Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4/27/11: Final Vikings' Mock Draft

1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB
It's the wrong pick, in my opinion, but Newton will put butts in the seats, and he has rare upside.

2. Denver Broncos: Von Miller, LB
The steam over the past 12 hours has Miller leap-frogging Dareus. Either way, John Fox will be happy.

3. Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus, DT
A no-brainer.

4. Cincinnati Bengals: Nick Fairley, DT
Cincinnati throws a curveball. Fairley might be the most talented player in the draft—from a talent perspective, this is a steal, not a reach. The Ravens and Steelers dominate in the trenches, and I think the Bengals counter here.

5. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson, CB
Paired with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Cardinals look to lock down the NFC West for the next decade.

6. Cleveland Browns: A.J. Green, WR
The Browns are the big winners in this scenario. They might have the worst receiving corps in the league, and they were set on Julio Jones. They never imagined Green would be available.

7. Washington Redskins: Blaine Gabbert, QB
With Blaine Gabbert still on the board and Tennessee licking their chops, Daniel Snyder makes a splash and trades up (with San Francisco) for his franchise quarterback.

8. Tennessee Titans: Julio Jones, WR
Devastated by this turn of events, the Titans decide to team Jones' speed with Kenny Britt's size and possession skills. With Britt's off-the-field issues, this pick helps new coach Mike Munchak sleep at night.

9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT
Makes too much sense not to happen.

10. San Francisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara
While most are calling new head coach Jim Harbaugh's faith in Alex Smith a smokescreen, the fact is this love affair started way back in January. Ultimately, the 49ers get the guy they wanted and add an extra pick from the Redskins along the way.

11. Houston Texans: Robert Quinn, DE
Mario Williams finally gets some help.

12. New England Patriots: Aldon Smith, OLB/DE
Bill Belichick covets Smith's raw pass-rushing ability, and none of the players on the Vikings' radar are good value in this slot. It's a rare trade-up for "Hoodie," and the Vikings get back the third round pick they wasted on the Randy Moss debacle.

13. Detroit Lions: Jimmy Smith, CB
One of my favorite players in the draft, Smith is a Darrelle Revis clone who comes with a load of baggage.

14. St. Louis Rams: Corey Liuget, DT
The Rams' Julio Jones-pipe dream ended over an hour ago, so they decide to solidify their interior defense.

15. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Mallett, QB
Miami takes a chance on the best arm in the entire draft.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Christian Ponder, QB
Jacksonville favors the local Florida State product over Jake Locker.

17. Minnesota Vikings: Jake Locker, QB
If you've visited this blog in the last month, you know that I'm obsessed with Ryan Mallett and lukewarm (at best) on Jake Locker. Still, at this spot (with a third rounder in the back pocket), I'm fine with the Vikings rolling the dice on a guy with All-World athleticism/intangibles, despite his highly-suspect accuracy. If he's starting midway through 2011, he'll be ahead of schedule.

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