Feb 25, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys defensive back Justin Gilbert runs the shuttle run during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Todd McShay Mock Draft: Vikings Select Justin Gilbert


Todd McShay has come out with his third mock draft, and his pick for the Vikings is an intriguing one.

Bucking the trend of sending a quarterback or linebacker to Minnesota with the #8 overall, McShay has them taking cornerback Justin Gilbert.

Here is McShay’s take (link behind ESPN Insider paywall):

Analysis: If I were to rank the two or three likeliest teams to trade out of their first-round pick, the Vikings would be right in the mix. I could see them trying to aggressively move up if one of the top QBs (say, Johnny Manziel) dropped to No. 5, and I could see them moving back if there isn’t a QB available at No. 8 in an attempt to grab more picks and take a lower-rated quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo later. But if they stay put, I think the Vikings take the best player available, either offensive tackle Jake Matthews or cornerback Justin Gilbert out of Oklahoma State. I’ll go with Gilbert, the top corner prospect on our board who has excellent speed, size and playmaking ability.

I stand by my assertion that, when a draft is this loaded, you have two options: make a big trade or take the best player available regardless of need.

Even if the best player available is an offensive tackle? Yes. Why not? Tackles have been converted into guards before. Maybe Matt Kalil plays left guard and Jake Matthews moves in at left tackle.

The trade scenario to me makes the most sense. With the top of the draft so loaded, this is the year to make a Julio Jones-type deal with some team that thinks it’s one piece away and is willing to give up multiple picks to get their guy.

Rick Spielman should, and will, be working the phones before and during the draft. But even if he can’t swing the trade, grabbing the draft’s most athletic corner or a stud offensive lineman who last year might have been the #1 overall selection…those are not bad alternatives.

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Tags: Justin Gilbert Minnesota Vikings

  • tck62

    I think the Vikings need to go a different route, look what Warner did with the Rams, with Faulk in the backfield and throwing to Bruce and Holt the Rams win a Super Bowl, then Warner goes to the Giants and without weapons he looks like the worst QB in the league, Warner goes to Arizona with Fitzgerald and Boldin to throw to and they almost win the Super Bowl. So why not target Sammy Watkins ? With A.P. in the backfield Watkins, Patterson and Rudolph to throw to a mediocre QB could thrive.

    • Ken Tomlin

      Nice in theory, but we don’t even have a mediocre QB. I’d still love to get Gilbert, as I’ve been saying for weeks now, but if Watkins is there and we either sign a decent FA QB or we’re pretty sure we can get a quality QB in the 2nd rd. Then, hey, why not Watkins. That’s better than reaching for a QB.

      • tck62

        I’m convinced Ponder’s problem was Musgrave, let’s give Turner a year to work with him.

        • Ken Tomlin

          I agree that Musgrave was the problem, not just with Ponder, but the offense as a whole! Lol! Don’t get me wrong, I’m ok with Ponder(or at least not as down as some anyway). My reason behind it, is when you watched the games last yr, when Cassel came in, the offense played with more energy and confidence. The team will never say it publicly, but I think the locker room lost confidence in him. When AP says(crazily)” Vick makes us an instant playoff team”, and he says that with Ponder still there….. I hope Ponder can go somewhere and have success, I just don’t think it’ll be with us. Maybe a fresh start somewhere else will help him, but keeping him around as a backup just seems wrong to me. The kid deserves better than that.

          • Mike Bridges

            How is it so many fans think they have the inside scoop on how locker rooms think? Why is it, unless a person thinks anything other than what “some” want, they are crazy or clueless? When Musgrave did not handcuff Ponder, he played with more confidence. If Ponder has no talent in Minnesota, where is he going to get it anywhere else? He doesn’t need to leave to get a change of scenery as he is pretty much getting that with a new Staff of Coaches. Last season 99% of Viking fans wanted an immediate QB change….period! And now, cuz someone started using the word “reach” 99% now demand something different. Taking , if you can get one of them, one of the Top 5 QB’s in the Draft is less of a reach than taking a kid down the list that may be around in the 4th Rd. I’ve been a fan of the Vikings since the early 70′s and I’ve seen them have Defenses that were incredible, and with those incredible Defenses they did not win a single Super Bowl. They need a QB, and not everyone can sit and wait for the next Andrew Luck but, a team can take a good young QB and turn him into a great young QB, with the right Coaches. Coach Zimmer feels he has the right Coaches to lead and develop but, many fans these days feel they know more and the team should follow their wisdom. Speilman has done a great job drafting, except for ONE instance and he didn’t really have the right people advising him then. I believe he does now, and he will do what’s right by the Vikings. No matter what he does, he will not please every, or most fans, and it’s only Mr. Wilf he needs worry about. The greatest QB this team has ever had and one of the best ever, feels that Manziel is the right choice but, since he’s not the popular choice of the fans, Tarkenton doesn’t know what he’s talking about! Manziel, Bridgwater, Bortles, Carr and even McCarron could be very good QB’s in the NFL. They know how to win and that’s the first important tool they possess. There have been great QB’s with small hands, short bodies and even ugly mechanics. I have yet to read that any of these QB’s have poor mechanics. Bridgwater was deemed to have a great future, until his hands were measured! Last I looked, Russell Wilson is not tall, and he led his team to a title and that’s cuz he has the right Coaches. I believe the Vikings finally have a Staff of Coaches that know what they are doing, and no matter who they pick first or don’t pick first, or what QB they take, when they take him, I will still be a fan and support them. Many fans today must not enjoy Football cuz often times their favorite teams do the exact opposite if what they demand! I don’t know how many times, the last few days, I’ve read fans saying that if their favorite team does anything other than what they want, they will no longer be a fan! GOOD! Fans like this don’t know what a fan is to do!!

