Inside Our War Room – Rounds Two & Three

For those that don’t already know here, over the past few days, I’ve been participating in an online community mock draft called #MockOne. It just so happens that this particular iteration is the third time it’s been done, making it #MockThree. And, of course, I am one of the lucky people representing the Minnesota Vikings. For a more in depth explanation of how the draft works, check out my previous post explaining what we did in the first round. Today, I will be reporting back the moves we made (or didn’t make) in the second and third rounds. The reason I am combining these two rounds is because, if you remember, we traded our second round pick to move up and grab Dre Kirkpatrick towards the end of the first round. Or, in other words, we didn’t have a second round pick. We did have a third round pick though, and in just a moment, I will tell you who we targeted and who we actually ended up selecting.

As you’ll remember from my previous post, I was partial to not trading picks to move up into the second round. It’s not that I don’t like Dre Kirkpatrick; I believe he would make a great addition to the team and immediately bolster our secondary. Rather, for a team with so many needs, I felt that we should be hanging on tightly to the large amount of picks we already had and potentially even trading down to amass more. Again, I don’t think it was a bad move, it just wasn’t the ideal move in my mind.

It hurt to watch so many great players go off the board in the second round – a round in which we didn’t have any picks. Granted, Dre Kirkpatrick was essentially our second pick, but still… Wide receiver Stephen Hill, a prospect I would have pushed hard for, didn’t make it to the pick we would have had in the second round which made me feel a tad bit better. Hill was acquired by the St. Louis Rams with the first pick of the second round. And Hill was just one of many wide receivers to come off the board. Alshon Jeffery, Mohamed Sanu, Brian Quick, Joe Adams and Marvin Jones were also selected in the second round, in that order.

So, by the time our third round pick rolled around, taking any of the remaining wide receivers in the draft would have been a huge reach. So, instead, we used the pick to address one of the Vikings other biggest needs (arguably the biggest, according to Adam), safety.

With the third pick in the third round of the 2012 #MockThree draft…

the Minnesota Vikings selected Oklahoma State safety Markelle Martin.

Markelle Martin is considered by most to be the third best safety in the 2012 draft – behind only Mark Barron and Harrison Smith. Martin is an absolute ball hawk. When watching his tape, it was incredible to see how quickly he would move to wherever the ball was on the field. On top of that, he is an absolutely ferocious tackler and makes whoever is carrying the ball pay for carrying the ball. Martin excels playing in zone coverage as well as coming up to help with the running game. Despite how great he is, Martin has had a hard time staying healthy as well as dropping interceptions. Or, in other words, Markelle Martin would fit in perfectly in our secondary. (See what I just did there?)

Overall, I am very happy with our third pick. Markelle Martin would be an immediate starter at safety considering how weak we are at that area. With Kirkpatrick and Martin added to the secondary, the Vikings pass defensive overall could be significantly improved.

I know what you’re probably thinking: “How could they not address our blatant need at wide receiver.” To be honest, I don’t have a great answer to that question other than, that’s just the way it played out. There weren’t any wide receivers worth reaching for at the beginning of the third round. One could also argue that safety is an even bigger need than receiver (Although, I’m not one of those people).

Tomorrow, I should report back with commentary on what we did in the fourth round. Although we don’t have our pick at the beginning of the round (Remember? We traded it for Kirkpatrick…), we do have two compensatory picks at the end of the round. If you want to peek ahead and see what we did, you can visit the #MockOne website. Otherwise sit tight and know this: I promise to address the aforementioned deprived need in that round.

In the meantime, check out Adam’s take on the second and third rounds.

Third Round Pick: The Vikings had to sit the second round out because of their trade back up into the first round to nab cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. The front office decided to select Oklahoma State safety Markelle Martin who is a very solid player at a position that needs all the help it can get. Between Kirkpatrick and Martin, the Vikings secondary is now well on their way down the road to recovery. I think safety is the biggest need and Martin was the best option available, so I would have to grade this pick fairly high. Unfortunately, however, they now have another long wait to the end of the fourth round and the receiver position still needs major attention.

Biggest Reach: I gave the Rams the nod here in the first round and am sticking with them in the second. With the sixth pick of the second round, the Rams selected Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin. Boykin is a decent prospect with some versatility, but their front office even admitted that they were “scrambling” to make this pick after guys they really coveted came off the board right in front of them. I do not think (and neither will most draftniks) that Boykin was the best cornerback, let alone the best player, available at this point in the Draft and he is a big reach for them.

Best Value: Lots of great value was available in the top of the third round and this was a tough choice. I have to give the label “Best Value” to the Dolphins with their pick at the 19th spot of the third round. It is there that they landed Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen who is mostly regarded as the first or second most talented tight end in this class and I have him going in the first round of my most recent mock draft. While most other teams occupied themselves with mid-level wide receiver talent in the second round, the Fins were able to snag a top tight end talent in the third. They were also able to snag Alshon Jeffery in the second round, so Miami is setting up whomever might be their quarterback for a no-excuses season.