NFL Draft 2016

MOCK DRAFT: Belisle Version 3.0

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer loves hands-on coaching. He’ll routinely step on the field with his own players, walking them through drills and sometimes, participating side-by-side with defensive backs and defensive tackles. In his two years at the helm, Zimmer’s style hasn’t changed; his son, Adam, commented on his father’s approach before the start of the 2014 season:

[quote_center]”He’s a perfectionist. He wants to get things exactly the way he wants it and in order to do that, he has to know everything that everybody’s doing.”[/quote_center]

In order to get things just right, Zimmer has to get his hands dirty. At last year’s rookie minicamp, he made it a point to coach up Trae Waynes after every whistle, helping the rookie through his footwork, hand placement, and grabbiness. It’s a practice that’s familiar to Zimmer, and one that ensures he has an intimate understanding of his players’ strengths and weaknesses.

Austin’s Full Mock Draft, Version 3.0

At TCU’s Pro Day last week, he and general manager Rick Spielman had front row seats to the Josh Doctson show. They watched the wide receiver run through routes and drop just one pass thrown his way. And when the workout was over, Zimmer took the TCU star to the side, where he coordinated his own drills.

Specifically, Zimmer lined up a yard across from Doctson and asked him to “beat the press.” Seeing as the knocks on Doctson include his lean frame, lack of strength, and recovery from a broken wrist, Zimmer likely wanted to test one of the weaker aspects of the receiver’s game.

Doctson (obviously) made easy work of the coach, releasing off the line quickly and flashing a few moves to get around the initial press. Zimmer was never going to challenge the receiver, but he took the time and effort to step on the field and see Doctson’s talents firsthand. No other team showed such blatant interest in Doctson, and it’s clear the Vikings are seriously considering him with the 23rd-overall selection.

When the top-two members of an organization spend that much time on a prospect, they’re doing more than creating a smoke screen. If Doctson is available when the Vikings are on the clock and the team doesn’t pull the trigger, I’ll be shocked. As the team at Draft Season wrote, the TCU senior is a “natural catcher” who times his jumps well to get vertical and win most 50/50 matchups. That sounds exactly like the type of receiver the Vikings have been missing for years.

No need for a poll this time around, as my choice hasn’t changed. But while you’re here, be sure to check out all of our scouting reports HERE!

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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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  1. Would love for Doctson to be a Viking, but I see four teams ahead of us that might snag him before we’re on the clock at 23: Rams, Lions, Redskins, and (in what would be a total tease, one pick before us) the Texans.

    1. That’s the buzz! Apparently scouts are questioning his desire and love for the game — it seems to happen to at least one prospect every year.

      1. I cant see him falling out of the top 10. Certainly not the whole round. Potential pro bowl left tackles don’t fall out of the first based on fuzzy notions like “he doesn’t love the game.”

        1. I agree, he’s a talent. But look at La’El Collins last year and Randy Gregory in that same draft. Both were first-round talents with character concerns. Shoot, look at Aaron Rodgers

          1. Not all “character concerns” are created equally.” “Doesn’t love the game” is far different than 1) could’ve possibly murdered his gf and no time to do research on the issue, 2) has a substance abuse problem, and 3) comes from a system where the last 3 qbs drafted in the 1st round were all monumental busts. He won’t make it past Detroit imo. If he was on the board at 23, then Spielman would be insane to pass on him for a 2nd round rated 25 year old one trick pony receiver.

        2. “Potential pro bowl left tackles don’t fall out of the first based on fuzzy notions like “he doesn’t love the game.”

          Too true, Wyatt. They get drafted No. 4 overall, make the Pro Bowl as an alternate as a rookie, get injured, are awful for two years and, in their big, comeback season, are not even adequate, which still allows them to go unchallenged as a starter going into their fifth, “option” season.

          1. Unfortunately youre right that it happened to us. But it just shows the absurdity of the notion that a LT could fall out of the top 5 let alone the entire first round. Teams dont pass on elite LT talent for this type of thing.

  2. A lot of people don’t want him for some reason but he seems like a perfect fit for us right now. A lengthy possession receiver who plays the ball at it’s highest point. That seems to be all we’re missing on offense

    1. It’s not so much about not wanting him,it’s about not taking him in the first round!
      He is not a first round talent,his true value is in the 2nd/3rd round.I don’t know one legitimate college scout who rates this guy as a first rounder.

    1. Where did you hear that? He was actually a pretty good route runner in college. He didn’t run the full route tree at TCU but that’s the case with a lot of college receiving prospects

  3. While Doctson would not be a shock….I would think they would go for Ronnie Stanley before him. Conklin or Taylor Decker as well could easily be in front of Doctson (in this version of the draft Decker would be available