2014 NFL Draft: Mike Zimmer Is Pushing For Aaron Donald


Sep 28, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) celebrates getting a sack during the second quarter against the Virginia Cavaliers at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh defeated Virginia 14-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Every insider on earth is scrambling to get their last minute mock draft onto the internet. These final mocks tend to be the most useful when it comes to actual information because – dirty little secret – the insiders fill their early mocks with placeholder gobbledygook and hold back what they really/know think until the final push.

With a final click frenzy in mind, Dan Pompei has released his last mock and it contains a potentially useful piece of Vikings-related information. Pompei, for the record, has the Vikings taking Anthony Barr at #8. But the tidbit isn’t about Barr, it’s about Aaron Donald, whom he has going to Tampa Bay at #7.

Pompei says, “The buzz is that Mike Zimmer is pushing for Aaron Donald, who could be his new Geno Atkins. But what if Donald is gone? The Vikings are not likely to take a quarterback with this pick. Chances are very good they will go defense.”

Pompei goes on, “Some see this as too high for Barr, but he is the best nickel pass rusher available, and he can help at strong-side linebacker on first and second down. Barr could help Zimmer reshape the Vikings defense. It’s also possible the Vikings could go for a cornerback with this pick, either Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard.”

If the Vikings truly are targeting a “front-seven disruptor” as Peter King put it the other day, Donald and Barr would seem to be the two most likely picks at 8. Cornerback looks like a fall back option if neither of those players is available.

Quarterback? Off the table. At least in the first.

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