this point forward until we noticed left tackle Jonathan Martin slipping into the twenties.  We got engaged in talks with the Texans at 26, but were outbid by the Eagles for that spot as we were not willing to overpay like they were.  We then made offers to both the Patriots and the Packers, but they both decided to stay put and neither opted to take Martin.

The Ravens then helped us out.  They were willing to give us their 29th pick in exchange for our later second rounder, our 5th rounder, and a 7th rounder.  This was a price significantly less than what we had originally offered to the Texans and we still got our man.

Kudos to everyone in our war room for such good communication (we exchanged well over 100 emails in just a couple of hours) and for showing the patience it took to make this happen.  The Vikings got the top receiver in this class and a starting left tackle, not to mention we still have the third pick of the second round right around the corner.

I personally have both Blackmon and Martin ranked in my top ten, so I couldn’t be more thrilled with this scenario.

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Brett Anderson

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.

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  1. Great outcome! I think most Vikings fans would be over the moon if we landed Blackmon and Martin and still had an early pick in round 2 to fill another need. If only Spielman could pull something like this off. The Rams in this scenario would have done extremely well, essentially moving down one spot, getting the player they probably wanted to pick at 2 and picking up two future first rounders in the meantime!

    1. yea .. the price for QB is trough the roof.. And because of that trade they made before FA then they have the ammo to make such a trade

    1. well the would be lining up on different sides of the field. Cook will probaly be RCB and Jekins LCB and then Winfield in the nickel.. Hopefully they won’t get time in the huddle to discussing they best way to run away from cops

  2. Well in my estimation this is what happend: We got a 4th round pick for a 5th round and a 7th round pick. that is in my estimation a decent to good trade.
    the question is: what combination would be better Kalil / Alshon Jeffery versus Martin / Blackmon
    I think you made the right choice and got the best combination of those 2. Martin also have plenty of upside to develop into a solid starter, he might how to overcome some problems early but I think he won’t be a huge dropoff from Kalil. A sure steal at that selection.

    Also it seems that you went and made the trade just at the right time. I could have seen SF going for Martin to solidify their O-line and just 2 spots later Giants took the next left tackle.. Great first round..

    As a side note one team I think really went overboard on trading up was eagles.. Traded into the top 10 for a pick with potential.. that is a huge chance, and then again trading up, being good to do so into the first round again, this time though I think the talent they got what at a good value, but I don’t really know if they overpaid..

    – Do you guys know how much eagles paid for trading up overall?

      1. oh yea that’s right.. well then it makes the trade and pickup even better.. Well now he needs to pan out first – but taking risks sometimes pays off. trading down sure did for you guys.. it will be a different story if Jenkins does pay off.. 4 kids at such a young is scaring.

          1. yea you’re walking a very thin line.. but on the other hand, Mike Adam was also there in the end of the 2nd round, so had Martin been taken you could jump up to get Mike Adams instead.
            – But leaving the vikings without a left tackle in the first to second round of this draft I think it will be tough for Ponder to overcome. He is just not that great a QB yet, and he needs protect + weapons to succed. Something you guys clearly adressed.

  3. – one last thing

    It would be awesome if you would add a short video providing scouting tapes / highlights.. If I remember correctly you did that last time Brett..
    And also Have fun completeing this and GREAT job thus far.

    1. I’ll get on that, Malte. I didn’t add it for these guys because they were higher profile players. I figured everyone was already familiar with them.

      1. sure we are fimiliar, but looking at highlights is always nice 🙂 Besides we have not looked much at Jonathan becasue most of us didn’t saw it likely that vikings will add him..

  4. I dont know guys I have a bad feeling about this one. I think Blackmon is a little overhyped and Martin seems more like a project. Just a gut feeling but I question if Blackmon has the speed to deal with NFL corners? The Rams of all teams passing on him should raise a little red flag on him.

    1. I wouldn’t say the Rams passed on him… They just chose Kalil, a superior prospect, instead.

    2. I think he is a bit overhyped.. but that is if we take him at #3.. At the 6th spot i can understand it.. He is as fast if not faster than Fitzgerald, granted he doesn’t have the same high + jumping abilities, but he seperates very well with his good route running and more than decent speed.

    3. Ok if Kalil is the superior prospect let’s just take him and screw any trade that doesnt let that happen. Lol I know it’s just speculating and it’s fun to play out other scenarios but Ricky scares the hell out of me.
      I think Blackmon is a good player but not elite enough for the #6 pick. There are others out there with more upside imo.

    4. I don’t see Martin as a project at all… I think he is a top 10 talent. Most had him ranked there not that long ago. He’d be a day one starter on this offense and a good one, that’d be my prediction.

      1. Adam, I’m basing that on the fact that Mayock and Kiper have him rated as the 4th best tackle. Guess I’ll have to do some research on him.

    5. I agree with Blackmon being over hyped. With this years deep WR class, I would not take one in the first round.

    6. I tend to agree, bjohnny. I watched a few clips comparing him vs Green and Jones (from last year) and all the analysts rated him the 3rd best of them. He was not even in the same class as AJ green and less explosive than Jones. They said for a top receiver he didn’t have elite heigh or speed which was a concern when going so high. Still a good, clean football player though.

