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2011 NFL Mock Draft (Update)

On Tuesday, the latest NFL Mock Draft by SB Nation had the Vikings taking Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers, an intriguing talent at what many people consider the Vikings second biggest position of need.

A lot of fans and draft experts think that the biggest need, however, is at quarterback. 

The guys over at Walter Football have done another 6 round mock, and they have what I consider a surprise going to the Vikings in the first round, Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith.  I've seen DE picked quite a bit here, but this is the first time I've seen Smith name's.  What's interesting is that although another pick tied to the Vikings, Robert Quinn, is off the board, the other popular choice, Bowers, is still available.  Let's look at the rest of their picks:

2nd Round:  QB Jake Locker, Washington.  Great value and need pick here, but I still think Locker will be gone by this point in the draft.

4th Round:  Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State.  I don't see the Vikings letting Sidney Rice leave via free agency, but if he does, they'll need to get another one.

5th Round:  Richard Sherman, DB, Stanford.  The Vikes secondary was decimated by injuries last year, and the safety play was particularly horrendous. 

5th Round:  Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State.  I don't see the Vikings selecting a TE in this spot, as they have a lot on the roster, and even though Jim Kleinsasser is long in the tooth, it's still not a position of need.

6th Round:  Jarrard Tarrant, S, Georgia Tech.  I can't argue with as many bodies competing in the defensive backfield as possible.

Looking at this draft, I got to wondering:  is there a site that is collects data and gives you a consensus as to what individual team picks are?  Why yes, yes there is.

NFL Draft Day Insider combines a bunch of mock drafts and comes out with consensus #1 picks, and then also gives you a percentage of how many times a player is picked for your team.

For the Vikings, the consensus #1 pick, with 18% of mock drafts selecting him, is Washington QB Jake Locker.  The position that was selected the most was quarterback, 38% of the time, but another big need position, defensive end, was picked 30% of the time.

Things have settled a bit in the mock draft world, at least for the time being.  But the one thing I love about the draft is that as we get closer, seemingly insignificant things surface about a player or two, and it can lead to a ripple effect that alters the entire draft landscape.

So get your popcorn ready.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.