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NFL Mock Draft 2013: Vikings select Keenan Allen in first round

The Vikings ranked 31st in the NFL last season passing the ball. The addition of Allen could really open things up for quarterback Christian Ponder.

Jason O. Watson

The Minnesota Vikings opened some eyes around the league this past season, going 10-6 and earning a wild card spot in the NFC. Armed with the 23rd overall pick at the 2013 NFL Draft, the Vikings will look to add a playmaker that should make life much easier on young quarterback Christian Ponder.

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According to the latest mock draft from Dane Brugler of CBS Sports, Minnesota will select California wide receiver Keenan Allen with their first round selection.

Keenan Allen, WR, California: No one will mistake Christian Ponder for Peyton Manning, but the Vikings are currently connected to the former Florida State quarterback and need to add weapons to help him succeed. Allen's 2012 production suffered due to inconsistent quarterback play, but he might be the most talented wideout in this class.

Allen, a 6'3, 210 lb. junior, hauled in 61 passes for 737 yards and six touchdowns this past season with the Golden Bears. Those numbers may not jump off the page, but Allen was on the wrong end of poor quarterback play the past couple years. If given a talented QB to work with, few scouts have doubts Allen will excel at the next level given his blend of size and speed.

The addition of a playmaker down the field would be big for the Vikings, who ranked 31st in passing offense last season. Allen would give Ponder another weapon down the field to utilize along with Percy Harvin, and could also force defenses to stop loading up in the box against Adrian Peterson.

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