The Minnesota Vikings picked up NFL Draft selection No. 25 this week from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for wide receiver Percy Harvin. That extra pick makes the Vikings' potential draft that much more exciting.
The Vikings were a solid team in 2012, good enough to qualify for the postseason. But, still, there is plenty of roster spots that could be improved upon, namely the position they just weakened -- wide receiver.
Minnesota could still make a splash in free agency at this position, but assuming they do not, wide receiver must be addressed in the draft. CBS Sports' draft analyst Rob Rang agrees, but first, he projects the Vikings to address the defensive side of the football. With the No. 23 selection, Rang has the Minnesota Vikings choosing defensive end Datone Jones out of UCLA.
At 6-4, 280 pounds Jones has the bulk and strength to play inside at defensive tackle, as well as enough burst to attack the edge at defensive end, as well. Considering the passing attacks Minnesota faces annually in the NFC North, the ability to pressure the quarterback trumps a traditional run-stuffer.
The NFC North is stacked with passers, so a pass rusher makes sense. Jones fits the bill. Last season at UCLA, Jones amassed 5.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss.
Then, finally, at pick No. 25 -- finally -- Rang gets around to the massive hole at wide receiver on the Vikings roster. He projects Minnesota to take California wideout Keenan Allen.
Without the versatile Harvin's services, Minnesota now must add considerable help to their receiving corps to keep defenses from crowding the line of scrimmage to stop Adrian Peterson. A sprained PCL has kept Allen from working out for scouts and his stock may be slipping as a result. When healthy, however, he's shown the physical talent, work ethic and toughness to be a No. 1 target.
Allen measures out at 6'2, 206 lbs but has been unable to showcase his skills this offseason due to the aforementioned PCL injury. His scouting report from his college days, however, list him as a potential No. 1 option. His skills -- good route runner, long strides, jumping ability -- far outweigh his weakness, and the lack of offseason workouts could leave Minnesota with a potential first-round steal.
Dan Kadar of SB Nation's Mocking the Draft also believes the Vikings will select Allen. On the Cal receiver, Kadar writes the following:
Minnesota needs to get younger on defense, a starting right tackle to replace Phil Loadholt and an outside wide receiver target...There are plenty of good options in the draft this year. Allen can play inside and outside and has the physical skills to get yards after the catch.
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