Round 2 of VT Question of the Week is on the board! This week we keep in mind the free agency moves that have—and haven’t—happened thus far and look ahead to the 2015 NFL Draft.
If you’re the Vikings, and the Draft is tomorrow, who do you take at No. 11—and why?
Andy: Brandon Scherff, OT – Iowa.
The Vikings didn’t overspend for Iupati (smart) or Boling (ehh), so LG is still a need. [Joe] Berger is back, but he’s no starter, and Yankey is a major wildcard. If the Hawkeye mauler is there at 11, take him. Plug him in at LG this season and even let him audition for LT down the road if Kalil doesn’t rebound in 2015.
Brent: Trae Waynes, CB – Michigan State
Waynes has tremendous size and plays physically at the line of scrimmage. Not only can he body a wide out and put him on an island, but he has great ball skills and is more than willing to help in run support. Knowing how the NFCN throws the football, a corner back like Waynes gets priority over any 2 down linebacker or defensive lineman, in my opinion. Having two lock-down corners will be incredibly valuable to Zimmer, who likes to get creative with this defensive schemes. Trust your back end coverage, and you have endless possibilities on defense.
Adam: Trae Waynes, CB – Michigan State
As many of our readers know, I don’t put too much stock in “needs” when it comes to the NFL Draft, but value drafting has to play into things. If Adrian Peterson has taught us anything over the last year, it should be that there is nothing wrong with using the Draft to get better and deeper at a position of strength. In a blink of an eye, your sure-fire starter can disappear. So, making some assumptions about who is available when we select at number 11, I go with cornerback Trae Waynes—as you’ve seen from the first three versions of my mock draft. The Vikings depth chart at corner would allow for a guy like Waynes to work his way up the depth chart, instead of being handed a starting job (or forced into a starting job) before being fully ready. Waynes is one of my favorite players in this class, and pairing him with Xavier Rhodes could put the Vikings pass defense in the conversation for top in the league over the next few years.
Carl: DeVante Parker, WR – Louisville
I have always liked DeVante Parker with the 11th pick for three reasons: chemistry, talent, and filing a need. However, if blue chip talent like OLB Vic Beasley or Randy Gregory happen to fall to the Vikings, I think I would take one of those guys over Parker. I also think selecting OT Brandon Scherff is a good pick too, but I really believe those three guys will not be available at No. 11. I think WR Micheal Crabtree will be harder to sign than some of the other Vikings free agent targets like CB Chris Culliver, DE Michael Johnson and S Taylor Mays, so to answer the question, I just keep coming back to Parker with the 11th pick.
Lindsey: Brandon Scherff, OT – Iowa.
I’ve been wavering back and forth between Scherff and DeVante Parker for the last several weeks now. It’s hard to turn down a WR if he’s available that high in the draft, but my gut feeling all offseason is that the Vikings need to fix their offensive line. In my opinion, the O-Line is the team’s biggest weakness right now. Now that we know Minnesota won’t be bringing in Iupati, and we unfortunately missed out on Clint Boling—who I wanted to see come here—I think the Vikings need to go with Scherff if he’s on the board at No. 11. Did you know that he had a tear in his meniscus as a senior at Iowa, and he only missed one practice with the injury? The guy is a beast, and he would immediately improve the line.
Austin: DeVante Parker, WR – Louisville
Stepping into Rick Spielman’s shoes for a day, I draft a player who will have an immediate impact for the Vikings – DeVante Parker. There may be other holes on the roster, but the team is sorely lacking a dynamic red zone target and deep threat. Parker could fill that Randy Moss role of old, capitalizing on his chemistry with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to ignite Norv Turner’s offense in 2015.
KSTP’s Darren Wolfson, Guest of the Week: Vic Beasley, DE/LB – Clemson[The Vikings] were big fans of Oregon QB Marcus Mariota last year, I’m told (before he chose to go back to school). But a) he’s not falling that far, and b) I’m a big fan of Bridgewater’s. I really, really, really like Alabama WR Amari Cooper. But it’s a deep draft for said position. So I’d be more tempted to go safety, if one was worthy, or linebacker. Having Arif Hasan in studio on 1500 Wednesday, he sold me on UCLA LB Eric Kendricks. But he’s not worthy of the No. 11 pick. So trade down, accumulate more picks, and take Kendricks. But to answer your question and tap-dance around: give me Clemson DE/LB Vic Beasley. LB coach Adam Zimmer was at Clemson’s Pro Day, and Beasley took part in the linebacker drills. He’s an athletic freak, and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is a mad scientist with athletes like that. A top cornerback or the guard/tackle from Iowa would also be appealing.
You can follow Darren on Twitter, @DarrenWolfson for more Vikings coverage!