Dec 31, 2013; El Paso, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) during the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2013 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. UCLA defeated Virginia Tech 42-12. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Vikings 4 Round Mock


 

What follows is a four round mock draft put together based on the best information I have been able to glean as to the Vikings’ positional priorities and in some cases actual player targeting.

We are of course keeping in mind that the player targeting thing can sometimes be a little misleading as teams deliberately create false impressions in this regard.

I proceed recognizing the peril inherent in taking reports of player visits etc., at face value.

So here we go. A best guess four round Vikings mock.

Round 1: Anthony Barr, Edge player, UCLA

You know who the Vikings really want to draft? Khalil Mack. Everyone wants to draft Khalil Mack because he will likely be a terror in the NFL as an edge player.

But without a trade up, the Vikings aren’t getting Khalil Mack.

The trade down possibility is on the table but, here’s the thing: the Vikings really really need a pass rusher. They really really need to upgrade the talent at outside linebacker. They really really need someone like Anthony Barr.

I know Anthony Barr is not everyone’s cup of tea right now, but the talent suggests he could be a big time player. Let Mike Zimmer coach this kid up.

Round 2: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU

All indications are that the Vikings like Mettenberger a whole lot. These indications could be false. For the purposes of this mock, I am operating on the assumption that they are true.

Mettenberger looks the part of a Troy Aikman/Philip Rivers type QB, aka a Norv Turner QB. He’s big and he stands tall in the pocket and he delivers the ball downfield with accuracy. He seems to have the physical and mental tools necessary to be a good player.

One year with Matt Cassel as starter and then hand it over to Mettenberger? I can roll.

Round 3: Terrance West, RB, Towson

Let’s just go ahead and assume that the Vikings will take a running back in at least the third round. They’re not going into the season with Matt Asiata as the #2 back. West has the look of a potential weapon, both as a runner and a receiver.

He could represent a replacement for Adrian Peterson down the road.

Round 3: Billy Turner, OG, North Dakota State

The Vikings normally don’t like taking interior offensive linemen this high. Look at their recent draft history with guards and centers and you see a lot of later round picks like John Sullivan, Brandon Fusco and Jeff Baca.

But I’ve got them breaking this tendency a little bit and taking Billy Turner with their second pick in the third. The left guard spot is still an issue with journeyman Charlie Johnson and reclamation project Vlad Ducasse on the roster. I could see them taking Turner and letting him platoon with Johnson or Ducasse for a year while he learns the guard position.

Round 4: Jordan Zumwalt, MLB, UCLA

The old Rick Spielman double dip leads to a second UCLA linebacker coming to the Vikings. Zumwalt is another guy like Anthony Barr who needs coaching up, but Mike Zimmer of course does not shy away from such projects. In fact he embraces them.

Mike Zimmer and the Vikings are in the perfect spot to draft defensive players with upside who might be a little raw at first. The D is a work in progress, everyone knows it.

With the defensive line in place, now the Vikings need to find linebacker and secondary talent to make Zimmer’s hybrid defense work. Linebacker is where the Vikings are most lacking in personnel, so it’s natural to assume they will heavily target that area in the draft.

Two linebackers in the first five picks is not out of the question. In fact I think it’s almost mandatory.

If you’re worried about the cornerback depth, don’t be. The Vikings still have cap space and can sit and wait for some veterans to be cut during camp. Mike Zimmer has also done a good job reclaiming cast-off defensive backs.

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Tags: Minnesota Vikings

  • Paul Engleson

    The Vikings DONT NEED A RB FOOL they will pick a CB first and a LB in place of your stupid pick of a RB

    • Tyler Erhardt

      I agree they will get a cb before a rb, but it would be smart to grab a rb soon. If not this year them next year for sure.

  • Don Andrew Halvorson

    Go home. You’re drunk.

  • 3kolu

    If the Vikings went this route I’d be terribly disappointed.

    • Tyler Erhardt

      Why?

      • 3kolu

        Zach Metteneberger has serious character issues and an ACL. One-year of productivity in a pro-style offense. Followed by West and Zumwalt consecutively on offense when we had one of the worst defenses in the league last year. We need some depth so that we don’t blow those close games in the final minutes/seconds. We’re returning all of our starters on offense, so we won’t put a premium on the offensive side. We will land a big CB like Desir, McGill or SJB probably in the 3rd.

