Dec 26, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) during the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against the Bowling Green Falcons at Ford Field. Pittsburgh Panthers defeated Bowling Green Falcons 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Silva Thinks the Vikings Should Draft Aaron Donald


Rotoworld’s Evan Silva has chimed in with a new two round mock, and he has a little bit of an off-the-wall pick for the Vikings at #8.

Aaron Donald? Really Silva?

Here’s what Silva says about this seemingly weird selection:

“Mike Zimmer’s new Geno Atkins. Although this match may seem surprising because it probably doesn’t appear often in other mock drafts, we don’t know how Minnesota’s new defensive-minded coach feels about Sharrif Floyd, and Zimmer’s units have always functioned at their maximum with deep rotations of explosive pass rushers. Donald is the type of all-out-effort player Zimmer loves. The Vikings were very involved on Henry Melton during free agency — even after signing Linval Joseph — strongly suggesting they believe the interior defensive line remains a weakness.”

I confess, when I saw that the Vikings were after Melton, I had the same thought. That Mike Zimmer might not like Sharrif Floyd.

And knowing how important that 3-tech position is to Zimmer’s defense, and how huge Geno Atkins became working within that defense, it’s natural to look at a player like Donald and see the fit.

I suppose if Mike Zimmer looks at Donald and sees Geno Atkins, you have to seriously consider taking him even if it means leaving the linebacker position unaddressed until later in the draft.

There’s also the BPA argument. It’s possible that Donald will be the BPA at #8, and the same logic applies to him that applies to Sammy Watkins.

If he’s there and you think he’s really that good, you have to take him, regardless of your supposed “needs.”

Hopefully, teams behind the Vikings who like Aaron Donald are listening to these arguments. I’m thinking specifically of the Bears.

Someone email Silva’s mock to the Bears along with Rick Spielman’s phone number, just in case they lost it.

Maybe I’m just overly captivated by certain linebacker and quarterback possibilities, but I would be a tad disappointed if the Vikings did end up taking Donald at 8. He looks like a good player and all, but dang, going DT in the first a year after going DT in the first? Even if Floyd isn’t a good fit for Zimmer?

Isn’t there a good DT in the third or fourth who could develop into Geno Atkins? Atkins himself wasn’t taken until the fourth round.

This is why the trade down is such a compelling option for the Vikings. You can move back several spots and still get an Aaron Donald or a C.J. Mosley or a Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or a Justin Gilbert.

Any of those guys would instantly make the Vikings a more talented defense. But I’m not sure I would be totally happy taking any one of them at 8.

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Tags: Aaron Donald Minnesota Vikings

  • Mike Wilfahrt

    If Zimmer doesn’t think Floyd is their guy at the 3 technique, I’m guessing they would have resigned Kevin Williams and let Floyd develop some more. Instead, they kept their distance from one of the best DT’s in Vikings history, letting him move on to someone else. To replace Williams they brought in a no namer backup Tom Johnson from the Saints. The clear message here is that they have plenty of faith in Floyd to be “the guy” at the 3 technique. They may draft a DT to add depth to the unit, but there’s no way they draft Aaron Donald with the #8 pick. Only way it happens is if he falls to them in the second round and he’s by far the BPA on the board.

    • Don Andrew Halvorson

      We already spent a first round and signed a top tier DT with Joseph. Silva is wrong.

  • Eddie Currie

    Silva also doesn’t think Stephon Tuitt will be drafted in the 1st or 2nd round. So be careful putting any stake into the opinion of an idiot. Also, the Bears will not be trading up with the Vikings for Donald for two reasons: 1. He’s just Aaron Donald and not Clowney or Mack. 2. We hate Minnesota and won’t be doing you guys any favors.

  • 3kolu

    At first glance Donald at #8 is a reach, but with a trade down Donald gives the Vikings another direction that they can go. Gilbert or Clinton-Dix would be immediate starters at positions of need, shutdown bookend to X Rhodes and Clinton-Dix would make the back-end a strength for the first time in years. Mosely would be an upgrade at MLB but, the Vikings already have a log jam there. And, Donald who could compete for the 3-technique with Floyd would add depth to a thin DT rotation as it stands right now.

  • kyle

    I’d rather trade down for the likes of Mosley, Gilbert, Clinton-Dix or Pryor. All would address needs as well as be value picks with a trade down. Heard pick #8 is hot right now with the Jets and Rams. Possibly looking at Mike Evans at 8 for those teams I imagine.

  • Gordon Guffey

    agree on Donald’s ~