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NFL Mock Draft 2013: Vikings select Keenan Allen with No. 23 pick

Allen would provide young quarterback Christian Ponder with another target down the field to throw to.

Jason O. Watson

The Minnesota Vikings were one of the NFL's surprise teams in 2012, claiming a wild card berth while going 10-6 in the regular season. With the No. 23 pick at their disposal, there are a couple of positions the Vikings could address in the first round.

The most likely pick for Minnesota is at wide receiver. Percy Harvin has emerged as a great home-run threat, but quarterback Christian Ponder really struggled at times this season without a go-to guy within 15 yards. The team ranked 31st in the league in passing offense, and while Adrian Peterson can certainly get the ball moving on the ground, the addition of a top-tier receiver would only make the offense that much more potent.

In the latest mock draft from Josh Norris of Roto World, the Vikings will take wide receiver Keenan Allen with the 23rd pick.

23. Minnesota Vikings -- WR Keenan Allen, Cal

Allen suffered from poor quarterback play at Cal throughout his career, but a slight PCL injury kept him sidelined to finish the 2012 season. His route running to create separation is among the best in the class.

This past season as a junior, the 6'3, 210 pound receiver hauled in 61 passes for 737 yards and six touchdowns. As Norris mentioned in the blurb above, Allen's numbers were really hurt by erratic QB play at California. There is no denying Allen has the speed, size and talent to become a playmaker as a professional if given time to properly develop.

In another mock draft from Matthew Fairburn of SB Nation, Minnesota will take wideout DeAndre Hopkins out of Clemson in the first round. Hopkins fits a similar mold to Allen, and both seem to be solid potential fits for the Vikings.

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