        • Gordon Guffey

          Metteneberger character issues were over and done with 4 years ago 3kolu ~ I dont know of anything in the last 3 years and that was the only thing in his life ~ I could understand if you just said you didn’t like him ~ But what your talking about is old news ~ Very old news ~

          • 3kolu

            You can’t minimize sexual related charges and a slap on the wrist just doesn’t cut it. It’s a firm indicator of his character and he hasn’t even been drafted yet. The QB is the face of a franchise and the pressure is enormous, much more than he faced when he was at Georgia. “Old News?” How would you feel if that was your girlfriend or daughter? “Old News” right. However, if he can show that he has matured and that his ACL is healed, I’d be willing to part with 3rd rounder. I’d prefer Ryan Mallett for a second or third round trade with the Pats.

          • jamed

            No to Mallet though, I think there’s a reason why the Pats are bringing QBs in to learn under Brady. If they have Mallet and he’s good then why shop for another QB cause Mallet prolly isn’t the guy and a 2nd or 3rd rounder way to high for the unknown.

          • 3kolu

            Brady is still good for a couple years. If they don’t trade Mallett they will lose him to free agency and if it’s after the deadline they won’t get a comp pick till the 2016 draft, whereas they could get pick(s) now and draft a QB for the future to learn under Brady just like Mallett has. Mallett is NFL ready now and more than any other QB in the draft. As far as unknown, almost every QB drafted fits that description.

          • jamed

            But why would they trade Mallet if he is Brady’s successor? If they want to trade him there must be a reason they don’t want him. I just hate using picks for trades. Like the Patterson trade for pick. It ended up being a good trade but look at the guys we potentially could have got. Kiko Alonzo,Kawann Short and Kiko Alonzo. There’s more but I’m just saying the picks we trade for a hope and a prayer are not worth it. What if Patterson didn’t work out that would have been up there as one of the worst draft day trades. Mallet maybe worth a 6th round or 5th but I wouldn’t go higher than that.

        • Tyler Erhardt

          Mett does have those issues but so do most 21-24 year olds. Sitting on the bench for a year or two will do wonders for his ACL and character, however. I agree we would benefit more from a top defender on the second. I think RS and Zimmerman will get a good draft.

    • jamed

      I agree NO to Mettenburger and Barr we could get prolly the best QB in the draft Aaron Murray the kid is a winner. Barr “3 year project”. Ryan Shazier,Defensive Rookie of the Year.

      • you_s uck

        What exactly has murray won, in that case I would prefer Mccarron

        • jamed

          I’m pretty sure Murray may have won a couple college games against good college opponents. I’m just sayn.

  • Tyler Erhardt

    I didn’t like the mock you put up the other day, but this one is much better and realistic. Not that Mr. ZI cares, but a retract my criticism

  • Ken Tomlin

    Not “feeling” this mock draft. Mettenberger would make the most sense of the guys selected here, but to me LB is not our most pressing need on defense. I’d argue that it’s CB/S then LB. Not saying if Mack was there at 8 I wouldn’t take him, but Barr? No, not when other LBs will be there later. Like Smith or Tripp or heck maybe even Shazier. Mauti, Cole, and Hodges should at least be given a shot. Mauti could end up being the MLB we haven’t had since EJ was there. Gilbert at 8, or trade back if we can. Garoppolo at 40, Bucannon at 72, and at 96, take best BPA regardless of position.

    • Tyler Erhardt

      Agree but keep mind greenway is long in the tooth. We probably have his replacement already on the team. That leaves another lob spot to fill this year or next. You have a solid argument but I would place lb above cb and s. Safety is my second need though.

    • jamed

      So with Cassel and Ponder our biggest need isn’t QB? We have a lot of young linebackers on our team already. Ill bet the Viks biggest 3 needs go in this order.
      #1 QB #2 OLB #3 CB
      what do we have 4 MLBS on our roster already all these off season signings were defense that way we could make sure that we got the QB that they liked whether they trade up or not on May 8th we will be selecting a QB. Probably Bridgewater.