          • tck62

            The link I sent you is waiting for a moderator, Brett Smith out of Wyoming can flat out play. The Vikings could get him in the 2nd or 3rd round.

          • Ken Tomlin

            Mike, I’m 42 yrs old. I’ve been a Viking fan my whole life. I’m not a “fair weather” fan. I love my Vikings, and whether they go 0-16 or win the Super Bowl that will not change. I agree with just about everything you said. I have the utmost faith in Spielman and I think he’s done a very good job with the moves he’s made. I think this is the best coaching staff we’ve had in quite sometime. I liked Frazier and I think he did a good job. Where we differ is this, you seem to think ( or at least that’s the way it’s coming across to me) that any fan who doesn’t approve of the moves the VIKES make is somehow less of a fan. I don’t care about a QB’s height or hand size, like some do. I also believe if there’s a player you like you draft him. There are only 2 QB’s that I’m not a fan of from this years draft. If Spielman/Norv/Zimmer think that’s “their” guy, then I’ll still cheer him on, cuz he’s on my fav team. My “issues” with Manziel, are not football related. I don’t care about the autograph thing, or his partying. It has to do with things I’ve heard personally from someone I trust. My nephew goes to A&M. He has no reason to lie to me, and nothing to gain, so I believe him. I’m not going to do the whole” he said she said” thing. That’s why I’m not a fan of Manziel. As for Ponder, I like the kid. I think he’s a decent QB and since I’ve never”booed” a Viking player in my life, like quite a few fans have done, if he stays fine. I do believe though that a player can go somewhere else and reach his full potential or have a better career than had he stayed with another team. Dilfer, Welker, heck even one of my fav Vikings in Brad Johnson, that’s just 3 but you get the point. As far as “knowing about the locker room”. You can’t deny the difference in how the offense seemed to play last yr between Cassel and Ponder. You can’t forget the way certain things were sd by players or a player like AP has sd ( you sd we should listen to him cuz he knows offense) about wanting Vick. We’re all Viking fans so don’t get so defensive about those of us voice a different opinion.

  • mike

    I can agree with the idea of getting the best player available. However, we need a quarterback, some way, some how, end of story.

  • 3kolu

    Kalil to left guard is absolutely ludicrous. I don’t see the Vikings wasting a pick on an offensive lineman in the first 3 rounds. And, if they did pull the trigger on Matthews he surely wouldn’t start at left tackle. Kalil is way more polished blind-side protector than Matthews. Gilbert brings shut-down ability and diversity. The problem is that the Corner position might require more veteran presence. So, hitting the free agent market for Alteraun Verner, Sam Shields, Vontae Davis, DRC or Aqib Talib will probably be the move because now they have to spend some money in free agency with over $40 million of cap space and/or extending the contracts of a couple players currently on their roster.

    • Daniel Van Steenwyk

      If he is the best player on the board, he goes, QB, offense, defense, it doesn’t matter anymore. If they don’t trade back for more picks , they will take the best player on the board and that player likely won’t be Gilbert.

      • Daniel Van Steenwyk

        8th is too early for Gilbert

        • 3kolu

          I disagree,Gilbert could prove to be a steal at #8. Her has serious return ability and has had his shares of pick 6′s. He has serious ball skills, fluid hips and that size, speed, athletic ratio that is prototypical. He reminds me of Patrick Peterson. But, it depends on how we come out of free agency and also how the draft unfolds whether there will be a run on QB’s, OT’s or LB’s etc. etc. However, my hope is that Khalil Mack is still available, #1 on my big board.