2011 NFL Mock Draft: Weekly Mock Draft Roundup

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Vikings Make Selection In SB Nation Writers Draft

The writers of the SB Nation football sites are holding their annual mock draft, and the Vikings have already made their selection with the number 12 selection. Even with Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers still on the board, I decided to take the Vikings in a slightly different direction along the defensive front by selecting Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt instead.

My reasoning behind the pick?

Measuring in at 6'6" and a shade over 290 pounds, Watt would be able to fill in most of the positions along the defensive line. He would likely immediately step into Ray Edwards' spot at left defensive end, and could play on passing downs either on the outside or in-between Kevin Williams and Jared Allen as a tackle. In two seasons at Wisconsin, he put up 11.5 sacks and made 36 tackles for loss, and anyone that saw him in the Rose Bowl against TCU saw him at his best, as he played an outstanding game against the Horned Frogs.

Watt's ceiling may not be as high as someone like Bowers', or even a Cameron Jordan (who I also gave strong consideration to with this pick), but his "floor" is much higher, in my opinion, as I think Watt will be a solid player for years to come, whether it's for Minnesota or for somebody else.

Dan Kadar from Mocking the Draft didn't seem to care for my pick very much.

This was kind of shocking with Bowers still available. As much as people want to dog on him for an occasional lack of effort, he still had a sack in every game he played in 2010. Do that in the NFL and you're an All Pro. This isn't to say that Watt won't be a good NFL player. It's just that Bowers can do everything he can a little bit better. Bowers plays stronger, gives the same scheme flexibility and is clearly a better pass rusher.

There is also some concern about Watt that his technique isn't as sound as it should be right now. There's plenty of detail in his scouting report, but the converted Central Michigan tight end may be a bit of a project pick for a 4-3 team.

Meh, I don't get it. . .Watt has played the last two years at Wisconsin as a 4-3 defensive end, and now he's a "project" for a team like the Vikings that runs a 4-3 defense?

The readers over at Mocking the Draft didn't care for this one much, either, with 56% of their respondents to the poll on the pick grading it as a C or worse. Ah, well. . .I guess we'll have to see in a few years.

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Drafttek Has Vikings Grabbing A Receiver

Let's take a look around the internet for a few more mock drafts and what they have the Vikings' doing with the number 12 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

The folks at Drafttek have had the Vikings taking the same player for four consecutive simulations now. . .do they know something we don't? Well, if they do, expect to hear the Vikings call the name of Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones on April 28. Their write-up looks like this:

For the fourth consecutive week, Julio Jones falls to the Vikings at #12. Big, physical, unafraid of the middle of the field, enough speed to go deep and a strong blocker - Jones is everything you want in a feature receiver. The big question is his concentration level as he has dropped some easy passes throughout his 'Bama career. Personally, I don't see it being an issue going forward. He certainly will not become the next Braylon Edwards. I think Les Frazier would be thrilled if Jones fell to the Vikings here as some draft pundits are speculating that he has passed A.J. Green on most big boards.

See, this is one of the disadvantages of the draft being held before free agency this season, rather than the other way around like it usually is. If the Vikings knew for sure that Sidney Rice was going to re-sign with the team, they might know whether or not a player like Jones is someone they should target at their selection. Without Rice, Jones would be a great pick at this spot. . .if he's staying in Minnesota, then maybe the Vikings look in another direction.

Of course, a wide receiving corps with Sidney Rice and Julio Jones on the outside and Percy Harvin in the slot sounds awfully intriguing, too.

Drafttek has the rest of the Vikings draft looking like this:

Round 2, #43 overall - Andy Dalton, quarterback, TCU
Round 4, #106 overall - Virgin Greene, tight end, Nevada
Round 5, #133 overall - Pernell McPhee, defensive end, Mississippi State
Round 5, #150 overall - Cortez Allen, cornerback, The Citadel (pick acquired from New York Giants)
Round 6, #178 overall - Stephen Burton, wide receiver, West Texas A&M
Round 6, #200 overall - Terrell McClain, defensive tackle, South Florida (compensatory selection)
Round 7, #214 overall - Rob McGill, offensive tackle, Louisiana Tech
Round 7, #235 overall - Ryan Bartholemew, center, Syracuse

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