  • Gordon Guffey

    Jordan Zumwalt is a big question mark for me ~ I know nothing about the guy ~ Barr I can see though as well as the rest of the draft ~ And lets not forget that Zimmer said he likes big tall players on defense across the board ~ Varr would fit in nicely with Cole giving the Vikings two 6’5″ LBers ~ LBer may not be as big of a issue as some think ~ Lets not forget that Zimmer was a DC when the Vikings drafted Cole~Hodges~Mauti so their is a very good chance he scouted these very LBer’s and he might be very happy to pair Cole and Barr together ~ Cole was alread good vs the pass and should be must better vs the run this year with Linval Joseph in front of him ~ Last year Cole had OG and Centers all over him ~ Greenway is set for another year at Sam ~ Thats not a bad lineup ~ Barr~Cole~Greenway ~

    I like the rest of your mock as well ~ I totally agree with the Vikings drafting a RB in round 3 and it will be one that is very good at pass blocking and catching the ball out of the backfield ~ West could very well be a nice replacement down the road for AP ~ Hopefully AP can play great football until he is 36 years of age ~ But just in case he starts to slip this year it would be great to have someone like West already on the roster ~

    I like what I have read about Billy Turner ~ I didn’t get to see him play but he seems to have tested very well ~ Must be someone Turner wasn’t on his OL for the blocking he wants to use ~ I just hope the middle is capable of opening better holes for AP this year than last year ~ He did far to much dancing at the LOS for a RB as talented as AP is ~

    Mettenberger looks like the kind of QB Norv likes (((build wise))) and has a heck of a arm ~ But I’m not even sure the Vikings draft a QB this high ~ I wouldn’t get upset if they did ~ But they have Cassel on the roster and Norv and Zimmer have both said they haven’t give up on Ponder yet ~ If thats true then I could see them going defense in the second as well ~ Mettenberger is as capable of being a starting NFL QB (((Be it Bad~Good~Great))) as any of the other QB’s coming out this year and this could be another draft like 2011 ~ None are a sure thing ~ However I would be fine is he is the pick in the 2nd round ~ Also Cassel finished 29th in the league with 26 passes of 20 yards or more, and 28th with five passes of 40 yards or more. In passes targeted 20 yards or more downfield, Cassel was accurate with 47.4 percent of them, according to Pro Football Focus, sixth-best in the league. <<<< Thats not for a guy who will old be 31 this year ~ Its not like Cassel is some really old guy ~ He is more than capable of plays out his two year deal and playing well too ~ Lets not forget Cassel was without Patterson for much of the year and AP played hurt for most of the year ~ Frazier and Musgrave wouldn't let Patterson on the field like all the other rookies last year ~

  • Firre Workcz

    Anthony Barr is a nightmare. Total project, not worth a second round pick. This draft is going to suck. Beating the Steelers and the tie with the Pack did us in. Trade down if possible, get a couple of solid defensive starters (Mosley, Gilbert) and a left guard. Running back in the 6th or 7th would be ok. The franchise QB will have to come next year. We won’t get Manziel or Bortles, Carr and Bridgewater suck, and it will be too expensive to come back in and get Mettenberger. If we can get a Tom Savage in the third, that is all we can really hope for. Franchise QB comes next season. Hopefully, we will have a top 6 defense by then.

    • jamed

      Every year people say that wait till next year for a franchise QB. If we get Bridgewater at #8 I think that’s good but our biggest need is a QB and there 2 in this draft Aaron Murray and Teddy Bridgewater.

      • Firre Workcz

        Whomever drafts Bridgewater will get a career back-up who would make a wonderful son-in-law. Not worth a first round pick. Manziel, yes! Bortles, only if Mack is gone, Carr, yes, if we trade back some. Murray is quite good but, like Savage and Mettenberger, a new coach and a shaky GM won’t risk a first round pick. A franchise QB should be a really good QB. Other than Manziel, nobody else this year is really good. THAT is why we should wait for next year’s class. The Vikes will suck, have a top three draft, and have 4-5 QBs to choose from better than Bortles, Carr etc.

  • jamed

    I really don’t like Mettenberger I think if we don’t take QB with the #8 and we grab one in the 2nd or 3rd go for Aaron Murray the kid should be 1st rounder plus he already beat out Mettenburger in Georgia for the starting job. I don’t like the Barr pick either he’s quick and everything and he prolly will be good but I think he’s a bigger project playing only 2years at LB position. Here’s how I would like the draft to go.
    #8 Manziel #40 Shazier #72 Shane Skov #96 Billy Turner #128 Aaron Murray . Grab 2 QBs to actually try and get it right this time.

  • Brett Bentley

    Seen too many mock drafts. Like to see one that has more than one option in each round, like trades or best player available vs need. Also like to see Vikings finally allowing black cheerleaders and Vikings retire Farves number before GB does, if they ever do.