Hey Minnesota! Are you a fantasy football fan who is currently seeking psychiatric help after learning that Facebook will be shut down in March?
Well if so, slap yourself in the face; get back to reality and let's enjoy some good ol' fashion mock draft talk because, afterall, it's the cure-all for those Facebook ending blues!
Well that and it was a rumor, Facebook isn't going anywhere unfortunately.
The Minnesota Vikings have a lot of draft power in 2012 but they also have a lot of questions that must be answered both before, and during, draft time.
Let's cut right to the chase and see what possibilities could be in store.
Update: ESPNDallas is reporting that the Minnesota Vikings, amongst other teams, have expressed interest in former Raiders standout corner Stanford Routt. This is very exciting news, especially for a team with as many needs in the secondary as Minnesota. Buffalo, Kansas City, Tennessee and Dallas are all interested as well.
The pool does have significant competition, but acquiring Routt would solve a big problem for Minny, and could change how the Vikings approach their own draft. Stay tuned for further developments.
Round 1: Matt Kalil, OT, Southern Cal
6'6", 295 pounds:
It's the trendy pick here but it also makes the most sense, considering the talent level drops off significantly after the Top 3 OTs in the draft.
The Vikings need a sizable, NFL ready OT who will be able to protect Christian Ponder's blindside, and Kalil definitely fits that bill.
There has been some discussion of the Vikings possibly going for Oklahoma's Justin Blackmon, or LSU's Morris Claiborne, but I think Kalil winds up being their man.
Round 2: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
6'4", 229 pounds:
A much different pick than many predict here, but I am going with Jeffery before he goes off the board—assuming he is still there, that is.
The Vikings would be doing themselves a huge favor by adding a big receiving target opposite of Percy Harvin, and Jeffery is just that sort of pedigree.
I think with the way the draft trends are building, the Vikings can hold off until round three for....
Round 3: Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
6'0", 185 pounds:
It's a bit of a stretch to think that Minnifield will be available, but then again, anything is possible.
The Vikings' secondary needs the most work no matter who is retained in 2012, and they need to get the job done through the draft, and possibly free agency.
This pick is a bit more wishful thinking, but it is a mock draft after all.
Round 4: Keenan Robinson, LB, Texas
6'3", 240 pounds:
Another area of concern for the Vikings in 2011 was the linebacker position, particularly up the middle.
E.J. Henderson was a huge liability for Minnesota because he was very one-dimensional. Henderson was serviceable against the run, but horrible in pass coverage and Robinson is just the type of younger blood who could come in and fit right into Minnesota's system.
They could also solve for 'X' in the free agency market, but the need would still be there.
Round 5: Brandon Brooks, OG, Miami (Ohio)
6'5", 353 pounds:
At some point the Vikings may want to consider drafting an offensive guard for possible play, and/or depth purposes.
The fifth round selection would still afford the Vikings some extraordinary talent—like Brooks—while also allowing them to utilize the remainder of the draft to fill in some blanks.
Brooks is a massive presence on the line at 6'5" 345 pounds, and the Vikings could wind up finding a diamond in the rough with Brooks.
Round 6: Donnie Fletcher, CB, Boston College
6'0", 201 pounds:
Boston College isn't really known for producing pro-ready corners, but Fletcher seems to be the exception to the rule.
Whether or not Fletcher falls to the sixth, however, is left to be seen.
But if he does, Fletcher is the type of corner who can play man and zone in an aggressive setting which would be the perfect depth chart candidate to add for Minny here, with the possibility of starting at some point in the season.
Round 7: The Vikings have three picks in the seventh round for a grand total of nine draft picks, and while my first grab here would be a developmental RB—Brandon Bolden (5'11", 211 pounds) from Ole Miss comes to mind—I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a developmental safety as well such as Damien Jackson (6'2", 210 pounds), also from Ole Miss.
Bolden would certainly be my first choice, and it is conceivable to think they could also grab Jackson here too depending on their placement.
The last pick would more than likely be utilized on an ancillary player for developmental purposes—perhaps TE DeAngelo Peterson (6'3", 230 pounds) from LSU who would be an intriguing pick.