    1. Haha I Loved watching that show as a young buck. Wish they would show reruns of it.

      Vikes cannot afford a 1st round bust this year, not saying Blackmon will be a bust but as Cal said it’s risky.

    2. Agree CV, I don’t think taking a WR that high is worth the risk, especially with this years deep WR class.

  5. I agree with whoever liked Floyd better. I watched a couple OSU games although I didn’t see the Stanford game in which he was dominate, I heard, but I think Blackman loses focus in the middle of the field (he doesn’t like contact) and he got into it with Osweiler on the sidelines during one of the games. I think Floyd is a more complete receiver. Is close to Blackman as a deep threat and better than Blackman across the middle. Although Blackman uses his body very well to block DBs on quick routes. He’s a good receiver, I just feel Floyd, who will catch the ball, and take the hit, is a bigger receiver and I think is a better fit for an improving team. As for the Martin selection I think that was good. After Kalil, Reiff, Martin, the drop off in left OT is big. I’m not sold on Adams and I don’t think Glen is fast enough to be a L OT. Massie is a beast, but he seems a little off balance against speed guys, but in the run game is a roadgrader. I think Jenkins is very talented, but a bad fit for the Vikings. Hosley is not as good, but is able to be counted on. A CB similar to Jenkins would be Robinson from UCF, if that’s what you want. By similar I mean not as good in any categories, but without the off the field issues. Robinson also returned punts, but had fumble issues. In summation, I like that you tried something different instead of picking Kalil, it made for a entertaining read. I would prefer Floyd, liked Martin, and Jenkins could be great, but after reading some more about him firing his agent and since the combine going to Vegas, I’m concerned that he’s volatile by nature and problems will follow (Pacman). That said You’ve addressed our three biggest needs with three players who have 1st round grades, so I would say great job.

    1. I think that is a fair assessment. Blackmon reminds me of a young Boldin… fromt eh glory days… except not nearly as tough. I do see him as this year’s top talent, however, and actually have Floyd listed third on my board of WR’s.

  6. Your old pal Fragile has to give Bjohnny props on his comment “Ok if Kalil is the superior prospect let’s just take him and screw any trade that doesnt let that happen.” Freds agrees completely. Let’s rebuild with with superior talent and not throw more warm bodies at this mess with lesser proven talent and hope a few stick. That is a receipe for disaster. If the Vikes get two starters out of this draft (and they should), let’s move on instead of praying to the football gods for good fortune. We can hope for luck when it comes for rounds 3 – 6

    Bjohnny, it’s PAINS your old pal to point out those times when you are right!

    1. haha 🙂
      – well this scenario actually could go and give 3 good starters. Something to build upon should Janoris Jenkins solve his off field issues.
      perhaps Cook can learn him a thing on two.. – Err lets hope he doesn’t

    2. Freds,
      I wished they would stay at 3 and and pick Kalil, I have a bad feeling Rick will trade with Miami at 8 if he gets a chance…

    3. I feel your pain Freds, in my Bill Clinton voice. And Freds be sure to join the live-chat as I have a feeling there will be plenty of rants going on, I know how much you enjoy them.

  7. Also I’ve just looked at how the draft is unfolding at #Mockfour.. Maybe you should consider trading up once again soon. I know you already traded up once BUT a safety like Harrison Smith is a good talent, and will he be there in the 3rd?

    1. – it all depends on how you view the depth of the rest of the safeties though.. and what other talent that still are avaliable .. Will it be to much to pass up?

  8. I d say this is one of the few realistic “Trade Down Senario” Ive seen;…good job. As long time, die hard fan, (and draft nut), I cant see the Rams really giving us those extra picks to move up 3 spots. And without those picks it falls apart… the difference between Kalil; and next tier of LTs is greater than difference between Blackmon and next tier of rec.s… In fact, Floyd, Wright, Hill, Randle and Jeffrey are all #1 receivers; and while at least one of the last two will probably be available at pick #35, Im all for bundling picks and moving back to first rd. late and securing one of the earlier…. Go Vikes

    1. Bob,
      If you had the choice of the WR’s you mentioned, who would be your favorite?

  9. Wow, another great discussion day, love it! I’m starting to worry about a few guys though… G. Grant, Fran, hello out there! Are you there! Hello?!?

  10. Yup. Here Adam. All I got is “draft Kalil at number 3”. I really don’t have much else to offer, as I don’t do the extensive research and reading that some of the guys do, (unless you want to hear how we drafted Yary back in…) Good stuff here, though. If we don’t make a major upgrade on the OL in this offseason, I might consider putting “The Coach’s Curse” on my beloved franchise, and none of us wants that.

    1. Hey Coach good to see you back. If they pass on Kalil you are more than welcome to put the Coachs Curse on this bunch

    2. Mr. Grant,
      Good to see you back Sir. I,m with Ya and Johnny on the Coach’s curse lol, I really would hate to see them pass on improving the O-Line dramatically with this pick…

      How’s the Family is doing good I hope???

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