The guys at NFL Mocks stretched it out a little and put together a three round mock. Their picks for the Vikings are highly intriguing and may provoke some conversation. These are some different names than we’ve been hearing. Here’s what they put together:
Pick 23: Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
NFL Mocks Says: The Vikings’ secondary was atrocious last season. They have a lot of young guys, but I think Leslie Frazier would love to get a physical player like Taylor on the outside, especially if they have to replace Antoine Winfield.
Pick 25: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
NFL Mocks Says: The Vikings use the pick they got in the Percy Harvin trade to add a speedy receiver with huge upside. Patterson can do all the things Harvin did, but he’s just not as proven. This could be a really good value for them.
Pick 52: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU
Pick 83: Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
Minter dropping into the second round is something we’re seeing in a lot of mocks right now. The concern with him apparently is that he was surrounded by a lot of talent at LSU and that might have made him look a little better than he really is. Waiting till the second for a linebacker might be the prudent move given the concerns about these guys. None of the top linebacker prospects seems like a very sure bet and it wouldn’t shock me if only one is taken in the first round. Linebacker is becoming like running back. Teams just don’t value those guys the way they used to.
As for the running back pick…I speculated a couple months ago that the Vikes might go running back a little earlier than some anticipate. I just think the time has come to upgrade the RB talent and move on from Toby Gerhart. Remember that Gerhart was a Brad Childress pick. I’m not sure his skill set really makes sense for Bill Musgrave’s offense. I think the Vikes need a speedier, more versatile #2 running back with some change-up ability. And don’t discount the importance of blocking. Adrian Peterson sits on third down precisely because he’s so lousy picking up blitzers. Gerhart frankly isn’t much better. I speculated on the Vikes maybe drafting another Stanford guy, Stepfan Taylor. He is currently getting third round buzz as well.
What the Vikes really need at RB is a guy who can catch a screen and break it for a big play. Gerhart has decent hands but he never gets anywhere. Also keep in mind that, after the Percy Harvin trade, you lost your change-of-pace back. Your guy you throw in after a couple Adrian Peterson runs and try to hit them with a different look. Gerhart doesn’t give you enough of a different look. He’s a plodding runner. And his lack of third-down value really hurts him as far as far as I’m concerned. I think the Vikes would do well to move on from Gerhart and Bernard might be just the guy to provide the needed upgrade. He’s no speed burner but he has some shiftiness to go with his power. He’s not the biggest guy but he’s got some bowling ball to him. And he has some return experience which gives extra value.
Brief comments about the first two picks. I’m intrigued by the Taylor kid. He seems to fit the mold of the Cover-2 cornerback. A Ronde Barber-type. He would be a better option right now than A.J. Jefferson who is a fourth corner at best. I’d like Taylor even better if you brought back Antoine Winfield to continue covering the slot while Josh Robinson attempts to learn that spot. Robinson is a long way from being a competent corner as we all learned last year.
Patterson is a guy who I’m not sure about. He’s been all over draft boards the last few weeks. For a minute he looked like maybe a top 10 pick and now he’s sagging. Some of his workouts haven’t been great. He screams “project” and I’m not sure the Vikes with their thin receiver corps can afford to take on a project.