Jan 26, 2013; Mobile, AL, USA; Senior Bowl north squad defensive back Jonathan Cyprien of Florida International (37) prior to kickoff of a game against the Senior Bowl south squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Silva Mock Draft Has Vikings Taking Safety Jonathan Cyprien

Evan Silva throws up a curveball in his latest mock draft. With the 23rd pick he has the Vikings taking WR DeAndre Hopkins. We’ve seen that name thrown out there plenty. But then there’s pick #25. Silva goes completely against every assumption by mocking Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien to Minnesota. Silva’s argument:

Safeties in Minnesota’s Cover-2 scheme must both be sure tacklers and possess sideline-to-sideline range. Cyprien was a box defender at Florida International, but his stock has risen during the pre-draft process because he stood out in coverage at the Senior Bowl before running in the low 4.5s at his Pro Day. He’d be a sizable upgrade on Jamarca Sanford opposite Harrison Smith.

Make any sense? Maybe. Sanford was recently re-signed but not to a big contract. He’s certainly not making slamdunk-starter money. The plan as we figure it is to have Sanford battle it out in camp with Mistral Raymond, who started quite a bit last year when he wasn’t hurt, and Robert Blanton who was nowhere to be seen for most of the season. Sanford would seem to be the favorite in that particular battle but that says less about him and more about his competition. Raymond is pretty much dogmeat and Blanton is just a total unknown right now. Sanford is sort of the default starter.

So maybe it would make sense to take the safety Cyprien. Like Silva says, he’d be an upgrade. And you’d potentially have an explosive safety duo with him and Harrison Smith. But then you have to consider the other needs on the defense. Defensive tackle and linebacker are both arguably higher priorities than safety and so is cornerback. But who knows. Perhaps in Rick Spielman’s mind there’s a high premium on safeties. The NFL is evolving into more and more of a passing league, with big, fast tight ends becoming more common. So safety is probably a more important position than linebacker especially in the Tampa-2. The question is, with no starting MLB currently on the roster, can you afford to go safety in the first? And would you consider taking two defensive players in the first and letting the receiver thing slide down a round?

Lots to ponder. But Cyprien is definitely intriguing.

One more note from Silva’s mock: He has the Bears taking a linebacker ahead of the Vikings and it’s not Manti Te’o. Silva likes Arthur Brown, who I mentioned in my recent linebacker rundown.

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  • Jake

    C’mon man, put some thought into this. This is the sort of thing us readers are complaining about. A guy comes out and predicts the Vikes will take a safety in the 1st round and you say it’s not a bad idea? You should be tearing this idea apart, not agreeing with it. They signed Sanford to start, he played well last year and teamed with Smith they make a pretty good duo. Raymond is a decent cover safety if Sanford relapses and it’s possible Blanton is better than anyone knows. Even if they did want to draft a safety to challenge Sanford do you honestly think they would take one in the first round when they have so many other more pressing needs, MLB, WR, CB, DT? C’mon man, think about this for a minute. There will be good safeties available in later rounds, they didn’t trade into the 1st round so they could take a safety. This is the stuff we’re talking about when we talk about how bad this site is. It’s as though you’re not even paying attention to the team. Now that Jennings has signed the biggest needs are DT, MLB and CB; no one actually believes they are going to use a valuable 1st round pick on a safety when they have two starters who played well last year.

    • Anthony DuLac

      Actually, the Jennings signing in no way completely solves our vast need at WR. When you factor in his age and injury-prone past, we need to draft at least 1 or 2 WRs in the 1st or 2nd rounds. And we can easily get decent LBs in later rounds as well as DTs, imho.

      • Jake

        That’s exactly my point, then why would we draft a safety in the first? That’s what I’m saying, with so many other needs why would we waste a valuable pick on a position that is fairly well covered? This just further shows how bad the writing is at Viking Age and how little these guys really seem to know. To your point I think they’ll take a LB in the first, there are several guys who should be available there that are top quality and I think they’ll probably move on one. Whether they use the other 1st rounder on a DT or WR remains to be seen, it could go either way.

  • CarterMossReed

    Actually cb can go later they already have cook, aj, robinson

    • Jake

      Jefferson is a free agent and they have not yet resigned him. Besides he didn’t play well enough to merit resigning. Cook will be good if he can stay healthy, not sure how robinson will turn out. CB is definitely still a need and they could easily make a move on a CB in the first round.

  • Anthony DuLac

    We definitely don’t need a LB right away, we can get a good to serviceable one in the later rounds. No, we need to use our first 2 picks on WR and CB or just WRs. We badly need them.

  • CarterMossReed

    Well spielman will pull the rabbit out of the hat trick once again, anyone remember last years draft many fans wanted morris claiborne, he ended up drafting kalil. I hope he does grab a wideout in the first round, hopkins to be exact or a tall red zone target. Being the nfc north you need all the arsenals you can, corner would probably be in the 3rd or 4th Defensive tackle, and middle linebacker has been missing for quite a while. Teams have been running down the gut, especially option qb’s they need to plug up the middle lanes defensive tackle,and middle linebacker would make option qb’s think twice, they did lost to all option qb’s last year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Olson/1846614735 Brian Olson

    WR is absolutely necessary in the first round if we are to see if we have a QB and can actually compete. Then a defensive player at DT, MLB and maybe CB with the next two picks. We do not need, as has been alleged in several mocks, a QB or punter.