The latest FanSided.com mock draft gives us a new name to ponder. The name is Bjoern Werner. The Florida State defensive end was once thought of as a top 10 prospect but he’s slipped and now might be in the Vikings’ range. From FanSided.com:
Werner used to be a top 3 draft pick but his stock has absolutely plummeted due to the fact that he’s viewed as simply a “great” player and not an “elite” player after thee combine. But while the Vikings need a wide receiver, they’ve afforded themselves an opportunity to get take two positions of need in the first round and there’s no doubt that defensive end is one of them. Brian Robison isn’t going to carry the defensive line on his own and Jared Allen isn’t getting any younger. Minnesota could go defensive tackle here, but they’re getting top 15 value at No. 23 overall in Werner and that’s too good to pass up.
So let’s ponder Werner. Does this guy make sense for the Vikings? Obviously you’re picking for value over need here. Defensive tackle is the greater need position but there’s arguably enough depth there that you could still get a good one in the second round. Werner might be too good to pass up at 23.
But ultimately I don’t think the Vikings do it and here’s why. First off, Rick Spielman already mentioned wanting to get two starters in the first round. Werner wouldn’t start over either Brian Robison or Jared Allen. And if you’re thinking the Vikes might cut Jared, forget it. They’re likely going to sign Jared to a Tom Brady-like extension meaning he will be around for several more years. Yes he was down last year but some of that was injury. The Vikes clearly see this guy as a veteran pillar for them to build around.
I’m on-board with adding more depth at defensive end and maybe giving Jared a few more snaps off (even if that idea really bugs him). But you can do that with a low-end free agent signing or a low draft pick. The Vikings must use their first round picks on guys who will contribute in a huge way right away. Werner would be a rotational player behind Allen, Robison and Everson Griffen. Makes no sense to use your top pick on a guy like that when you have multiple needs.
So no on Werner. Yes on a defensive tackle or cornerback. And yes on Keenan Allen with the 25th pick as projected by the new mock. Big, downfield (if not super-speedy) threat to go with consummate route- runner Greg Jennings and potentially dynamic flanker Jarius Wright? Sounds good.