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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper Has The Vikings Taking DE Robert Quinn

There isn't a single writer on the Internet who knows more than any other which teams are going to take which players during the NFL Draft. Sure, there are rare occasions when a pick gets leaked and we know for weeks that a team likes a certain player (Jermaine Gresham and the Bengals last year, for example) but for the most part, every Mock Draft is a series of educated guesses on the part of the writer. Even the best of us are going to be wrong MOST of the time.

That includes the professionals, who get paid a year round salary to cover this stuff and put out Mock Drafts that the whol world pays attention to. Enter Mel Kiper. ESPN's preeminent draft express, Kiper has been making Mock Drafts for years now with varying levels of success. He doesn't have very much more success than anyone else, but for some reason we continue to listen. Which makes his latest Mock (insider, unfortunately) big news, and he has the Vikings taking embattled North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn with the twelfth overall pick.

In Quinn you have a guy whose skills as a pass-rusher might rival those of Bowers were he able to suit up this year for North Carolina. A first-rate athlete with an ideal skill set to become a Pro Bowl 4-3 defensive end, he's an immediate upgrade along the Vikings' defensive line.

Quinn missed on his opportunity to make an impression this season, but that doesn't diminish his talent. If the Vikings can determine that his off the field troubles are over and don't reflect larger character issues, than Quinn would represent good value for them at a position of partial need.

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