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
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.