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NFL Mock Draft 2013: Vikings could pursue athleticism on defense in 1st round

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The Minnesota Vikings are in a good position to land a starter on defense late in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Doug Pensinger

The Minnesota Vikings went from bad team to good team in a very short amount of time. They went from a top-three pick to being a contender in the playoffs, which means they'll have a late pick this time around with lofty expectations. Fortunately, they're a team without significant needs.

Rather, they're a team without multiple needs, meaning they stand a shot at getting a lot better with their first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Minnesota is in a position, picking No. 23 in the first round, where they can afford to draft based more on need than value.

Matthew Fairburn and Dan Kadar collaborated on the latest SB Nation mock draft on Monday and they have the Vikings adding a talented and athletic player to the roster with the drafting of linebacker Arthur Brown out of Kansas State:

The Vikings need young athleticism on defense and Brown is the most athletic linebacker in the draft. He's a run and tackle linebacker who can truly play sideline to sideline. He's an upgrade over Tyrone McKenzie, though the Vikings will likely consider players like Alec Ogletree or Manti Te'o as well. Adding a good defensive tackle should be a priority in this draft as well, but they can sit on the position for a round or two.

Minnesota has been in need of an athletic player for some time, and Brown definitely fits the bill. Just check out the SB Nation scouting report for him here. He would likely come in and instantly be a starter and provide some much-needed help for an aging defense.

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