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Bleacher Report – Vikings

A look at Mike Mayock’s top 5 by position; Who be available for the Vikings in the second round?

By Matthew Coller

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The lead up to the NFL Draft just isn’t quite the same without a first-round pick, but nonetheless, the Minnesota Vikings still have a chance to pick up an impact player with the 48th overall pick.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock recently released an updated version of his top five prospects at every position, which gives us a look at which positions might see top players go off the board quickly and which spots might have quality players available in the second round. So let’s have a look at the top fives in positions the Vikings are likely to target…

Mayock’s top five:

What it means to the Vikings:

Fournette and McCaffrey are virtual locks to go in the first round, but the rest are up in the air. Dalvin Cook has character concerns that reportedly have teams viewing him as a second-rounder and Kamara, an all-around back who seems like a good fit for the Vikings, was just mocked in the first round by Todd McShay.

Perine is an intriguing player for Minnesota. The Vikings’ brass would have seen him at Oklahoma’s pro day. His NFL.com draft profile includes this quote from an AFC scout:

“I love Perine. Great kid, hard worker, reliable. He’s a team-first player who will fit into a committee approach or can handle all the work. He will be a solid pro back.”

He rushed for 1,060 yards last year for the Sooners spelling Joe Mixon, but only caught 10 passes.

Speaking of Mixon, Mayock includes him his top five list of “special exceptions.” Mixon is receiving more and more buzz the closer we get to the draft, but NFL Network reported that he’s very likely to be selected in the second round, which could leave the Vikings with a difficult decision considering his off-field issues, which include a tape of him punching a woman in 2014.

Mayock’s top five:

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What it means:

The Vikings need another wide receiver after losing Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson in free agency. They probably expected Laquon Treadwell to step into that role when they picked him in the first-round of the 2016 draft, but his future is up in the air after a one-catch rookie season. Still, the second round might be too high for the Vikings to spend a pick on a receiver. With a pair of third and fourth-round picks, it seems more likely they will select one in those two rounds instead.

There are opinions all over the board on this year’s crop of receivers. Davis is No. 1 by nearly every ranking, Williams had an incredible National Championship game that likely pushed his stock up to the first round and Ross ran the fastest 40-yard dash the Combine has ever seen, but beyond those three, it’s hard to say where the others will land. It’s possible Jones, Kupp or Smith-Schuster could be available in the third round.

Jones is considered a high-character, work-ethic type player who had – this is not a typo – 158 catches for 1,746 yards in his senior season at East Carolina.

Kupp took the Senior Bowl by storm, showing great route-running ability and hands. The big concern, however, is that he only ran a 4.62 40-yard dash – a mark topped by a handful of tight ends. His lack of speed could be a concern for the Vikings.

Smith-Schuster has also been criticized for lack of speed, but has good strength, solid hands, can block and has a body type comparable to Anquan Boldin.

Mayock’s top five:

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What it means:

The Vikings gave us the indication that they’re interested in improving their depth at tight end when they had Jared Cook in for a visit. Last year’s draft pick David Morgan fits in as a pure run blocker, but Minnesota doesn’t currently have a pass-catching threat. When Pat Shurmur was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, used both Zach Ertz and Brent Celek as threats in the passing game. That could be the case with Kyle Rudolph and a draft pick. It’s worth questioning whether they would spend their highest selection on a No. 2 tight end unless that talented young tight end had potential to eventually be the No. 1.

In this draft, there are several non-first round tight ends who could be stars. Howard is likely to be a very high pick and Njoku is off the board in most mock drafts, but Engram and Everett are two players who fit the mold of what the Vikings need. Engram is a freakish athlete, running a 4.42 40-yard dash at the Combine despite being 6-foot-3, 234-pounds. He’s a rare vertical threat tight end who NFL.com compares to Washington’s Jordan Reed.

Everett is this year’s basketball-player-turned-NFL-prospect. While a little slower than Engram (4.62 40-yard dash, so still very fast), analysts note that there’s toughness in Everett’s game that might make him a solid blocker along with a receiving threat. NFL.com writes that he has Pro Bowl potential, but needs development. Seems like the right type of tight end prospect for the Vikings.

Kittle is another insanely fast tight end, running a 4.52 40 at the Combine. He has good hands with just one drop and 48 catches for Iowa.

Tight end may not be the Vikings’ biggest need, but it very well could be the best value pick to take one of these three players in the second round.

Mayock’s top five(s):

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What it means:

At the end of the college season, only Cam Robinson was being discussed as a first-round talent, now Ryan Ramczyk and Garrett Bolles appear to have passed him on many draft boards and Mayock even lists Robinson as a guard instead of a tackle. Very few draft analysts have him playing guard, but it’s interesting nonetheless because that opens the door to a drop in the draft. Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp increased his draft stock at the NFL Combine. He was consistently rated a second-round talent until mid-March, now he’s considered a first-rounder.

There is a pretty big drop off between Bolles and the other four tackles. Depending on which website you consult, you might find Moton anywhere from the second to fourth.

Guards may come as good value in the second round. Three of the four listed (Feeney, Pocic and Elflein) can play center or guard and there’s a chance Dawkins could develop into a tackle.

His NFL Draft profile includes this quote from an AFC scout:

“I don’t know if I see him as a guard or a tackle yet, but I think he can play both. I like him because I think he could upgrade our pass protection inside if we did bump him to guard, but he’s athletic enough to play right tackle, too.”

The Vikings are still on the market for a starting right guard or starting center, depending on where they see Joe Berger. They may have spent a truckload of money on tackles in the offseason, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty in the long run both at guard or tackle. Offensive line should be considered one of the team’s top priorities in the draft.

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With Sharrif Floyd’s future up in the air, interior defensive line is now pushed up to the top of the Vikings’ list of draft needs. Jonathan Allen will be selected in the top five, but the rest are likely to go in the second round or later. It would seem to be a pretty big score for the Vikings if they could land the second best player at a position at No. 48.

Malik McDowell has already met with Minnesota’s brass. He’s considered a boom or bust prospect with top-notch skill but questionable drive.

Brantley’s NFL.com Draft Profile certainly sticks out when the comparison is Aaron Donald, arguably the NFL’s best defensive tackle. If that were the case, he would be a top five pick, but his skill set fits what the Vikings had in Floyd. Zierlein wrote:

“Powerful, stout defensive tackle with the quickness to play the three-technique and the power to play the nose. Brantley has the talent and traits that should appeal to both two-gap and one-gap defenses. While we haven’t seen Brantley play in even half of Florida’s defensive snaps in a single year, the talent is there to become an early starter and a defensive force up front.”

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It seems unlikely that the Vikings will select a safety with the 48th overall pick unless Peppers is still on the board. He isn’t a traditional safety, playing nickel corner and even linebacker in college. Peppers is a unique, dynamic talent who Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN both believe will fall because he doesn’t fit into a single position. Mike Zimmer is known for finding the right roles for players and a defensive back of his skill would be too good to pass up.

The post A look at Mike Mayock’s top 5 by position; Who be available for the Vikings in the second round? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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