Vikings Draft: UConn CB Byron Jones In the Mix at 11?


Rotoworld’s Evan Silva and Josh Norris have put together a comprehensive team needs breakdown/7-round mock draft for the Vikings, and the results are pretty interesting.

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On the team needs front, Silva isn’t buying the idea that the Vikings are in the market for a wide receiver (via Rotoworld):

"I’ve seen wide receiver listed elsewhere as a Vikings need, but I don’t agree. OC Norv Turner is very high on Charles Johnson at “X” receiver, and trade acquisition Mike Wallace is a great fit for the “Z” Alvin Harper role."

This puts DeVante Parker out of the conversation for the #11 overall pick. So who does Josh Norris see the Vikings drafting at that spot?

Given Silva’s top need for the Vikings – cornerback – you might expect Trae Waynes to be the pick, but Waynes isn’t the pick. Instead Norris has gone with a somewhat unexpected selection, UConn CB Byron Jones:

"There are a number of prospects I could envision with this pick: Trae Waynes, Kevin Johnson and Randy Gregory (but at what position?). Byron Jones will be a first-round selection; the question is how early. He fits best in press situations and will enter the NFL as the best athletic tester at CB in the league. A shoulder injury ended Jones’ season early and teams will definitely pinpoint that piece of his evaluation."

The Vikings’ interest in Jones has been well documented. Clearly he is an athletic freak and scouts also talk about his solid character and leadership. And we know how important character and leadership are to Rick Spielman.

However, as Norris points out, there are durability concerns on with Jones after his shoulder injury. It’s also worth pointing out that some scouts think Jones lacks good balance and might struggle in man coverage.

If you take all the scouting reports together, #11 overall seems a bit high for Byron Jones. This seems like a more realistic pick if the Vikings trade down, which they may very well do.

Just for the hell of it, here’s the rest of Norris’ 7-round mock. See what you think of this:

Round 2: Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington
Round 3: John Miller, G, Louisville
Round 4: David Johnson, RB, Northern Iowa
Round 5: Cedric Thompson, S, Minnesota
Round 7: Terry Poole, OT, San Diego State
Round 7: Kyle Emanuel, DE/LB, North Dakota State

Of course there’s no way the Vikings will end up with just seven picks come draft day. Spielman will have that up to ten by the time he’s done trading.

Next: Zimmer Works With Byron Jones (Video)

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